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Ice build-up likely prevented Metra train door from closing

Updated: July 19, 2013 6:06PM

An ice build-up likely prevented a rush-hour Metra train door from closing — and allowed it to remain open for several minutes — as it left Union Station Tuesday evening bound for Naperville, a Metra spokesman said Wednesday.

But why a conductor assigned to check doors before the express train’s departure apparently didn’t notice the open one remained under investigation, among other things, Wednesday.

No one was injured as a result of the open door, although video showed it was open wide enough for a person to pass through.

One of two sliding doors on the 6:14 p.m. BNSF Line train remained open for 11 1/2 minutes, before a crew member closed it, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.

“We’re investigating with the crew what happened,” Gillis said. “We didn’t find anything mechanically wrong with the train.”

Gillis said it appeared the door didn’t close properly because of ice in the “door track.”

Before a train departs the station, a conductor is supposed to make sure all doors are closed, Gillis said. A red light above a door alerts the conductor that the door remains open, Gillis said.

The train engineer isn’t supposed to depart until a “door light,” showing all the doors are closed, goes on in the engineer compartment, Gillis said.

“He’s not supposed to move the train until the door light goes on — or ascertain why it didn’t go on,” Gillis said.

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