Metra's SouthWest Line trains are on the move again through the Fuller Park neighborhood where a freight train derailed this morning, but delays of up to 90 minutes plagued the evening rush hour, according to Metra.
“We want commuters to know they’re going to experience some delays,’’ said Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile.Three trains were canceled this afternoon because of the incident, Reile said.
Inbound train No. 834, which was scheduled to depart the 179th Street station at 4:01 p.m.; outbound train No. 831, scheduled to depart from Union Station at 6:15 p.m.; and train No. 827, scheduled to depart Union Station at 5:18 p.m., all were canceled, according to Reile.Other trains leaving Union Station this afternoon and evening were leaving on time but riders faced a delay in getting to their destination of up to 90 minutes.
For commuters coming inbound, their departure times were delayed “at least” 90 minutes, she said.Commuters may consider the Rock Island, the Heritage Corridor, or the Burlington North Lines as alternatives.
“There are no projected delays on those lines,'' Reile said.
Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay said the train hauling consumer goods was operating “very slowly’’ pulling into their 47th Street Intermodal Facility at 361 West 47th Street to deliver the freight when, at 11:55 a.m., two locomotives and one train car derailed.
The derailment occurred near 41st Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.
“The locomotives did not tip on their sides; the wheels are off the tracks and they are leaning,’’ Terpay said.
No one was hurt but some fuel leaked from the locomotives.
“We will make sure it’s cleaned up,’’ she said, adding the leak did not present a hazard.
The freight derailment also delayed Amtrak trains, according to passenger James Kirkham, who pulled into Union Station from Washington, D.C., at 5:51 p.m. – nearly 8 hours late.
The 51 Cardinal had been scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 10:05 a.m., Kirkham said, but had been moving extremely slowly for hours today -- and then Amtrak officials got on the train and explained to the passengers what was happening.
Eventually, the Amtrak train made its way past the derailment site about 5:30 p.m. “We’ve had a 5 mph pace for the last three hours,’’ Kirkham, 27, said about 5:45 p.m.
Amtrak’s website said the 51 Cardinal was more than seven hours late.
A total of eight trains were affected, said Amtrak’s Marc Magliari, adding that the 51 Cardinal was the longest delay.
Trains going to and from Chicago, to and from the East Coast, and to and from Indianapolis were affected, Magliari said.
As of 8 p.m. Thursday delays persisted.The evening departure to Indianapolis and to the East Coast was delayed by four hours, Magliari said.
Terpay said it was not yet known if the tracks were damaged or why the derailment occurred.
The derailment remains under investigation, Terpay firstname.lastname@example.org