Fire on Metra UP-West Line damages switching 'nerve center'

Two more days of delays are expected on the Metra UP-West Line after an electrical fire damaged the "nerve center" that controls all trains in the area, officials said.

Metra said the fire between the Melrose Park and Berkeley stations caused extensive damage to the facility that controls all switches and signals.

Thousands of wires will need to be replaced and the facility must be reconstructed and undergo extensive safety testing, Metra said. That process is expected to take until midday Thursday.

Until then, all UP-West Line trains must stop, wait for permission to proceed, and then travel at restricted speeds through the two-mile area.

As a result, Metra said most trains are expected to depart on time, but could incur delays of up to 30 minutes from now until the Thursday afternoon rush hour.

Metra said some Tuesday afternoon rush hour trains have been canceled, and others will make extra stops. For the latest schedule information, visit metrarail.com.

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