Passenger captures Blue Line train moving with doors open

A CTA passenger captured cell phone video of a train moving along the Blue Line track with its doors wide open.
A CTA passenger captured cell phone video of a train moving along the Blue Line track with its doors wide open.

CTA investigators say they are as puzzled as passengers. The train car has been taken out of service after the latest example of a CTA failsafe, failing.

Riders reacted, quickly moving away from the open doors as the Blue Line train increased speed with the doors wide open. The passenger who recorded the video said the train continued to the California stop and the doors stayed open.

"I was shocked, but I don't think the operator knew," that passenger only identified as Karolina said. "I don't think there was any indication there was this problem occurring."

The tracks between Western and California are electrified and elevated, making a dangerous situation potentially deadly.

"It was Friday the 13th at 4:30 p.m. Usually a packed train, but luckily it wasn't like that," Karolina said.

A CTA spokesman called the incident a "rare occurrence" on the last car of an eight-car train. After a passenger complained, the train car was taken out of service and inspected. ABC7 Eyewitness News has been told it wasn't a CTA operator, but a passenger who finally got the door to close by jiggling the emergency release switch.

In March, a failsafe stop trigger wasn't enough to stop a dozing CTA operator from smashing into the O'Hare station. In September at the other end of the line, another crash happened when an out-of-service train rolled out of the yard and collided with another full of passengers.

As for the open doors last week, the CTA's union president says another automatic system appears to have failed.

"Even if he went to power it up, if that light's not on indicating all the doors are closed, that train will not move or should not move," said Robert Kelly.

A CTA review of the train's onboard camera shows someone pulled the emergency exit lever, causing the doors to open. But that still does not explain why the train was able to keep moving with the doors open.

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