Metra warning system could improve train traffic

March 1, 2011 3:11:40 PM PST
A new system to keep pedestrians safer at Metra crossings is now up and running. It's being used at eight Metra stations along the Union Pacific West Line.

The new system includes both audible and visual warnings to people when trains are approaching. The idea is to safely improve the flow of commuter and freight traffic by allowing trains to move through a station while other trains are being loaded or unloaded.

Before the new safety system was put in place, the standard operating rule was to hold back freight trains or another Metra train while a train passed through the station. That type of

operation slowed things down for Union Specific and slowed things down for commuters. Metra is hoping that the system will make things more efficient, especially during rush hour.

"We think this is the most comprehensive system we could have designed," said Michael Gillis, Metra spokesperson.