Metra BNSF trains moving again after tracks cleared of downed power lines

CICERO, Ill. (WLS) -- Metra trains on the BNSF line are now running with extensive delays after earlier being halted because of downed power lines.

Metra said all trains west of the Cicero station were halted with no inbound or outbound train movement around 5 a.m.

The wires were taken out by a freight train leaving a train yard in Cicero. The gates at Ridgeland Avenue north of Ogden Avenue in Berwyn were also knocked down.

ComEd crews were on the scene to clear the tracks and and at about 7 a.m., the freight train began moving again. A short time later, Metra said BNSF trains began moving again.

The problems sent riders scrambling to find ways to get to work.

"My friend is going to drive me to work, he's right down the street right here and I called him and he's like alright, I'll give you a ride to work," said commuter Freddie Combs.

Priscilla Collum parked called her mother to take her to the Loop.

"You know what ever since they changed the schedules, it's always been something either in the evening, in the mornings," Collum said. "But it is very inconvenient especially with me having to pick up my 5 year old."

The issue affected thousands of commuters from the western suburbs like Aurora and Naperville.

"Yeah it's little frustrating but the good thing is the pink line is really close so that is the other option," said commuter Carlos Moreno.

Because of the track trouble, road travel times increased overall by 10 to 15 minutes between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.

The Eisenhower, the main driving alternate to the BNSF was still over one hour from Mannheim to the Jane Byrne Interchange by ten after 8 a.m., higher than usual for that time. Meanwhile Ted Phillips was left stranded at the Cicero Station for hours.

"This is a nightmare, especially with it getting cold," said commuter Ted Phillips. "If it was a little warmer out, it wouldn't be so bad, but this is costing me money and everybody else. I am sure everybody going downtown is really, really impacted on this."

Metra has been apologizing profusely for the inconvenience.
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