Metra Rock Island Line train carrying hundreds of passengers derails in South Loop

Inbound service suspended until Tuesday; limited outbound service Monday evening: Metra

ByStephanie Wade, ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Metra train carrying hundreds of passengers derails in Chicago
A Metra Rock Island train derailed near Clark and 13th streets in the South Loop.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds of passengers were evacuated after a Metra Rock Island train car derailed in Chicago Monday morning.

The derailment occurred near Clark and 13th streets in the South Loop at about 8:20 a.m. Metra said all of the cars remained upright, but the first car behind the locomotive derailed.

The train was carrying about 600 passengers.

Brian Seyforth, an ABC7 employee, was on the train which was coming from the southwest suburbs. He said all of a sudden, the train started to jerk back and forth before it came to an abrupt stop.

They sat on the stopped train for about an hour. Then, all of the passengers were then instructed to board a second train using the ADA ramp over the tracks. He said they were dropped off at LaSalle Street.

"They said, 'The train is definitely on the ground. It has been derailed,'" Seyforth said. "Definitely seemed like it was something a little more serious when the two conductors came rushing back to the first car."

Dr. Jeffrey Walker, another passenger, described the moment the train started to rock side-to-side.

"Some very unusual sounds out of the train from normal, and the jerking back-and-forth on the train track itself, we knew something wasn't quite right, because we were kind of drifting back-and-forth," Walker said.

Several engineers have been on scene, trying to re-rail the locomotive. Metra said the train cars had to be removed as the rails and ties were torn from the tracks.

A picture sent from a viewer captured the extent of the damage. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Seyforth said he's glad they were moving as slow as they were at the time.

"Unfortunately, if we were going faster, I think it might've been a much worse situation," Seyforth said.

Metra said Rock Island passengers were getting off trains at 35th Street, and the CTA has been honoring Metra tickets on the Red Line at 35th Street. They said Rock Island Trains #605, #607, #409, #609 #411, #611, #618, #418, #620, #420 would not operate due to train #704's derailment.

Metra says inbound service is suspended until further notice. There will be limited outbound service Monday evening.

Passengers should look to Metra Electric, Southwest Service, and Heritage Corridor as alternatives.

Metra said it anticipates operating a normal schedule on Tuesday. Trains may incur up to 15 minute delays due to the earlier derailment.