Metra Says Problem With Malfunctioning Safety Bar More Significant Than Originally Thought

CHICAGO (CBS) — Metra officials say a the problem was more significant than first thought after a safety bar separating traffic from an oncoming train in Mokena malfunctioned for hours.

Metra says what happened is a truly rare incident, which they say they continue to investigate.

A newly released video shows multiple Metra trains had close calls with cars in Mokena in November. (Credit: Metra)

Video from the perspective of a Metra train hitting a speed of about 49 mph shows the train missing oncoming traffic at 191st Street.

CBS 2 showed the video to drivers like David Meter.

“Guess we’re pretty lucky in Mokena,” he said.

“Clearly it was concerning,” said Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “It was troubling.”

In a Wednesday meeting Metra said on Nov. 9 the gate shorted out and was not properly working for more than two hours with four trains running through the intersection during that time. He adds that the first locomotive engineer failed to report the malfunction.

All of this began when a law enforcement officer shared his near collision on social media. The officer was surprised to hear the malefaction was greater than his one time terrifying road encounter.

It’s an encounter that’s leaving a lasting impression on other drivers.

Metra’s CEO would not say if the engineer who failed to report was disciplined, saying he could not comment on personnel matters.

 

 

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