Just before 8:00 am this morning, September 30, 2013, a CTA Blue Line train rear-ended a stopped CTA Blue Line train at the Harlem stop in Forest Park, Illinois. Dozens of CTA passengers are reporting injuries, and local authorities are shutting down surrounding roads to allow ambulances immediate access to the scene. The two trains were on the same track, which is not supposed to happen at the station.
This crash is eerily similar to two stopped/rear-end train crashes involving a CTA trains in June (Blue Line) and August (Brown Line) of 2001, which prompted the National Transportation Safety Board ["NTSB"] to issue a Railroad Special Investigation Report. The NTSB found that the CTA train operators failed to follow the CTA's operating rules. Because of the investigation, the NTSB recommended the CTA develop and implement systematic safety procedures for performing and documenting frequent management checks to ensure all operating personnel are complying with Chicago Transit Authority operating rules, including speed restrictions and signal rules. The NTSB's full report can be found at http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SIR0201.pdf. Since the CTA has been down this track before, it prompts the question: What happened this time?
(photo by Chuck Berman, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)