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CTA Blue Line Crash at O'Hare


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#41 Busjack

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:33 PM

... The NTSB can go screw themselves because what the hell they mean that that can only answer questions but not anybody else (CTA). That's not their employees!!! So who gives them the God given right to have full control of this accident???

Federal law. Somebody has to investigate it (see the NTSB website for a description of its duties), and it sure doesn't look like CTA is capable of investigating the whole lot of accidents that occur on its rail property.

 

Of course, the big embarrassment to the CTA was when the NTSB investigated the derailment in the Blue Line subway, and discovered that the track inspectors worked maybe an hour or two in an 8 hour day. The head inspector eventually got fired, but not before spending several years crying on TV that he was a scapegoat. Be sure to click on the pdf.

 

Claypool was at the press conference, but all he had the knowledge to say was that the bus shuttle was working.

 

And, IMO, CTA wouldn't have had so many inexplicable accidents (most recently the Forest Park one and this one) if it knew what it was doing. They keep saying that there are all sorts of safeguards in the signal system, deadman, and the like, but these accidents started in 1977, because the signal system was not foolproof. At least before that, disasters were because there wasn't a signal system.

 

Essentially, though, you can't let the inmates police themselves.



#42 CTA5750

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:33 PM

Just another in a series of bizarre and stupid mishaps at the CTA.  They really need to make some very serious changes to its rail system safety, scheduling, training and other areas!  They need to stop pocketing the money and start investing in the safety of the system both on bus and rail!  After seeing these rash of accidents, Im very nervous about riding CTA. They are not in the business of safety rather just saving money, cut backs, kickbacks, unaccountability and just total sloppy, incompetent mismanagement!  



#43 garmon757

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:02 PM

Federal law. Somebody has to investigate it (see the NTSB website for a description of its duties), and it sure doesn't look like CTA is capable of investigating the whole lot of accidents that occur on its rail property.
 
Of course, the big embarrassment to the CTA was when the NTSB investigated the derailment in the Blue Line subway, and discovered that the track inspectors worked maybe an hour or two in an 8 hour day. The head inspector eventually got fired, but not before spending several years crying on TV that he was a scapegoat. Be sure to click on the pdf.
 
Claypool was at the press conference, but all he had the knowledge to say was that the bus shuttle was working.
 
And, IMO, CTA wouldn't have had so many inexplicable accidents (most recently the Forest Park one and this one) if it knew what it was doing. They keep saying that there are all sorts of safeguards in the signal system, deadman, and the like, but these accidents started in 1977, because the signal system was not foolproof. At least before that, disasters were because there wasn't a signal system.
 
Essentially, though, you can't let the inmates police themselves.

Well, I guess if NTSB have the higher authority to investigate this then I'll let it be even though I don't like them. CTA already going downhill as we speak and Claypool deserve a slap in the face for this nonsense. If they keep this nonsense up it's going to end up like a 1977 disaster (God forbid).

#44 sw4400

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 11:48 PM

Well, I'm not going to go to either side of the fence here, but on the quote from Union President Kelly that the operator had 17 hours between the two shifts(her last and the one where the accident occurred). She had time to get a few winks in.... the question though is what she done for the past 17 hours in-between... did she go out with friends late night knowing she had to be at work at a certain time rather than go to bed? If that is the case, then it's not the CTA's fault at all, but hers. I've worked shifts where I leave work at 8p and have to be back at 5a the next day, and that's far from 17 hours between shifts(granted I run a supermarket and she operates a train), but still I got through a 8 & 1/2 hour shift on both these days without dozing.

 

I'm stopping short of saying she was out with friends rather than resting, but it was a Sunday night, and the possibility is there... the only one that'll know for sure is the Operator herself and if she mentions anything to anyone.



#45 Juniorz

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:03 AM

Hopefully Your New Blue will ease the tension of this as the days move forward. This is an unfortunate event that occurred but thankfully no fatalities occurred. Moving forward, the CTA may need to do some reshuffling within its rail operations as 2 major events have happened on the Blue Line within months of each other and both have not been the best PR for the CTA. Maybe instead of moving forward on a safe elevated line on the Red Line North, CTA should focus on a rapidly aging Blue Line with rapidly aging rail cars. The future plans on the 3200 rehab, Forest Park Renewal & Your New Blue can't come soon enough & probably should be accelerated sooner than later.

#46 jajuan

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:37 AM

And that's cool with me that you disagree. No big deal but think about though, the update from the tribune stated that she'd work a lot of overtime (in which she chose to do that). I'm not fully blaming her because that would put myself in a biased position. That's why I said there are two sides of this story. However, is that going to be an excuse everytime a rail operator or bus driver get into an accident because he/she was tired??? The NTSB can go screw themselves because what the hell they mean that that can only answer questions but not anybody else (CTA). That's not their employees!!! So who gives them the God given right to have full control of this accident???

I don't look at it as just a flippant excuse. And while she may have chosen to work the extra hours, it still brings up the question of why did CTA allow it to take place? Were they doing enough to make sure she had adequate time off to get her wits back about her? Did she have any prior black marks on her safety record? What was she doing on her off time? It's that last question especially that determines whether yeah she should get all the blame or is about to be scapegoated. And right now we don't know what she was doing before she reported to work, so I still say I'd be careful with being so ready to dump this whole thing all on her lap and being so ready to say that we have an operator who's just trying to make excuses. 

 

UPDATE: And I know that some want to harp on the latest report that she had 17 hours off before her shift in which she had the crash, but the question of how much had she been working before that 17 hours off still has to be answered. And I still contend CTA has to answer why her supervisors and managers were allowing her to work all this overtime if it can be determined that that was a contributing factor to her being so tired as she contended to her union rep. So CTA5750 is correct that CTA itself is still not off the hook here in terms of safety practices. For example, aren't some rail systems operated along similar lines of the airlines in terms of for every certain number of days worked by an operator they get a certain number off to ensure that operator is potentially getting adequate time to stop and rest?



#47 Busjack

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:50 AM

Well, I'm not going to go to either side of the fence here, but on the quote from Union President Kelly...

There is a more basic issue here...why was Kelly opening his mouth? At noon it was said he was there only to make sure that the operator had representation while being questioned. Then, later in the day he quotes incriminating statements.

 

In a sense, it is worse than A Rod, as A Rod had lawyers to represent him at disciplinary hearings. Here, the union has already sold her out, or more technically, violated her right to fair representation by the union.

 

Hopefully Your New Blue will ease the tension of this as the days move forward. This is an unfortunate event that occurred but thankfully no fatalities occurred. Moving forward, the CTA may need to do some reshuffling within its rail operations as 2 major events have happened on the Blue Line within months of each other and both have not been the best PR for the CTA. Maybe instead of moving forward on a safe elevated line on the Red Line North, CTA should focus on a rapidly aging Blue Line with rapidly aging rail cars. The future plans on the 3200 rehab, Forest Park Renewal & Your New Blue can't come soon enough & probably should be accelerated sooner than later.

Other than your first sentence makes sense. The implication from the first is that somehow the usual bread and circuses about the Mayor appearing at a construction project and trying to give the impression that something is getting fixed when it isn't is wearing thin when there are inexplicable events like this splashed all over the TV at the rate they recently have been.

 

However, on the manners of substance, you have something. Your New Blue is supposed to replace the signal system somewhere, the indication being on the stretch from Jefferson Park to O'Hare. While it was the first to get bidirectional signals, maybe they have worn out on their 30th anniversary.

 

The wearing out point also reminds me that while places like chicago-l.org had lists of wrecked and mismatched cars, it seemed like the fleets stayed pretty intact during the 1990s and 2000s. A few cars got damaged with stuff like people running the crossing gates on the Ravenswood,but not the real freaky stuff like the 1977 wreck, or a 1976 one at Addison. Then there were these recent two.

 

But with regard to North Red vs. Blue, it was represented that the bridges on the North Red were about to collapse if that didn't get some work, and the work that it got  was represented as only having a short service life until they get the $2-4 billion they say they need to fix that. At the same time, $400 million is only a patchwork for the New Blue, and apparently $500 million wasn't even a patchwork for the Brown. When CTA always has $8 billion in unmet capital needs despite what it spends (and Metra another $10 billion), the system is going to fall apart eventually. That's why I questioned the RTA director of planning and acting executive director's comments yesterday.



#48 BusHunter

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:33 AM

Heard it through the grapevine, this operator is a new PTO that just transferred over from another position servicer or something like that. She just walked away with a scratch on her chin. In a way I feel for this operator. It's hard to work the overnights, and it looks like it's a case of her being put in a situation she was not prepared for. There were things she could have done to combat fatigue like load your system with caffeine or take some stay alert medication. I've worked alot of overnights myself and it's something you can't really understand unless you've done it. It's particularly hard to sleep in the daytime, so it's easy to become sleep deprived.

 

An interesting question as well is did the bumper post fail? A train just did exactly what a bumper post was supposed to prevent. Can a train climb the post from a startup position a few feet away? It could have also been that the train was being pushed up the escalator by the other six cars powered up. So alot of different things to look at.



#49 Busjack

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:00 AM

..So alot of different things to look at.

Especially since the Tribune just posted that someone from the NTSB said that the brakes were engaged and the train was not speeding.

 

So, unless we buy Mike Payne's theory that momentum lifted the first car 15 feet vertically, I think we have to let them finish the investigation.



#50 garmon757

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:06 AM

I don't look at it as just a flippant excuse. And while she may have chosen to work the extra hours, it still brings up the question of why did CTA allow it to take place? Were they doing enough to make sure she had adequate time off to get her wits back about her? Did she have any prior black marks on her safety record? What was she doing on her off time? It's that last question especially that determines whether yeah she should get all the blame or is about to be scapegoated. And right now we don't know what she was doing before she reported to work, so I still say I'd be careful with being so ready to dump this whole thing all on her lap and being so ready to say that we have an operator who's just trying to make excuses. 
 
UPDATE: And I know that some want to harp on the latest report that she had 17 hours off before her shift in which she had the crash, but the question of how much had she been working before that 17 hours off still has to be answered. And I still contend CTA has to answer why her supervisors and managers were allowing her to work all this overtime if it can be determined that that was a contributing factor to her being so tired as she contended to her union rep. So CTA5750 is correct that CTA itself is still not off the hook here in terms of safety practices. For example, aren't some rail systems operated along similar lines of the airlines in terms of for every certain number of days worked by an operator they get a certain number off to ensure that operator is potentially getting adequate time to stop and rest?

I know we all are looking to key answers about her but I think it's more than just her working a tough amount of overtime. My problem about the news about it is that they don't want to tell us everything. They just tell us what we want to hear. No, the CTA is definitely not off the hook because somebody in that bunch is going to step forward whether CTA like it or not. I just have a feeling about that but this is a huge jigsaw puzzle ready to be fix piece by piece.

#51 sw4400

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:22 AM

NTSB preliminary review.... automatic emergency braking system failed to stop the train. The system went into action as the train headed toward the end of the platform but didn't stop it. Story

 

 



#52 Busjack

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:26 AM

NTSB preliminary review.... automatic emergency braking system failed to stop the train. The system went into action as the train headed toward the end of the platform but didn't stop it. Story

Thanks. That's a little more information than was in the Tribune.

 

There are some similarities to the DC Metro crash, in that for some reason, the brakes didn't stop the train. The difference there was that it was supposedly an automated train, and the operator died pulling the brake lever, while here there seems too be to much attention on Kelly throwing the operator under bus number 6845 (figuratively speaking).

 

It also shows that there is a reason why the NTSB is not acceding to Garmon's demands to release its report now.



#53 jajuan

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:24 PM

I know we all are looking to key answers about her but I think it's more than just her working a tough amount of overtime. My problem about the news about it is that they don't want to tell us everything. They just tell us what we want to hear. No, the CTA is definitely not off the hook because somebody in that bunch is going to step forward whether CTA like it or not. I just have a feeling about that but this is a huge jigsaw puzzle ready to be fix piece by piece.

Of course people want answers, but I have a problem with this atmosphere of being ready to rush out every little detail before those in a position to find those answers have had time to examine the evidence at hand and piece together where that evidence leads, which only serves to create an atmosphere where everyone is in a huge rush to judgment that does not help anything and potentially makes the situation worse because that's when the overlooking of some serious problems crops in. I know we're in a day and age where technology can bring about fast access to information, but sometimes we still need to just take a step back and let good old fashioned detective work find those answers like investigative work is by definition designed to do. We need to realize and remember that just because answers in some areas are not fast coming does not mean things are getting brushed under the rug. This is a very serious issue here, and I'd prefer the investigation be as thorough and accurate as possible rather than having a rush to push out answers that simply mold to the first conclusion thought up and is therefore the conclusions leading the evidence instead of the evidence leading the results and conclusions as a good investigation is supposed to work. Simply put I'd rather the investigators not be distracted right now with questions about every small detail and have most of their concentration placed with the examining all the evidence found during the course of the investigation. Giving updates on the investigation is fine but not to the point that it becomes a distraction keeping the investigators from doing their jobs.



#54 sw4400

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:36 PM

Here's some inside info I found while checking the Tribune site... basically it's just schematics of the 2600-Series railcar, accident diagram and layout of the O-Hare stop, but if you're interested in a little inside info, here you go... pdf



#55 Busjack

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 12:46 PM

Here's some inside info I found while checking the Tribune site... basically it's just schematics of the 2600-Series railcar, accident diagram and layout of the O-Hare stop, but if you're interested in a little inside info, here you go... pdf

I wonder if there is any significance to the statement "There are nearly 500 such cars still in service." Typo instead of "600," or more retirements than first thought? Or someone at the Tribune had trouble reading chicago-l.org? It had 588 in June 2013,* but now it is probably down to 570.

 

________

*Not scrapped or on long term hold.



#56 jajuan

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:19 PM

Well one thing's for sure, the feds pretty much squashed any ideas that the station will open any time soon and definitely not the within a couple of days as was being speculated here and elsewhere. 



#57 BusHunter

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:35 PM

Well one thing's for sure, the feds pretty much squashed any ideas that the station will open any time soon and definitely not the within a couple of days as was being speculated here and elsewhere. 

No, not at least for a week, if the stairs and both escalators are damaged maybe longer to repair the stairs. They can always board up the escalators. They are probably going to have to repair the platform as well. Now this brings up an interesting question if they go 2 weeks they will have a dual bus shuttle going on. What are they going to do bring more artics north or cancel the blue line rehab for a week or two? Would someone even ride the blue line with two shuttles? They are probably going to get O'Hare fixed by then though by hook or by crook.



#58 garmon757

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:39 PM


That's a little more information than was in It also shows that there is a reason why the NTSB is not acceding to Garmon's demands to release its report now.

Oh come on! I'm cool with it now. The Blue Line is now becoming a nightmare from hell line with all these malfunctions and errors. I wouldn't be surprised if the entire line be investigated for flaws and other kinds of errors including management and maintenance.

#59 garmon757

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:42 PM


Of course people want answers, but I have a problem with this atmosphere of being ready to rush out every little detail before those in a position to find those answers have had time to examine the evidence at hand and piece together where that evidence leads, which only serves to create an atmosphere where everyone is in a huge rush to judgment that does not help anything and potentially makes the situation worse because that's when the overlooking of some serious problems crops in. I know we're in a day and age where technology can bring about fast access to information, but sometimes we still need to just take a step back and let good old fashioned detective work find those answers like investigative work is by definition designed to do. We need to realize and remember that just because answers in some areas are not fast coming does not mean things are getting brushed under the rug. This is a very serious issue here, and I'd prefer the investigation be as thorough and accurate as possible rather than having a rush to push out answers that simply mold to the first conclusion thought up and is therefore the conclusions leading the evidence instead of the evidence leading the results and conclusions as a good investigation is supposed to work. Simply put I'd rather the investigators not be distracted right now with questions about every small detail and have most of their concentration placed with the examining all the evidence found during the course of the investigation. Giving updates on the investigation is fine but not to the point that it becomes a distraction keeping the investigators from doing their jobs.

Fair enough to say.

#60 Busjack

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 01:53 PM

...What are they going to do bring more artics north or cancel the blue line rehab for a week or two? ...Would someone even ride the blue line with two shuttles? They are probably going to get O'Hare fixed by then though by hook or by crook.

At least the New Blue shutdowns are only on the weekend. Some artic weekend routes can go back to 40 footers.

 

As for your other point, there doesn't seem to be any other public transit way to get to O'Hare, unless someone thinks it is quicker to somehow get to the 330 Pace bus.





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