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Metra CEO Apologizes for Recent BNSF Line Delays

Metra CEO Alex Clifford issued an apology to riders who use the BNSF line, which runs through La Grange and Western Springs and is a major commuter resource.

Metra CEO Alex Clifford issued an apology to customers yesterday after riders faced recent delays on Metra's BNSF line, which runs through Naperville, Lisle and Aurora. 

Earlier: Metra Passengers Get Delayed After Train Doors Fail to Close

In a letter posted on Metra's website and sent via email to customers, Clifford said Metra is taking the delays "seriously" and "working with BNSF Railway to address them." 

"We and BNSF do everything we can to minimize delays and provide you with reliable service," Clifford said in a statement. "I recognize these delays were frustrating, and I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced." 

Last week, a Metra train was stopped for about an hour and a half at the Naperville station, 105 E. 4th Ave., after several doors on the train failed to close.

On Monday evening, a total of 13 BNSF trains were delayed 8 to 56 minutes due to a power failure, which was caused by a blown fuse. Then, on Tuesday evening, 16 BNSF trains were delayed due to an incident involving signals at Chicago's Union Station.  

The statement from Clifford reads:

Dear BNSF Riders,

Metra would like to apologize for delays on the BNSF line in recent days and assure you that we take them seriously and are working with BNSF Railway to address them.

On Friday morning, inbound train No. 1252 was delayed for about 75 minutes due to a door malfunction at Naperville. The door circuitry cable was damaged by striking debris, disrupting the circuit and preventing the doors from operating properly. We had to send a relief train from Chicago Union Station to accommodate the passengers on 1252.

On Monday evening, BNSF had a total of 13 trains delayed 8 to 56 minutes due to a power failure at the Downers Grove Fairview interlocker, which was caused by a blown fuse. The area is a major switching point used to route express runs around locals during the evening rush hour, and all the switches had to be operated manually, which greatly slowed progress through the area.

On Tuesday evening, 16 BNSF trains were delayed, most of them from 15 to 30 minutes, due to an incident involving signals at Chicago Union Station.  

We and BNSF do everything we can to minimize delays and provide you with reliable service. I recognize these delays were frustrating, and I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced.

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