The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the runaway Blue Line train that crashed into a westbound train last Monday, injuring dozens of people, had been left with its power on and in a setting that permitted its unmanned operation, at a CTA repair terminal. The setting that the train was left in apparently allowed the train to keep moving even though emergency brakes had been applied. The NTSB also found that unoccupied trains are routinely left powered on while stored in repair facilities with the settings that allow the trains to continue moving through a mechanical train stop mechanism after a momentary stop. Although the CTA is reported to be disputing the NTSB findings, it has issued a number of precautions to all of its railyard employees to make sure that trains undergoing maintenance stay in place. The NTSB has urged the CTA to review its procedures for storing unoccupied cars, and has recommended that the CTA disconnect the power sources to its trains while stored, and placing wheel chocks or "derails", which would block the free rolling of the train's wheels and force the car off-rail in the event of unwanted movement.
We'll see what the CTA's ultimate response and explanation for last Monday's train wreck is. In the meantime, let's all hope that the CTA pays attention to the NTSB's findings and recommendations so that the thousands of CTA passengers who ride these trains each day are not exposed to the risk of unmanned runaway trains. Mass transit accidents can be devastating. To learn more about how you can protect you and your family in the event of a mass transportation accident, please visit our website.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries as a result of a train crash, you may be able to take action. Please contact the attorneys of Lane & Lane, LLC, or call us at 312-332-1400 to speak with us about your options. We can help. To learn more about Lane & Lane, please visit our website at www.lane-lane.com.