CTA upgrades safety inpection equipment

By Angela Hanna

The Chicago Transit Authority is getting new inspecting  equipment after years of using the low tech approach of manually inspecting tracks to check for any safety hazards, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The CTA still uses old-fashioned methods by sending 32 inspectors still check all 224-miles of rail twice a week for old tracks and once a week for newer tracks to make sure that everything is visually aligned and safe for riders, the Tribune reports.

After the derailment of the packed Blue Line four years ago, the CTA finally decided to let technology help a little by bringing in lasers and a “brain box” yearly.  The CTA officials have brought in a track strength vehicle under contract with the Holland Co. from suburb Crete to evaluate the track gauge,  or the distance between rails, the Tribune reports.

The vehicle runs a strength test that is unlike anything that a track operator can do. The strength involves the vehicle applying a 3,000-pound force downward per wheel and 3,000 pounds outward against the rails, simulating the loaded gauge of a train, to test whether the rails stay securely in place or start to spread out, the Tribune reports.

The vehicle has a brain box, which is equipped with lasers, cameras and data-transcribing devices that feed a computer, the Tribune reports.

Police seek identity of crash victim

Chicago police are trying to identify a man in his 60s who was struck and killed by a car in Rogers Park.

The victim remained unidentified early Wednesday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The man was struck at 1:20 p.m. Tuesday when he apparently stumbled into the intersection of Western and Devon avenues and was struck by a Chevrolet sedan, according to CBS-2 News.

The motorist was not at fault, police said, but the driver was cited with not having a driver’s license or insurance, according to CBS-2.

The man was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m. at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, according to CBS-2.

An autopsy is scheduled for later Wednesday.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2009. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

This time, college drinking has a positive meaning

Loyola University Chicago’s Department of Residence Life is planning to host its second annual iDrink4Hope fundraiser on Thursday evening.

A $3 dollar donation is requested to help raise money for St. Bernadette’s School. Collections from the evening will benefit children at the school who have special needs.

Visitors will be treated to a coffee shop atmosphere in the Alumni Gym from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Many Loyola groups will provide entertainment for the crowds. Some of these groups include Dance Crew, Loyolacapella, DJ Synergy, Mapmaker, and others.

Food and beverages will also be distributed to attendees from Subway, Chipotle, Metropolis, and Starbucks.