Red Line service returns to normal following derailment

By John Bolz

Red Line L traffic returned to normal Monday afternoon following a minor derailment of a train between the Granville and Loyola stations.

Loyola University Chicago students were diverted to university shuttles and CTA buses following the 1 p.m. incident. There were no injuries, and service returned to normal before the evening rush.

Here is the story from the Chicago Tribune:

CTA and Fire Department officials originally said half of an eight-car Red Line train was involved in a derailment Monday afternoon between the Granville and Loyola stations on the Far North Side, but the transit agency later relabeled the incident as a “split-switch issue.”

None of the more than 100 passengers on the southbound train was hurt during the incident, which occurred at 12:45 p.m. Service on the Red Line, which was shut for almost two hours between Howard and Belmont after the incident, was restored well before the evening rush period, officials said.

None of the cars tipped over, although the last car of the train came to rest straddling two sets of tracks, angled away from the rest of the train, just north of the Granville station.

“There was a derailment here,” Mark Nielsen, assistant deputy commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department, had said at the scene. “What the CTA did with four cars that were involved in the derailment, they split. We’ll get these four cars back on track. The remaining four (cars) took all the passengers that were on board to the Loyola stop.”

As the investigation proceeded, however, CTA officials determined that no derailment occurred because wheels never lost contact with rails.

The problem was that a track switch was misaligned, causing the train, which was traveling on southbound track No. 2, to start crossing over to northbound track No. 3, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.

The operator immediately recognized the problem and stopped the train, Chase said. The operator then walked to the last car of the train and tried to back up the train to get the front car off track No. 3 and off the crossover switch and back onto track No. 2, Chase said.

But the attempted maneuver was halted, leaving the wheels on the front end of the train on the northbound track and the wheels at the rear of the train on the southbound tracks, officials said.

“The train did not derail because (it) never left the track. (But) the wheels were not where they were supposed to be,” Chase said.

Another CTA spokeswoman, Catherine Hosinski, subsequently characterized the incident as a train that took an incorrect route.

The reason that the track switch was incorrectly aligned to move the train from one track to another, instead of continuing straight, was not immediately known and remains under investigation, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said.

He said it was too early to determine whether a mechanical failure or human error caused the problem.

Inspectors found damage to the tracks, Steele said. The rail cars were also inspected, and six of the eight cars were returned to service, he said.

“It’s rare for trains to make a movement like this,” Steele said.

Red Line train derails near Granville station

Loyola University Chicago students could face Red Line L delays this afternoon after a train derailed near the Granville station.

No injuries were reported in the 1 p.m. accident.

Here is the story from NBC-5 Chicago:

A Chicago Transit Authority train derailed Monday afternoon near the Granville station, according to the CTA.

Images from Sky 5 showed the first car on the Red Line train derailed. The incident happened just before 1 p.m. 

An EMS Plan 1 was requested, according to unconfirmed reports. No injuries were reported.

According to the CTA, Red Line trains were temporarily suspended between Howard and Belmont.

It’s not clear how long trains will be delayed. Alternate routes include the #22 Clark, #36 Broadway, #147 Outer Drive Express, #151 Sheridan and #155 Devon buses between Howard and Belmont. Shuttle buses also were available between stations.


Uptown woman shot, drives herself to hospital

Chicago police are investigating a shooting in which an 18-year-old woman drove herself to the hospital after being shot in the arm in Uptown.

Here is the story from the Chicago Sun-Times:

An 18-year-old woman drove herself to a hospital after she was shot in the arm in the North Side Uptown neighborhood.

About 8:30 a.m., police received a call of shots fired near Wilson and Sheridan, according to News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada. Officers responded but found nothing, but at 9:09 a.m., they were notified of a shooting victim at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

The 18-year-old woman had driven herself to the hospital after being shot in the arm in the 900 block of West Wilson, Estrada said. She was listed in good condition.

Police did not yet have details on the shooting, which Area North detectives are investigating.

Loyola shuttles could be delayed by roadwork

E Lake Shore Dr & E Oak St, Chicago, IL 60611

By Audrey Bailey

Shuttle users at Loyola University Chicago should allow themselves extra commuting time as a major route will be closed between Lake Shore Campus and Water Tower Campus.

The northbound ramp entering Lake Shore Drive will be closed  for approximately six weeks starting Monday Drivers on Michigan Avenue and Oak Street will be forced to take inner Lake Shore Drive until they reach LaSalle Street.

This closure is expected to affect the Loyola shuttle buses running between campuses.

Here’s the story from the Chicago Sun-Times:

The northbound ramp of Lake Shore Drive at Oak Street will be closed for six weeks beginning Monday as crews repair the nearly 50-year-old viaduct.

That means drivers at Oak Street and Michigan Avenue will be rerouted to inner Lake Shore Drive for a mile, until they reach LaSalle Drive. Then they’ll be able to get back onto Lake Shore Drive.

 The city’s Department of Transportation says the $1.78 million project is necessary. The Oak Street ramp hasn’t been repaired since its original construction in 1963.

“We want to complete this repair work immediately before another winter cycle of freezing and thawing, as well as additional damage that could come from the use of road salt,” transportation chief Gabe Klein said.

The city says traffic signals will be adjusted during the repair time and traffic control aides will also be out to help move vehicles along the detour route.

Crews will repair the underside and topside of the on-ramp viaduct, repair the concrete retaining walls and fix some electrical and lighting problems, officials said.

The city says it has notified nearby residents and motorists about the project by holding meetings with businesses and neighborhood organizations, and has placed on-site electronic message board warning of Monday’s construction start.

Girl dies after four-story fall in Edgewater

Chicago police are investigating the death of a 15-year-old girl who fell four stories from a condominium in Edgewater.

Here is the story from NBC-5 Chicago:

15-year-old girl died after falling four stories onto a parking structure at an Edgewater neighborhood condo building Friday morning.

The girl — identfied by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as 15-year-old Lina Sanchez — fell from the 8th floor of a building in the 5800 block of North Sheridan Road onto a parking garage four stories below about 10:30 a.m., police News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada.

The medical examiner’s office said the girl lived in the building.

Sanchez was taken to St. Francis Hospital of Evanston, where she later died at 12:36 p.m., the medical examiner’s office said.

The 26-story building was built in 1967, according to various real estate websites.

Area North detectives are investigating.