BNSF derailment west of Chicago disrupts Amtrak service

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AURORA, Ill. – A BNSF Railway derailment in the western Chicago suburb of Aurora has disrupted freight and Amtrak intercity passenger service.

According to a BNSF customer bulletin, the derailment occurred Thursday around 2 p.m. where the railroad's lines to Savanna and Galesburg split west of the Fox River. The railroad expects to have one track open about 10 a.m. Friday. BNSF expects to open the second track around 4 p.m. on Friday. The railroad expects to continue work at the site on Sunday, temporarily limiting access to its Cicero Yard, further east on the triple track main line to Chicago.

The railroad notes that operations at its nearby Willow Springs, Corwith, and Logistics Park Chicago facilities are not affected by this incident.

Chicago's WLS-TV reports that five Amtrak trains were affected by the derailment on Thursday.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari tells Trains News Wire that the westbound Southwest Chief and California Zephyr, trains Nos. 3 and 5 respectively, detoured over Canadian National and Union Pacific to Joliet. From there they used BNSF's own former Santa Fe main line to Cameron and then backtracked on the regular former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy main line to make the Galesburg station stop. Amtrak turned Nos. 382 and 383 at Kewaunee and LaGrange on Friday evening. Passenger on No. 382 bound for Chicago were accommodated on No. 4, which held at Galesburg before detouring via Joliet.

Friday's trains Nos. 3 and 5 and Nos. 4 and 6 will hold at Chicago and Galesburg, respectively, for open track. Friday morning's trains Nos. 380 and 381, the eastbound Illinois Zephyr and westbound Carl Sandburg, are canceled without substitute transportation.

Amtrak expects to operate trains Nos. 382 and 383 normally on Friday evening.

The derailment occurred west of Metra's Aurora station and yard and the commuter operator is not reporting any service disruptions on the BNSF line Friday morning.

This story was updated May 25 to reflect additional information from Amtrak and BNSF.
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