Congressman asks STB to look into Metra BNSF problems

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Metra_BNSF_MoW_Lassen
A Metra BNSF train passes maintenance of way equipment at Downers Grove, Ill., on Oct. 27, 2018. The equipment was awaiting action during a weekend-long tie-replacement project that closed the center track of the three-track line. A congressman has asked the Surface Transportation Board to look into service problems on the route.
TRAINS: David Lassen

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago-area congressman has asked the Surface Transportation Board to look into problems on BNSF Railway that are leading to service problems for Metra’s BNSF line, the most used in the 11-route commuter rail system.

The Daily Herald reports that U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs, Ill.) told the STB, “Accidents happen, but problems never seem to end on the BNSF line. … I strongly believe the STB should conduct appropriate oversite over BNSF to ensure the railroad is taking a more proactive approach moving forward and is on track to resolve existing problems.”

BNSF spokesman Andy Williams told the paper the railroad “is committed to working with Metra to provide riders with the safest and most reliable trip possible.”

The 26-station BNSF line carries 95 Metra trains on weekdays. In 2017, it accounted for an estimated 16.3 million passenger trips, a little more than 20 percent of the system’s total 78.6 million trips.

In August, BNSF trains had a 92.7 percent on-time score, lowest among Metra routes.

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