Electrified commuter routes stopped by record Chicago-area cold

RELATED TOPICS: TRANSIT | COMMUTER RAILROADS | METRA | CHICAGO
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SouthShore_Cold_Lassen
A South Shore commuter train approaches the Hegewisch station in South Chicago on a frigid March 16, 2017. South Shore and Metra Electric service has been stopped by downed wires.
TRAINS: David Lassen

CHICAGO — Downed power lines have halted service for South Shore and Metra Electric District routes through Friday, part of the continuing fallout from the record cold weather in the Upper Midwest.

South Shore service was halted after an inbound Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District test train that left Michigan City, Ind., at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday unexpectedly encountered snapped overhead catenary as it approached Torrence Avenue in Chicago. General Manager Mike Nolan told the Chicago Tribune that the train’s lead pantograph became tangled in the wires. Plans are to restore service Friday morning, but even then, buses will run between Michigan City and South Bend, Ind., according to Nolan, “because wires that snapped Wednesday were brand new and the wires out there are older.”

According to a service advisory on the South Shore website, at least two trains will be cancelled on Friday.

Downed wires Wednesday on Metra’s Chicago-University Park electric line snarled morning commutes and also resulted in two days of cancelled service on that route, which is also used by South Shore trains.

Metra’s diesel-operated lines all operated with delays on reduced schedules, but with numerous businesses closed, ridership was light on Wednesday. Metra’s current severe-weather operating plans are available here.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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