Monday morning rail news:
Metra to add trains on Rock Island line
Metra is introducing a new schedule on its Rock Island District as of Monday, Feb. 1, including new morning and evening rush-hour trains, new express service, and additional midday trains. Other trains have been renumbered or had schedule adjustments. Among the additions are train 400, a 4:30 a.m. departure from Joliet that Metra says was popular with construction workers employed downtown prior to the COVID pandemic, and an additional Beverly Branch train, No. 600, which will depart Blue Island at 5:20 a.m. “Metra made a commitment to revise and enhance its schedules in response to customers as the region recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is precisely what we are doing,” Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a press release. The new schedule is available here.
Colorado governor tells RTD CEO agency has obligation to build line to Longmont
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and local officials along the planned route are pushing back against comments by the CEO of Denver’s Regional Transportation District questioning the wisdom of completing a planned commuter rail line to Boulder and Longmont, Colo. The Boulder Daily Camera reports that Polis has sent a letter to Debra Johnson, the new RTD CEO, to reminder her of the agency’s responsibility to fulfil its obligation, and that the plan including the route was approved by voters. “Only the voters, who have paid into this system for 15 years, can modify the decision,” Polis wrote.” Johnson has suggested buses might be more appropriate [see “Digest: Denver RTD CEO questions plans …,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 14, 2021]. The governor’s office also released letters supporting the project from the mayors of Longmont and Louisville, Colo., and a former state legislator.
Four passengers injured when CTA train splits switch
Four passengers suffered minor injuries when a Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line train split a switch early Saturday. WLS-TV reports the accident occurred about 1:50 a.m. when a switching error sent the front truck of the train’s lead car onto the wrong track. Twenty-five people were evacuated from the train, with four injured adults taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital and reported in good condition. Service between the Harlem and Addision stations was suspended for about an hour, while southbound traffic on Interstate 90, the Kennedy Expressway, was rerouted for about 90 minutes.