Metra Train Delays a Day After Chemical Spill

June 16, 2006

Metra says passengers on its Burlington Northern line to Aurora may be delayed again this evening.

This follows a chemical spill from a freight train on the tracks yesterday. That left about 12,000 passengers stranded on Metra trains for up to three hours.

Outgoing Metra Board Chairman Jeffrey Ladd calls the delays unacceptable, and placed some blame with the railway.

"The problem we had also was there was not a hazmat team from BNSF that was available that might have taken over the scene, if you will, and had more information about the toxic properties, if any, of this stearic acid," Ladd says.

"And we're going to have to look and see if we can avoid that in the future."

A spokesperson for Metra says a Burlington Northern hazmat crew eventually did arrive last night, taking over from the Downer's Grove Fire Department.

She says some trains will be cancelled this evening because of work rules for employees forced to stay late last night.