WBEZ | Blue Line http://www.wbez.org/tags/blue-line Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en CTA facing lawsuits over Blue Line crash http://www.wbez.org/news/cta-facing-lawsuits-over-blue-line-crash-109923 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP661422106797(1)_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-4d56c266-0058-d3dc-b02d-129942eb4a5c">Two women who say they were hurt in Monday&rsquo;s O&rsquo;Hare station train crash have filed lawsuits against the Chicago Transit Authority. Attorneys say there are more lawsuits to come.</p><p>The women both work in O&rsquo;Hare International Airport and were passengers on the CTA Blue Line train that jumped the tracks and plowed up an escalator at the airport station. Both claim they suffered debilitating injuries in the accident, which occurred early Monday morning.<br /><br />Both suits were filed in Cook County court and the plaintiffs demand more than $50,000 in damages.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/leaked-video-appears-show-blue-line-train-derailment-109917">Leaked video appears to show Blue Line train derailment</a></strong></p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Jerry Latherow, the attorney for plaintiff Niakesha Thomas, said Thomas was on her way to work at Hudson&rsquo;s News Stand in the airport when the train crashed.</p><p>The lawyer said Thomas cannot walk right now because of her injuries.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;She&rsquo;s a sole bread-winner, she has a 1-year-old baby. She is not going to be able to work, we don&rsquo;t know how long it&rsquo;s going to be before she gets back to work. But she needs to do what she can to protect herself and her baby,&rdquo; Latherow said.</p><p>He said Thomas suffered injuries to her hips and back.</p><p dir="ltr">The lawsuit alleges the crash was caused by a combination of operator error and failures by the CTA to maintain the tracks and train equipment.</p><p>Federal officials say the train operator admitted that she &ldquo;dozed off&quot; before the accident.</p><p dir="ltr">National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ted Turpin said the woman had been working as an operator for about two months and acknowledged she had previously fallen asleep on the job in February, when her train partially missed a station.</p><p>&quot;She did admit that she dozed off prior to entering the station,&quot; Turpin said of the operator during a briefing Wednesday. &quot;She did not awake until the train hit.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">He said the woman, who was cooperating with the investigation, often worked an erratic schedule, filling in for other CTA employees.</p><p>&quot;Her hours would vary every day,&quot; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">Turpin said the NTSB is investigating the woman&#39;s training, scheduling, and disciplinary history.</p><p>Latherow said it is &ldquo;very alarming&rdquo; that the transit agency allowed someone who had fallen asleep at the helm before to operate another train.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;She&rsquo;d only been working as an &hellip; operator for 60 days &hellip; and here she&rsquo;s fallen asleep what comes out to once a month now,&rdquo; Latherow said. &ldquo;And this is very alarming, and you wonder who is calling the shots? Who is letting somebody like this continue to operate a train, which is deadly?&rdquo;</p><p>Latherow said an aim of the suit is to force change at the CTA -- including altering the agency&rsquo;s hiring policies and fixing the train&rsquo;s braking system.</p><p dir="ltr">A CTA spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.</p><p>The second lawsuit was filed by 23-year-old Dalila Jefferson, a security officer who also was on her way to work at the airport.</p><p dir="ltr">Her attorneys said she was preparing to get off the first car of the train when she was &quot;catapulted forward&quot; as the car jumped the track and came to rest partway up an escalator.</p><p>Attorneys said Jefferson broke her foot and suffered neck and back injuries.</p><p dir="ltr">More than 30 people were hurt during the crash, which occurred around 3 a.m. Monday. None of the injuries was life-threatening.</p><p>Nonetheless, Latherow predicts many more lawsuits. He said his firm is already preparing another suit against the CTA, this one brought by a Transportation Security Administration worker who was hurt on her way to work.</p><p dir="ltr">Turpin said the crash caused about $6 million worth of damage.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">@pksmid</a></em></p></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cta-facing-lawsuits-over-blue-line-crash-109923 Leaked video appears to show Blue Line train derailment http://www.wbez.org/news/leaked-video-appears-show-blue-line-train-derailment-109917 <p><p>Footage appearing to show <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/blue-line-train-derails-climbs-escalator-ohare-109909">Monday&#39;s Blue Line derailment</a> at O&#39;Hare International Airport <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elMXt00xyIU">surfaced late Tuesday on YouTube</a>.</p><p>Though the original poster is unkown and the video was taken down, copies have sprung up around the video-sharing website. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, neither the <a href="http://voices.suntimes.com/news/breaking-news/surveillance-video-appears-to-show-blue-line-ohare-derailment/">CTA or the NTSB have commented on the video yet</a>.&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 08:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/leaked-video-appears-show-blue-line-train-derailment-109917 Blue Line train derails, climbs escalator at O'Hare http://www.wbez.org/news/blue-line-train-derails-climbs-escalator-ohare-109909 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP661422106797(1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Last updated March 25, 4 p.m.</em></p><p>An emergency track-side braking system activated but failed to stop a Chicago commuter train from jumping the tracks and barreling to the top of an escalator at O&#39;Hare International Airport, a federal investigator said Tuesday.</p><p>The events that led to Monday&#39;s accident, which occurred around 3 a.m. and injured more than 30 passengers, might have begun with the train operator dozing off toward the end of her shift, according the union representing transit workers. But Tuesday&#39;s announcement that a piece of emergency safety equipment might have failed was the first indication the accident could have been caused by human error and mechanical failure.</p><p>National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ted Turpin said a preliminary review showed the train was traveling at the correct speed of 25 mph as it entered the station. Investigators said they have not yet determined whether the operator ever applied the in-cab brake.</p><p>Turpin, who is in charge of the investigation, said an automatic emergency braking system located on the tracks was activated but failed to stop the train as it burst onto the platform.</p><p>&quot;It activated,&quot; Turpin said of the emergency system. &quot;That&#39;s all we know factually. Now, whether it did it in time or not, that&#39;s an analysis that we have to figure out.&quot;</p><p>A team from the NTSB was also exploring how rested the train operator was before starting her shift and whether rules governing overtime had been violated, after a union official suggested she might have dozed off.</p><p>They planned to interview the train operator Tuesday afternoon.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re going to ask probably the operator how they felt ... because we always take into consideration the fatigue factor. It&#39;s one of the things we do investigate,&quot; Turpin said.</p><p>The operator, whom officials have not identified, was off duty for about 17 hours before starting work around 8 p.m. Sunday but had recently put in a lot of overtime, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 President Robert Kelly said Monday.</p><p>&quot;I know she works a lot &mdash; as a lot of our members do,&quot; he said. &quot;They gotta earn a living. ... She was extremely tired.&quot;</p><p>Kelly said the operator took standard drug and alcohol tests after the derailment and that she assured him they were not an issue.</p><p>Asked whether she may have nodded off, Kelly responded: &quot;The indication is there. Yes.&quot;</p><p>Federal investigators hoped to turn the scene over to local officials later Tuesday to begin removing the train from the escalator at the underground Chicago Transit Authority station.</p><p>The train is designed to stop if operators become incapacitated and their hand slips off the spring-loaded controls. Kelly speculated that, upon impact, inertia might have thrown the operator against the hand switch, accelerating it onto the escalator.</p><p>Transit officials refused to discuss what other safety mechanisms are in place around the transit system while the investigation was ongoing.</p><p>Federal safety regulators keep a close watch on longer distance, city-to-city passenger rail and freight operations. But federal safety oversight of transit systems within cities has been weaker, and responsibility for any technology to prevent crashes and control speeds has been left to local authorities.</p><p>There are efforts to grant a safety oversight role to the Federal Transit Administration, which has primarily been a funding agency, said Sean Jeans-Gail, vice president of the National Association of Railroad Passengers, a Washington-based advocacy group.</p><p>In the meantime, local transit agencies like Chicago&#39;s make their own choices about how to spend scarce funding, juggling the needs of safely maintaining systems that are a century old in some places with pressure to expand systems to meet demand.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s always going to be a tension, but it&#39;s a tension that becomes more pronounced when there&#39;s not a healthy level of investment in both maintenance and ... capacity expansion,&quot; Jeans-Gail said.</p><p>Investigators have also been scrutinizing the train&#39;s brakes, track signals and other potential factors while reviewing video footage from more than 40 cameras in the station and on the train, Turpin said.</p><p>The station remained closed Tuesday, and CTA buses took passengers to and from O&#39;Hare to the next station on the line. Transport officials have not said when full Blue Line service will resume at O&#39;Hare.</p></p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 09:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/blue-line-train-derails-climbs-escalator-ohare-109909 What I See: Gary Eckstein http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-i-see-gary-eckstein-108522 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/what i see thumbnail gary_edited-1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gary Eckstein is a Chicagoan who loves roaming around the city, photographing what he sees. Here, he takes us through a summer day from sampling &quot;dead body&quot; soup at a Korean Market in Chicago&#39;s Avondale neighborhood to visiting Pilsen&#39;s Fiesta Del Sol festival.</p><p>&quot;The things I try to emphasize when I take photos are love of place, people and culture and my attempt to capture the genuine character of a given location,&quot; Gary says. You can find more of his photos on <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyegarye/" target="_blank">Flickr</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fWikv9f2SHA?rel=0" width="640"></iframe></p><p><strong>More from the What I See project</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-i-see-mimosa-shah-108384" target="_blank">Setting new roots with Mimosa Shah</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/art/what-i-see-katie-prout-108221" target="_blank">An afternoon run with Katie Prout</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-i-see-dmitry-samarov-107924" target="_blank">Painting, sketching and coffee-roasting with Dmitry Samarov</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-i-see-yolanda-perdomo-108041" target="_blank">The Illinois Railway Museum with Yolanda Perdomo</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/what-i-see-trainers-day-shedd-aquarium-107766" target="_blank">A trainer&#39;s day at the Shedd Aquarium with&nbsp;Jessica Whiton</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/what-i-see-bike-bee-107686" target="_blank">Bike-a-Bee with Jana Kinsman</a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-i-see-early-morning-edition-107362" target="_blank">Early Morning Edition with Lauren Chooljian</a></p><p><em>&#39;What I See&#39; is a project which showcases photos from our community and what we&#39;re thinking when we take them. </em></p><p><em>Show us what your Chicago looks like! Email web producer Logan Jaffe ljaffe@wbez.org or tweet <a href="https://twitter.com/loganjaffe" target="_blank">@loganjaffe</a> to find out more about how to make a What I See slideshow for WBEZ.</em></p></p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 11:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-i-see-gary-eckstein-108522 Video: A 1981 'L' ride http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-05/video-1981-l-ride-107263 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/05-22.jpg" style="height: 199px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="South Side 'L' at Pershing" /></div><p>A few months ago I posted my old super-8 movie of a 1981 ride on the Ravenswood (Brown) Line. Despite the amateur quality, response was favorable. So with the Red Line closing down, it seems an appropriate time to dig out another old &#39;L&#39; movie.</p><p>Today&#39;s film begins with a trip up the South Side &#39;L&#39; from 51st to the old subway portal near 15th. The action then shifts to the Northwest Side and the &#39;L&#39; along Milwaukee Avenue, between Sacramento and Paulina. The running time is about 8 minutes, with audio commentary.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="465" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oM9HWK4zG-Y" width="620"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 29 May 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-05/video-1981-l-ride-107263 Photo: CTA Train Delay Slip Blue Line 02/03/2011 9:40am http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-03/photo-cta-train-delay-slip-blue-line-02032011-940am-81709 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/bluelinetardyslip.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img width="500" height="669" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-February/2011-02-03/bluelinetardyslip.JPG" alt="" title="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">When's the last time you had to show your boss a tardy slip? Dan Mallon, a CTA&nbsp;train rider was given a train delay notice this morning at the Division street blue line stop.&nbsp;He thinks this was a thoughtful gesture on CTA's part. The slip shows an estimated two hour and fifty-five minute delay. Mallon says he'll be presenting this slip to his boss.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1328076813-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/CTA Delay Slips.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></p> Thu, 03 Feb 2011 15:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-02-03/photo-cta-train-delay-slip-blue-line-02032011-940am-81709