Crash closes Metra line at Bartlett
By Dave Gathman email@example.com October 21, 2013 4:30PM
An inbound Milwaukee West line Metra train hit a truck in Bartlett Monday afternoon, causing major delays on the commuter line. | NBC Chicago photo
Updated: November 23, 2013 6:24AM
BARTLETT — A Metra train hit a semi truck in downtown Bartlett Monday afternoon, derailing the front train car, injuring two passengers and disrupting service on the Milwaukee District West Line. But a shuttle-bus service around the wreck site has begun.
Trains were operating normally between Chicago and Roselle. But passengers bound to and from Elgin, Bartlett and Hanover Park will have to take shuttle buses until further notice, according to Metra.
Inbound train No. 2242 was pulling into the Bartlett station when it hit a semi carrying autos at 3:38 p.m., Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said.
Wreckage from the semi and the cars was blocking both tracks for awhile. Two people on the train reportedly were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.
The front car of the Metra train was also damaged and derailed after the crash.
The first shuttle bus bound for Hanover Park stopped at Elgin’s National Street station at about 5:20 p.m. Driver Kenny Santilla said any passengers bound for Hanover Park could board for free.
But by then two people who had been patiently waiting at National Street for the Chicago-bound 4:15 train had already left in cars driven by friends. Keith Almanza of Elgin said he takes the train every weekend back to Chicago, where he attends college. A reverse commuter, Nicole Lohnstein, had finished working all day in Elgin and was hoping to return to her home in Chicago. But when Almanza and Lohnstein arrived at National Street, both heard only a loud-speaker announcement that trains were being delayed.
The next inbound train finally left Big Timber station about 5:10 p.m., apparently to pick up riders stranded in the wrecked train and to return immediately to Elgin.
At about 6 p.m. Metra’s website reported that trains soon would start operating “at walking speed” on one track through the Bartlett area.