Metra, Union Pacific Upgrade Safety Systems

Flashing signs and voice recordings will warn passengers of incoming trains

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Many west suburban train commuters will see and hear new safety devices at rail crossings beginning March 1. (Published Monday, Feb 28, 2011)

    New safety changes are pulling into several Metra stations Tuesday.

    To warn commuters to watch for more than one train, Union Pacific and Metra will activate its visual- and sound-based Another Train Warning System at stations in Elmhurst, Villa Park, Winfield, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, College Avenue, Maywood and Melrose Park.

    The safety measure is a tradeoff for Union Pacific to green-light freight trains to roll into the eight Metra Union Pacific West Line stations during rush hour and for Metra to allow its own trains to arrive at a station while passengers board and get off another train, the Chicago Tribune reports.

    The change comes after a series of track, crossing and equipment upgrades to improve the flow of commuter and freight trains.

    Metra and Union Pacific insist the new safety system will make riders think twice about stepping onto tracks before trains clear.

    A red "Danger!" sign will flash when a second train approaches the station, and a white "Another train is coming" sign will illuminate. Then, riders will hear a voice tell them "Danger, another train is coming."

    Freight trains will still be prohibited from entering if a Metra train has stopped at Bellwood, Berkeley, Wheaton and Lombard stations. The project is expected to be completed at those stops in 2013.