An Amtrak train that derailed just outside Union Station was removed from the tracks Wednesday evening, but workers inspecting the tracks for damage fear that any discoveries overnight may mean more delays for this morning's commute.
An announcement on at least one inbound train Thursday morning indicated that the related track, on which service was restored at 4 a.m., was once again offline as of 7 a.m., meaning commuters could expect delays through the morning commute as well.
[MetraRail.com: Service Updates]
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said an Amtrak train bound for Los Angeles, the #3 Southwest Chief, was leaving Union Station when two wheels on two cars derailed. It was at low speed and no injuries were reported.
But that derailment took that track out of commission Wednesday, stalling between 20,000 and 30,000 commuters. All lines were stopped, but Metra later began trying to run three lines of commuter traffic -- both in and out of Union Station -- on one track.
Chicago's own Dick Johnson was one of the many people whose commute was seriously affected by the derailment. He finally got on a train around 4:45 p.m., and it was packed.
"We went from a crush of people in the station, and now I'm in a crush of people on the train," he said.
Maglieri said 116 Amtrak passengers were to be rerouted to other transportation, and other Amtrak trains were affected. He didn't immediately know how many.
Maglieri said Wednesday that it was too soon to know if the incident is due to weather.