Bus to Help Get Stranded Metra Passengers Back to South Suburbs

Frigid temperatures caused issues with the overhead power lines, the agency said

Service on the south suburban Metra Electric Line has been suspended for Wednesday and Thursday due to wire issues, but for passengers already in Chicago, the agency announced a special bus would ferry them back home. 

According to Metra, a pair of Pace buses will pick up passengers at the corner of Michigan and Randolph Street in Chicago beginning at 4 p.m. One of those buses will make all local stops between Kensington and Homewood on the Metra Electric Line route, while the other bus will make all stops between Flossmoor and the termination of the route in University Park. 

The announcement comes after Metra was forced to suspend service at 7:30 a.m. due to wiring issues on the Electric Line. A train that had already left University Park was called back to the station, and the agency announced that no service would be available on the line until Friday morning. 

Customers are advised to use the Rock Island Metra line, or to utilize the CTA for transportation over the coming days.

Metra passes will be honored by the CTA on Red Line trains in Chicago, as well as bus routes 71, 26, 28, 6, J14, 2, and 1, the agency says.

Service on the South Shore commuter line will also be suspended on Wednesday, but a decision for Thursday has yet to be made.

All Metra lines were operating under alternate schedules Wednesday and Thursday because of the extreme weather conditions, the agency announced Monday evening. The full schedules can be found on Metra's website here.

Metra advised travelers to allow extra time for travel on Wednesday as temperatures lower than -10 degrees will reduce train speeds to 60 mph.

The Rock Island line was operating with 15 to 20-minute delays due to switch problems, Metra said Wednesday, as was the Heritage Corridor line.

From the western suburbs, the BNSF Railway line was between 14 and 32 minutes behind schedule due to "emergency track repairs," Metra said.

Two sets of gates near the Brookfield station on the BNSF line, located near Burlington and Maple, as well as near Burlington and Prairie, were stuck down for several hours beginning overnight early Wednesday. Police were on the scene directing cars around the gates when it was safe. It was not clear when the gates would be fixed.

Nearly every other Metra line - Union Pacific Northwest, Milwaukee District North, Union Pacific North and Union Pacific Northwest, among others - were also operating under delays due to signal problems or mechanical failures.

Commuters were advised to continue to monitor Metra's website for updates.

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