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Disgruntled Passengers Sound Off at Meeting With Railway Execs

Rep. Dan Lipinski gave riders on the BNSF-Burlington Northern Santa Fe line a chance to sound off to those at the top of Metra and BNSF railways, which own the rail line and operates the trains.

"Service is very poor, too crowed," commuter Nancy Canning said. "Trains change (at) different times."

"Delays is my concern," Dianne Warner, another commuter in attendance, said. "When it’s cold out here you're just waiting."

Lipinski agreed with the customers.

"Too often Metra has failed," he said.

They all take the line where, over the summer, they also saw air conditioning breakdowns after the positive train control safety system was installed, requiring schedule changes that caused even more delays.

DJ Mitchell is the BNSF Railway vice president of passenger operations.

"You are absolutely right," he told disgruntled passengers. "We are going to do better--and actually we have done better."

Jim Derwinski is the CEO of Metra. He said the line is leading the industry but admits there are things that could be done better.

"We can revisit the schedule right after the beginning of the year to maybe get back where they used to be," he said.

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