Frustrated riders who waited in long lines at Union Station Monday say something must be done about delays for Metra trains, but Metra said the issue wasn’t the transit agency’s fault.
The delays affected the Southwest, Herritage Corridor and BNSF lines, as dozens of commuters packed into the overcrowded station only to wait for trains, which were delayed due to switch problems nearby.
“It seems like something has to be done about that,” said Metra rider Stephan McReynolds. “It’s crazy…it’s crazy.”
But Metra said Tuesday the problem was not with its trains, but with the Amtrak switches south of Union Station.
Both Metra and Amtrak issued a statement apologizing for the delays and the crowded conditions in the terminal, saying “unfortunately Metra was not given sufficient notification from Amtrak and there did not implement its plan until the South Concourse was already congested.”
Crews were seen making repairs in the area Tuesday, on the same tracks used by the BNSF line.
Delays like those seen Monday night typically occur during the winter months, when aging switches ice up, but Metra noted warm weather failures can still happen, forcing it to rearrange its rush hour schedule.
But many riders say the overcrowding and delays are an ongoing issue,
“You expect delays at points, at different time of the year, but when it gets to be a little bit too much, given the fares that we are paying, it can be a little frustrating,” said rider Bob Adduci.