Chicago Commuter Train Crash - 3 Dead
18 June 1998 Early this morning, a Chicago, South Shore, and South Bend Railroad commuter train, two cars carrying about 20 people to their ultimate destination of Chicago, struck the second trailer of a
double-trailer truck near the entrance to a steel mill near Portage,
Indiana. The train was traveling at about 75 miles per hour just before the accident, although the
train crew had pulled the emergency brake upon sighting the truck on the
tracks. Three persons on the train died when a steel coil on the trailer
flew through the front of the train and crushed them.
Apparently, the accident occurred because the truck was standing on the
tracks waiting for a freight train on a parallel rail line to pass. The
driver is under arrest, at last report.
The morning rush-hour commuter service of the South Shore was suspended.
Some news reports have stated that the train pushed the trailer for some
distance and knocked over several poles. As the South Shore is an electric
railway, this may be a contributing factor to the suspension of service,
but the reports have been vague on that point. Metra, the Chicago
metropolitan commuter rail system, was honoring South Shore tickets, but
passengers would have to get to the nearest South Shore station in Illinois
to be bused to a Metra line, and that station is most of the way to Chicago
as relative to the rest of the South Shore line. There is no word yet as
to whether service will be restored in time for the evening rush-hour commute.
Trains on the South Shore line regularly reach speeds of 75 mph. The South Shore
serves mainly as a daily commuter line into Chicago and the farthest
stations on the line are nearly 90 miles from the city.
Report from Excite
Report from WGNTV
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