CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - Train service has resumed on the CTA Red, Brown and Purple lines Tuesday morning after a man was found dead on the tracks at the Fullerton station.
Emergency crews were called to the station about 6:30 a.m. to recover the body of a man, thought to be in his 40s, on the tracks, according to Chicago Fire Department Chief Juan Hernandez and Chicago Police.
It was not clear whether the man was struck by a train, but detectives believe the death was a suicide, police said.
Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said a severed head and a leg on the tracks were reportedly found on the tracks.
Normal service had resumed on the Purple, Brown and Red line trains as of 9:36 a.m., according to the CTA.
However, the train stoppage led to packed bus stops, angry tweets and a lot of frustrated commuters.
Trains were stopping at the Belmont CTA station, where commuters could board free shuttles. As commuters packed the area under the station and waited to board those buses, the situation grew tense at times. CTA employees were having trouble controlling the crowd.
Passenger Cookie Jackson tried to corral the crowd so the extra shuttles could get through at the Belmont stop. She said she had worked a 12-hour shift last night, and had been waiting for an hour to get a bus to 55th Street.
“All I wanna do is get home,” she said. “I’ve been standing here too long.”
As commuters packed the area under the station and waited to board those buses, the situation grew tense at times. CTA employees were having trouble controlling the crowd.
At the Fullerton stop, the situation was similar, as commuters arrived to find shuttles to the North and Clybourn Red Line station offered in place of southbound trains.
“This is a disaster waiting to happen,” one passenger said. Another shouted, “F— no” and “I’m gonna Facebook live this.”
Another stranded commuter swore aloud after seeing the Uber surge pricing: $40 for a lift to the West Loop.
“Everyone’s trying to get a ride,” said the passenger who noted that Halsted buses were all full to the brim.
A train operator told one commuter the delay could last hours. North of downtown, the Brown, Red and Purple lines had a combined average daily ridership of nearly 203,000 in 2016, according to the CTA.
Before arriving at Belmont, some Red Line commuters had begun to call friends and colleagues to tell them they were going to be late. A few people trickled off at every stop, as a CTA conductor announced a vague update on the delays: “We don’t know how long this train will be standing.”
Cassandra Tulipano said she thought she caught the early train this morning — but instead, she was going to be late for a 9 a.m. meeting downtown.
“But it’s not my first rodeo,” she said. “CTA knows how to handle this.”
She said a friend called her this morning from the Fullerton stop, warning her not to get on the train, but it was too late.
One commuter on the Red Line was getting visibly upset while the train made a 10-minute stop at Addison, telling passengers: “I don’t how to get to school. I don’t know any other way to get to school.”
A Metra spokesman said its service was not affected and there were no plans to honor CTA fares on Metra trains.
As of 8:15 a.m., Brown Line service was suspended between the Belmont and Merchandise Mart stations, according to the CTA. Red Line service was temporarily suspended between the Belmont and North/Clybourn stations. Purple Line trains were only operating from Linden to Howard.
Shuttle buses were made available to CTA customers, to provide connecting service through the affected areas.
Personnel were working to restore service, but trains remained halted at Fullerton two hours later.