Metra BNSF trains back to normal after Union Station power loss, signal problems

(Chris Phan/Flickr)

Officials are still investigating the cause of a power failure that disrupted Amtrak’s Union Station signal system Thursday and delayed Metra BNSF trains throughout the morning rush.

Inbound and outbound movement on the BNSF line was temporarily halted because of what Metra called “Amtrak signal problems,” according to a service alert issued by the transit agency at 7:48 a.m.

Trains were moving again with “extensive delays” shortly after 8 a.m., Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said.

Trains resumed operating on their normal schedules after the morning rush, according to Metra spokesman Michael Gillis.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the signal problem was caused by a a loss of power which was initially thought to be a ComEd power outage. He said power was restored using an alternate circuit and the signal system was back up and running as of 8:15 a.m.

ComEd crews were called to the station for reports of a power outage, but did not find any problems with the utility’s equipment, according to spokesman John Schoen.

Magliari said Amtrak is still looking into what caused the power failure.

A massive signal system failure in February left more than 60,000 people stranded at Union Station after a worker fell on a circuit board while performing server maintenance.