In the modern era, collisions involving two trains are extremely rare in Illinois and throughout the rest of the U.S. Municipalities and train operators have implemented numerous fail-safes and backup plans to ensure that no two trains shall meet unexpectedly. Which is why an incident late last month made national news – and authorities have yet to figure out what caused it.
Shortly after 7:45am on the morning, of Monday, September 30, passengers were boarding and disembarking a westbound CTA Blue Line train at the Harlem Avenue stop, which sits near the intersection of Harlem Avenue and the Kennedy Expressway. Just then, an empty, unmanned four-car train which had started rolling about a mile away approached the platform and reportedly crashed into the stopped Blue Line train at a speed of about 20 miles per hour. A total of 33 passengers were taken to area hospitals, but none of their injuries were believed to be life-threatening.
A few days later, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report which failed to pinpoint the precise cause of the train accident, though it seemed to rule out intentional sabotage. The report did mention that the empty train’s operator console had a lever left in a position which would allow the train’s brakes to recover and reset – thus allowing a stopped train to begin rolling again (which it apparently did several times during its runaway journey).
Even though no specific cause was discovered, the Chicago Transportation Authority is still ultimately responsible for the safety of its passengers. Therefore, anyone who was injured in the train accident has solid grounds on which to file a personal injury lawsuit against the CTA. This would allow them to recover any costs they incurred due to medical treatment of their injuries – as well as any lost wages from missing one or more days at work thanks to the incident.