Twelve people were injured when a Metra train collided with an Amtrak train at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 3, 2011. Both trains were moving at low speed when the collision occurred at the south end of Union Station between Tracks 1 and 2. The Metra Burlington Northern No. 1242 was travelling into Union station at approximately 5 mph on Track 2 when it hit the engine of the Amtrak train.
Authorities suspect a faulty track switch and closed down Union Station until 10:00 a.m. By the evening rush hour, trains were still delayed as the Federal Railroad Administration conducted signal testing until 4:00 p.m. Metra had to reroute many of its trains to accommodate the delay.
As the owner of Union Station, Amtrak is responsible for the maintenance, tracks and switches at the station. Individual railroad companies, such as Metra, own the tracks and switches outside the station. At this time, it is not clear which switch may have caused the collision.
The 12 injured passengers were taken to area hospitals and no one received life-threatening injuries. One woman, sitting in the front of the Amtrak train, went into labor three weeks early as a result of the collision.
If you or someone you know was injured in a train accident, a railroad accident attorney can offer assistance.