CHICAGO (STMW) –A tire on the CTA Blue Line tracks on the Near West Side started a fire when it was struck by the lead car of an inbound train Saturday morning. The fire was quickly extinguished, no injuries were reported, but Blue Line train riders experienced delays for a few hours following the incident, as the fire was extinguished, the scene was cleaned up and the train removed.
Firefighters responded to the Blue Line in the 1800 block of West Ogden Avenue, near the Medical Center station, for a train fire about 11:10 a.m. The still-and-box alarm was quickly struck out, but power was cut to the tracks in the area.
The train hit a tire that was on the tracks, which then started a small fire in the lead car of the train, according to Fire Media Affairs. No one was injured but power to the tracks had to be cut as fire personnel put out the fire and secured the scene.
As a result, service on the Blue Line was initially suspended between the Pulaski and UIC/Halsted stations, according to the CTA. Blue Line trains then operated on one set of tracks between Western/Congress and Racine stations, leading to delays on the Blue Line. Shuttle buses and a shuttle train were available to provide connecting service through the affected area, the CTA said.
Trains were able to use both tracks by about 2:30 p.m., but the CTA was advising riders that they could expect residual delays as service fully returned to normal.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)