CHICAGO (CBS) — The federal government shutdown is not stopping the investigation into what caused that mysterious Blue Line crash in Forest Park.
Security guarded the crash site all night, and investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board returned at 8 a.m. Tuesday after a long night of gathering data, CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports.
The NTSB is still in the early stages of its investigation and have not offered any conclusions on what caused the accident. Parts of the train were removed from the scene.
Witnesses reported that the four-car train, traveling eastbound before smashing into a standing westbound train at Harlem Avenue in Forest Park, did not have a driver.
CTA officials said video showed no one was operating the train during the crash. Some have dubbed it a “ghost train.”
Potentially complicating the investigation is word that cameras stationed where the train began its mysterious journey were not functioning Monday morning.
Tim DePaepe, the lead investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, is still trying to figure out how the empty Blue Line train ended up on the tracks.
The Harlem station remained closed and passengers are being directed to shuttles to the next available stop at Oak Park Avenue.
Passengers said the extra time was costly.
“It’s going to add time, and actually today it’s going to make me late,” said Yvonne Gomez.
“It’s definitely an inconvenience,” Anthony Franklin said. “Probably going to be late to work.”
CTA maintenance records show the 2 disabled cars that were to be towed to the repair shop, cars 3 and 4 of the runaway train, were taken out of service because of unexpected and unexplained control shifts without commands from operators.
The president of the CTA’s rail union said the whole incident is alarming.
“There is a problem here. We have people working in these yards 24 hour a day, seven days a week,” said ATU Local President Robert Kelly. “If trains are all of a sudden moving on their own, I’ve never heard of that in the 27 years I’ve been with this company. It’s a great concern.”
Meanwhile, the CTA announced the Harlem station will be closed until further notice with trains operating on one track. Shuttle buses will continue to run.
To help reduce significant delays, the CTA is making service adjustments.