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Lack Of Spare Train Cars Means Crowded Rides On Metra

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UP West Metra Train

Metra Train (Credit: Rick Kramer/CBS)

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – This will be another crowded day on many rush-hour Metra trains, and it appears that riders will have to endure shorter, and in many cases more crowded, trains at least through Friday.

Metra says you can blame the storm that began New Year’s Eve and last week’s bitter cold. Interim CEO Don Orseno said Tuesday that the weather took a toll on the brakes, doors, wiring and ventilation systems of its bilevel fleet.

“We’re dealing with a limited number of spare cars, so when you have these types of things, that renders your fleet so you don’t have so many cars and you have to work more diligently to get those cars placed back in service,” he said.

Some trains were so crowded during both of Tuesday’s rush hours that conductors could not check riders’ tickets. That resulted in complaints — both to WBBM and to Metra.

Barring unforeseen problems, Orseno said he expects all trains to have a full complement of bilevels by Friday.

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