Updated 04/08/14 – 8:02 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board on Monday said a “fixed trip stop” system on the Blue Line tracks at O’Hare International Airport was too close to the end of the track to stop the train in an emergency.
NTSB officials had previously said the train’s operator, Brittney Haywood, admitted falling asleep at the controls as the train was pulling into the O’Hare station, but that automated systems in place were designed to stop the train if she did not hit the brakes. The system did activate during the March 24 derailment, but failed to stop the train before it smashed through a bumper post and hit an escalator at O’Hare.
The NTSB estimated the crash caused $9.1 million in damage to CTA equipment and the station itself.
According to the NTSB’s preliminary report on the tracks, “due to the train speed, the distance from the fixed trip stop to the track bumper post was too short to stop the train.”
The train was going approximately 26 mph as it pulled into the station on the center track. The NTSB originally said a “fixed trip stop” designed to activate the train’s emergency brakes was 41 feet from the bumper post at the end of the center track, but the CTA said Monday the trip stop was only 29 feet from the end of the track. It has now been moved to 61 feet from the bumping post.