CHICAGO (CBS) — Drivers got quite a scare at a Southwest Side railroad crossing when a freight train rolled through with no warning on Dec. 28.
CBS 2 saw pictures of the tanker train barreling through the intersection with the warning lights off and the crossing gate still up posted in Instagram and Facebook.
CSX confirms that the warning signal failed to operate as a train was coming through the crossing at West 103rd Street and South Maplewood Avenue. Crews responded the same day, but residents are rattled.
“I’d be terrified for my life,” said Alina Scott, who lives next to the crossing.
Word got around quickly to the residents who live alongside the tracks, many of whom said they’ve had issues with the gates malfunctioning in the past but never when a train was coming through.
“I see them working on it a lot, which is kind of good but kind of concerning because why is it breaking that much?” Scott said.
Many residents say they were immediately reminded of this near-miss recorded on police officer’s dash camera in November after the crossing gates failed to warn drivers of the oncoming train in Mokena.
Metra said it was an electrical problem. Fortunately this time in West Beverly, drivers were able to stop well ahead of the tracks.
“I can’t believe it,” said Jim Wagner, who has lived next to the crossing for more than 50 years. “Why? That’s one thing. Why?”
It’s still not clear exactly why.
A CSX spokesperson says they were alerted on Friday and
immediately sent out a crew and flagmen to stand at the crossing. They remained at the location for 70 hours and were unable to duplicate the activation failure.
CSX says they’re conducting a thorough investigation that will be submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Residents say they’re glad it’s been addressed, but now they’re a bit nervous.
“I’ll be scared for everyone that comes by,” Scott said.
CSX says these signals are inspected at least once a month to ensure they are working properly, and they urge the public to report safety concerns like this in the future.