Safety Concerns Prompt Federal Investigation of Metra

Three Incidents in Ten Days Lead to Federal Investigation of Metra


Stephen I. Lane






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Earlier this month, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced a “deep-dive special assessment” of Metra in response to three safety-related allegations in a ten-day period. If you, or someone you love, ride the Metra, it is an important investigation to know about.

The Allegations

According to the Chicago Tribune, there were:

  • Two allegations that engineers were speeding on the Rock Island Line. The first incident happened on May 27, 2014, when an evening rush hour train heading outbound near 63rd Street was allegedly traveling 47 mph in a 30 mph zone. The second incident occurred on June 2, 2014, when a morning train heading inbound near Pershing Road was allegedly traveling 61 mph in a 40 mph zone.
  • One allegation that a Metra Electric District train missed a stop sign at the Matteson Station south of Chicago. This incident occurred on June 3, 2014, as an evening train was leaving the station.


Metra reported all three incidents to the FRA.

The Investigation

There are at least two investigations happening simultaneously with regard to the incidents described above. They include:

  • A FRA investigation. The FRA investigation team includes 12 inspectors. They will conduct a 45-day investigation of all Metra crews. The FRA plans to interview all crew members involved in these three incidents, review recorded data and videos, and conduct a thorough audit of Metra’s tests and inspections.
  • A Metra investigation. Metra suspended the three engineers involved in these incidents. The Metra investigation is following requirements set out both by the federal government and union agreements. The engineers involved in the three incidents will be given hearings after the investigation is complete.


According to Metra, the railroad reports approximately six incidents per year. Three incidents in a ten-day period is not typical.

Do you ride the Metra? Are you worried about your safety? Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts about safety on the Metra in general or these investigations specifically.

Category: Public Transportation Accidents




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