CTA Train Operator/Driver Dozed Before Blue Line Train Crashed at Terminal at O’Hare

NTSB: Operator admits she was asleep before train crashed.

NTSB investigators have confirmed that the driver in the Blue Line crash says she nodded off when the train wreck happened and it’s not the first incident for this driver. The same driver passed a station when she fell asleep in February.

The CTA says the driver never told them she dozed off, but “closed her eyes for a moment” … The CTA says the operator did stop the train at a station in February and “only one car passed the station.”

Video of Blue Line train derailment at Chicago O’Hare stop.

Recently released video is apparently the surveillance video of the crash of the CTA Blue Line train that plowed through the bumper at the end of the track and up the escalator to the terminals at O’Hare International Airport. Fortunately, no people were on the escalators at the time of the crash, but notice the breathing hazard from the dust that kicked up by the crash.

CTA union officials said Monday that the female train operator may have “dozed off” at the controls as the train arrived at an early morning quiet time at the usually busy airport.

Several failsafe features apparently failed to keep the train from crashing into the escalator.

1. A dead man’s switch designed to stop the train if the operator loses consciousness or falls asleep failed to stop the train.

2. The terminal track bumper failed to stop the train.

3. Automated systems related to “track trip” should have been triggered and stopped the train if the operator did not hit the brakes in time, or if the train was going too fast. Details of the “track trips” have yet to be investigated and revealed by the NTSB investigators.

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