So that was very odd. Steel rail fasteners came raining down on cars and pedestrians Tuesday night after a CTA Orange Line train derailed in the Loop, pulling out the fasteners and causing them to fall onto the street below.
From the Tribune story:
The curved steel fasteners slide into brackets that hold the tracks into place. CTA spokesman Brian Steele said the derailment "caused some of them to become dislodge. Not every single one. They fell in multiple places."
He said the fasteners fit into the brackets like dead-bolts and it's rare for them to be pulled out during a derailment. "It would take a great deal of force, which is what apparently occurred when the wheels derailed," he said.
Joseph Williams, who also called 911, said he started to get out of his car but thought better of it when he saw all of the debris falling from the tracks. "It was like the sky was falling," he said. "When the metal hit the street, you could hear it."
He said he waited for the train to pass overhead before he left his car.
"The train was screeching all the way down, the wheel was cutting up the tracks as it went down the tracks," he said. "The wood started falling, it was like a buzz saw going down the tracks and cutting up the tracks into bits and pieces."
He noticed dozens of the fasteners on cars, on the sidewalk and on the street.
There have been a number of CTA derailments in the last year, but this is really a new twist on the tired topic.
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