Lots has happened since I last reported on the O’Hare Blue Line derailment. Here’s a synopsis of what we know:
- The 25-year-old motorwoman, Brittany T. Haywood, has been fired. She ignored two requests to appear at a disciplinary hearing.
- The NTSB has said she was traveling at 26-miles-per-hour when when woke up from having nodded off.
- The emergency braking system failed to stop the train because the train stop was too close to the end of the track bed to stop it.
- The CTA has changed rules for rail operator rest periods in the aftermath of the accident.
- Total damage at the BLue Line O’Hare station is estimated at $9.1 million.
Among the proposed changes:
- Setting a maximum of 12 hours of actual train-operations duty (including layover times at terminals and other non-driving rail duties) for rail operations employees in a 14-hour time period. Currently, there is no maximum.
- Increasing the minimum time of rest between shifts to 10 hours from eight hours.
- Requiring all rail operations employees to take at least one day off in any seven-day period. Currently, there is no limit.
- For new operators in the first year of operating a train, limit weekly hours operating a train to 32 hours. As they do now, these employees will work other rail-related duties besides operating trains in their other work hours. Currently, there is no limit.
The CTA has already implemented two other changes at the O’Hare Blue Line station:
- Reducing the speed limit of approaching trains to 15 mph from 25 mph.
- Moving “trip arms,” devices that will stop a train traveling above the speed limit, further back from the end of the platform.
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