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updated: 1/8/2014 5:32 PM

Wednesday brings less commuting chaos, but Metra delays continue

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  • George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.comCommuters continued to experience delays Wednesday even as temperatures improved.

      George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.comCommuters continued to experience delays Wednesday even as temperatures improved.


Problems with switches that transfer trains from track to track continued to plague Metra during Wednesday's afternoon rush hour although not to the extent of meltdowns earlier this week related to the big freeze.

The Milwaukee District North and West Lines and North Central Service were all experiencing delays caused by switches late Wednesday afternoon, according to Metra's website.

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Wednesday morning, trains on the BNSF, Union Pacific Northwest and West, and Milwaukee West had erratic performances with service running 15 to 45 minutes late.

Some riders like Yvette Guyton were so shellshocked by their commuting odysseys earlier in the week, the fact that the 8 a.m. BNSF Line train arrived around 8:30 a.m. in Downers Grove was no big deal.

"Twenty to 25 minutes is better than it's been," said Guyton of Bolingbrook as she hurried to board the train. She didn't have to go into work Monday, but Tuesday "was a long, long painful commute."

Ice getting into switches, which happened frequently this week, can cause malfunctions that require workers to physically remove it, leading to lengthy backups, officials said.

Multiple cancellations and delays made traveling miserable for riders on Monday and Tuesday. Metra officials said the agency's response to the bad weather will be a subject for discussion at the Jan. 17 meeting.

Elsewhere in the region, ice and snow layered on roads caused multiple spinouts and made walking treacherous for commuters Wednesday.

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