Thousands of commuters affected by train signal problems

CHICAGO (AP) - Thousands of Chicago commuters are facing delays getting home because of signal problems affecting the operations of the Metra rail system.

Officials are advising riders to consider alternate ways of getting home because of signal problems that first showed up Thursday morning.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says a communications issue with the automated system is requiring the passenger railroad to use manual controls, and that repairs are underway. As a result, every rail line operating out of Union Station is affected. Officials say about 100,000 commuters are affected by the delays.

Magliari says because dispatchers can't see the locations of the trains, the only way to safely move traffic is one train at a time.

Thursday's Metra delays come on top of others in recent months, including weather-related breakdowns, equipment problems and overcrowding.

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