Metra investigates Monday morning network outage, service back for afternoon rush

A network outage disrupted service on six of its train lines Monday morning.

“This morning we experienced a network outage that affected Positive Train Control (PTC) and other systems related to train dispatching,” spokeswoman Meg Thomas-Reile said.

A number of trains were canceled or delayed starting at 10:50 a.m., but the railroad’s systems were back online at about 1 p.m.

Train lines affected were the Metra Electric, Rock Island, Southwest Service, Milwaukee District North, Milwaukee District West and North Central Service.

“The root cause of the outage is still under investigation,” Thomas-Reile said.

“Dispatchers were unable to access the PTC database and trains were unable to initialize to PTC before departure. As the outage went on, dispatchers also began experiencing issues with other systems used in dispatching, and most train service on the affected lines was halted,” she said.

Positive Train Control is an automatic braking system that is triggered when a potential collision is detected.

Metra’s busiest train lines operated by the Union Pacific and the BNSF freight railroads were not impacted.

“The Heritage Corridor also was not affected because it had already completed its morning service runs,” Thomas-Reile said.

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