Fail Week

Metra Feb. 8-12, 2016

Feb. 9-13, 2016 | By Michael Schmitt

Switch problems and fires are familiar causes for delay in winter for Metra riders, but the week of February 8-12 contained more than its fair share of problems. All told, 279 trains arrived to their final destination 6 minutes or more behind schedule and another 826 arrived 1-5 minutes late.

Late* Trains: Fail Week vs. Previous Week

Previous Week
Fail Week
* "Late" as defined by Metra: arriving at final destination 6 minutes or more late.

On Monday, February 8, a train derailment impacted BNSF morning commuters. BNSF's OTP dropped to 43.2%.

The next day, on February 9, an electrical fire caused 1.5+ hour delays for UP-W commuters. Metra later stated the damage from the fire would cause UP-W delays of "up to 30 minutes... through the afternoon rush hour on Thursday, Feb. 11." UP-W's OTP dropped to 17.4% with an average late arrival of 51 minutes.

On Wednesday, February 10, Rock Island trains saw delays of 15-40 minutes due to switch issues. Meanwhile, UP-W continued to be slowed by the fallout from Tuesday's fire.

On Thursday, February 11, a mechanical failure on UP-N caused delays up to 62 minutes.

Fortunately Friday saw no major issues, though OTP dropped to 91% down from the previous week's 95.5%.

I've attempted to document some of the data from this week. It's these kinds of incidents - one after the other - that stick with Metra customers. These kinds of incidents also tend to get lost in overall, month-long performance reports.

UP-W On-Time Performance

Previous Week
Fail Week

Monday morning: BNSF

Trains OTA Avg. Operating Delay Avg. Late Arrival Worst Delay
Mon. 02/01/16 47 100% 1.3 min 0.6 min 4 min
Mon. 02/08/16 44 43.2% 7.6 min 8.7 min 40 min

Tuesday morning: UP-W

Trains OTA Avg. Operating Delay Avg. Late Arrival Worst Delay
Tue. 02/02/16 23 100% 1.6 min 1.2 min 5 min
Tue. 02/09/16 23 17.4% 32 min 51 min 112 min

Tuesday evening: UP-W

Trains OTA Avg. Operating Delay Avg. Late Arrival Worst Delay
Tue. 02/02/16 28 82.1% 3.0 min 4.5 min 51 min
Tue. 02/09/16 24 12.5% 8.5 min 12.9 min 28 min

Wednesday morning: RI

Trains OTA Avg. Operating Delay Avg. Late Arrival Worst Delay
Wed. 02/03/16 18 94.4% 1.0 min 1.1 min 8 min
Wed. 02/10/16 19 68.4% 7.2 min 9.7 min 42 min

Wednesday morning: UP-W

Trains OTA Avg. Operating Delay Avg. Late Arrival Worst Delay
Wed. 02/03/16 24 91.7% 1.4 min 1.9 min 10 min
Wed. 02/10/16 19 52.3% 3.4 min 6.2 min 16 min

Thursday morning: UP-N

Trains OTA Avg. Operating Delay Avg. Late Arrival Worst Delay
Thur. 02/04/16 21 100% 1.0 min 1.2 min 4 min
Thur. 02/11/16 28 71.4% 6.2 min 9.3 min 62 min

← Union Station Signal Debacle
On-Time Performance by Station →

Download Is Metra Late for iOS:

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service ma rk of Apple Inc.