State

Metra passenger complaints prompt probe

CHICAGO – The Federal Railroad Administration has announced it is taking a look at Metra commuter rail operations after speeding and signal violations led to three engineers losing their certifications.

FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo says the investigation will "provide us an opportunity to assess Metra's testing, training, performance and compliance programs."

Rock Island Line passengers have complained recently they feared their train would derail on separate occasions because of engineers' actions.

Szabo says FRA investigators intend to interview affected employees, review event recorder tapes and video recordings and look at Metra locomotive engineer qualifications.

Metra spokesman Michael Gillis says the agency, which serves metropolitan Chicago, is committed to safety and as a precaution "is issuing a bulletin to all operating personnel to remind them of the importance of safe operating procedures."

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