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Metra breakdown causes train, traffic delays

Although new study indicates public transit use overall inched up last 5 years Metrsuburban rail Pace suburban bus CTA bus

Although a new study indicates public transit use overall inched up in the last 5 years, Metra suburban rail, Pace suburban bus and CTA bus service all saw rides decline between 2008 and 2012. | Sun Times files

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Updated: February 4, 2014 6:21AM

A Metra commuter train broke down in Libertyville during Thursday’s rush hour, causing both traffic and commuter train delays.

The train, on Milwaukee North line from Fox Lake to Chicago, stalled near the Libertyville station before 8 a.m. and remained stuck for over an hour, causing delays both on that train line and on roads in the area, including Route 45 and Peterson Road.

It was unclear whether the mechanical problem was related to the cold temperatures, but the train had to be pushed back to Chicago by the following inbound train at a slower than usual rate of speed, according to Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile.

Aside from the Libertyville incident and a situation in Fox River Grove in which a car was stuck on the tracks Thursday morning, Reile said “we haven’t had any major blockage incidents.”

Reile said prolonged heavy snow and cold temperatures impact the running of trains just like other modes of transportation, with one of the factors being longer boarding times.

“In weather like this, people board and get off the trains more slowly. It’s slippery,” she said.

Reile said crews were working hard to make sure conditions are as good as possible for the evening commute.

“Its been an ongoing battle and we’ll keep at it until we get it all cleared off,” she said.

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