The Chicago Transit Authority has released video of a collision involving an empty moving train, dubbed the “ghost train.”
On September 30, 2013 the unmanned four-car train rolled out of the CTA West Side rail yard, accelerated down the Blue Line at a speed of about 24 miles an hour, then crashed into another train loaded with morning commuters at the Harlem station.
WGN Radio received security video from the so-called “ghost train” crash following a Freedom of Information Act request.
The video captures several camera angles the moments just prior to, during and after impact.
Passengers onboard the stopped train can be seen hitting walls, poles, and seats on impact. Many showing signs of bumps and bruises. One man’s phone flings out of an open door.
There is confusion immediately after the crash. Many people leave their phones and bags behind to see what happened.
More than 30 passengers aboard the stopped train in Forest Park suffered minor injuries. The City of Chicago has settled lawsuits with some of the victims. There is more litigation pending.
The video also reveals the train without anybody on board makes a complete stop just prior to the crash.
According to an investigation report by the National Transportation Safety Board (which can be found here: http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/RAB1502.aspx water seeped into the cables of two cars leading to errant control signals to be sent to the cars’ power systems. The CTA was also blamed for not properly securing unattended equipment.
Two CTA electrical workers were fired, and two other employees suspended. The collision cost more than $6 million in damage.