Fire on tracks delays Brown Line trains for more than an hour - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

CTA delays Brown Line service in Loop after fire at Merchandise Mart

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Authorities investigate after a fire on the CTA Brown Line tracks near Merchandise Mart Saturday. / George Slefo, Sun-Times Media Authorities investigate after a fire on the CTA Brown Line tracks near Merchandise Mart Saturday. / George Slefo, Sun-Times Media
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The CTA briefly halted Brown Line L service in the Loop Saturday night after a fire caused trains to back up north of the Merchandise Mart, with delays of over an hour.

"Brown Line service has been temporarily suspended between Merchandise Mart and the Loop," the CTA said in an announcement on Twitter around 6 p.m.

Shortly after, the mass transit agency said on its website: "Some Brown Line trains are operating with residual delays after earlier fire department activity near Merch. Mart. Service is resuming."

The CTA had been turning southbound Brown Line L trains back north at the Merchandise Mart after more than an hour of delays because of a small fire on the tracks.

"I saw a burst of yellow flames for a good half minute," said Peter James, who was visiting from Britain and was among those who had to get off one of the stalled trains. "It was very quick. I thought it was serious."

The fire occurred around 4:30 p.m., and the smoke hung in the air as one train stood idle for more than an hour, despite assurances from a CTA operator that "the train will be moving shortly."

Meanwhile, other Brown Line trains were first delayed and then turned back at the Mart, according to riders and announcements made by train operators.

Dispatchers said the cause of the fire appeared to be electrical.

"Nobody told us to exit the train," said Linda Curtis, a rider who was heading home from work. "The doors just opened, and they just said there was going to be a delay."

Calls made to the CTA were not immediately returned.

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