Driving That Train, Resting Her Brain

Driving That Train, Resting Her Brain

By Jeff Wagner. CREATED Mar 27, 2014

Monday, an eight-car Blue Line subway train at Chicago's O'Hare Airport smashed through a barrier, leapt a station platform and ended up atop an escalator.  The derailment caused an estimated $6 millon in damage and injured 32 passengers.

It is nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed.  This is attributable in part to the fact that the derailment occurred in the middle of the night.

The investigation has determined that the train operator, who had only been operating trains for 60 days, had fallen asleep at the controls!  

It now turns out that the same driver had also overshot a station on February 1st after - wait for it - falling asleep at the controls!  After the first incident, the driver was "admonished" by her supervisor and given a written warning!

I wonder what the warning said?  "Don't fall asleep while driving the train"? 

Some are defending the train operator suggesting that it wasn't her fault that she was "dangerously fatigued".  Others argue that she should have been replaced the first time she feel asleep - but union rules make that difficult.

During the 12 p.m. hour of Thursday's radio show, we'll discuss whether she should have been fired the first time she fell asleep and whether collective bargauining rules that protect her endanger the general public?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section - and be sure to check back later to hear a replay of the segment.



Jeff Wagner

Jeff Wagner

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Jeff Wagner recently completed his 15th year as a talk show host at 620 WTMJ. Jeff's show, which airs Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m., features stories which you might not have heard about elsewhere and emphasizes Jeff's common sense approach to issues.