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'Crazy Guy' on Tracks Shuts Down Green, Red Lines During Evening Rush Hour

By Darryl Holliday | May 20, 2013 6:56pm
  The CTA shut down the Red Line south of Roosevelt early on May 19 for a five-month reconstruction project.
Red Line Shutdown Begins
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CHICAGO — A man who climbed onto the tracks near the Garfield Green Line Station forced the CTA to shut down trains temporarily during the first evening rush hour of the Red Line reconstruction.

The transit agency issued an alert about 5:45 p.m. Monday saying "Green and Red Line trains are being delayed at Garfield due to an unauthorized person on the tracks." 

"Just a crazy guy, a crazy guy who shut down the train for 20 minutes," said CTA President Forrest Claypool, who was at the station.

At about 6:05, the CTA tweeted that power and service had been restored to the tracks.

"I was standing right here when I saw him on the tracks. He looked like he was going to jump down onto a bus," said Jacob Peters, 26, a volunteer with Riders for Better Transit, who was at the station at the time of the incident. "Then all of a sudden you hear a cop say, 'What the hell is that?'"

"And that's when everyone saw him on the middle rung of the billboard," Peters added. "He had climbed up the stairs and took off running down the tracks."

Peters said CTA workers talked him off the tracks.

The incident occurred on the second day of a five-month shutdown of the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line.

Red Line trains are running on Green Line track south of the Roosevelt CTA Station as crews reconstruct more than 10 miles of Red Line track.

The Garfield station is serving as a transit point for commuters traveling south using free bus shuttles to reach shuttered Red Line stations.

On the first weekday of the change, commuters and transit officials alike said the trains and bus shuttles associated with the project had been running smoothly.