Another South Shore Fire Leaves Passengers Stranded

“Got a slogan for a new South Shore poster…….”Living the Nightmare…..Along the South Shore Line”! You can’t even imagine the 4:57 pm ride home tonight!” Liz Goral South Shore passenger post on social media

Stock photo

January 31, 2018-South Shore passengers were stuck on a rush hour train again tonight as the commuter line to Chicago faced mechanical difficulties. Passengers said those mechanical difficulties included a fire. A message from the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, operator of the line, stated:

Due to mechanical issues, passengers on Train 115 are being transferred to Train 17. Train 115’s passengers will have an approximate 45-50 minute delay to scheduled arrival/departure times.

We spoke with several passengers who stated they were told there was an electrical fire causing the train to stop west of the Hegewisch Station. Lisa Clark told the Gazette “the Conductor told us he had to put out electric smoke with fire extinguisher.” Clark said she did not see or smell smoke. We spoke with Ebony Tillman was travelling to Indiana from the 57th Street Station. She explained that the train car in which she was riding stopped and became dark. Ultimately, passengers were transferred to another train but that required walking out onto the dark tracks and getting on an overcrowded car for the remainder of the ride.

Liz Goral stated “I have real concerns about something really, really bad happening on that train
and I don’t think they are at all prepared for it.” She went on to say that they are raising fares by 5% but the service is not improving at all. “There was no communication at all” Goral stated. Passengers were ultimately transferred to another car. Tillman said her trip took about two hours. Goral said she missed her regular train and her trip took over 2 1/2 hours from downtown to the East Chicago station.

Just two weeks ago passengers had to be rescued by emergency personnel after a fire started atop a train near the Dune Park Station in Chesterton. (see ) The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is working with the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to add another track to points east of the Downtown Gary station and an 8 mile extension to Munster. The improvements would cost over $1B and local elected officials are promising they would be “transformational.”

Let us know in the comments, do you think investing over $1B into the South Shore rail line will transform the region?


  1. I was on this train and I did see smoke and smell electrical burning. The conductors never told us what happened except to tell us to go to the front of train. Our car was filled with smoke and all the passengers were covering their mouths with their jackets because of the smell. The communication was awful and we had a lot of scared passengers. At one point the conductor did get on speaker to remind the passengers in the quiet car that it was “still the quiet car and keep your voices down.”

  2. I been riding this train for 31 years. Back in the day they cared about how we would get home; now it’s more like every man/woman for themselves. But the rates keep going up, and service sucks.
    They are trying to make sure that this new train from Valpo is going to happen and the rest of us are going to have to pay for it.
    I don’t have that much longer riding, thank God. The tickets are starting to cost like a car note.

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