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Congressman To Amtrak: Fix Union Station’s Falling Concrete

CHICAGO (CBS) — A U.S. Congressman is calling on Amtrak to fix the falling concrete and failing infrastructure at Union Station after it delayed several Metra trains Wednesday morning.

Metra said all tracks were back open and running Wednesday afternoon, but the falling concrete had shut down tracks 2, 4 and 6 earlier in the day.

“It’s really unacceptable,” Rep. Dan Lipinski said. “This is not something normal, but it seems to be normal at Union Station in the past couple years.”

No one was hurt Wednesday, but two years ago, passengers said they were hit by falling rubble.

And in January of this year, CBS 2 discovered a rotten beam fell at Union Station and sent one man to the hospital.

At the time Metra said it did not own the ceiling in question. Amtrak runs Union Station, but six different entities have “air rights” to build or develop in the area above the station.

Wednesday a spokesperson for the Chico ago Department of Transportation said Amtrak and Metra were trying to figure out who owns the property where the concrete fell.

“Again, there seems to be an attempt to pass the buck,” Lipinski said. “I think the time is over for passing the buck. Amtrak owns and operates Union Station. They need to make sure there are no problems that interfere with rail traffic at Union Station.”

CBS 2 reached out to Amtrak and a spokesperson declined to answer several questions Wednesday.

An Amtrak spokesman said the building owner responsible for that area above the tracks is the U.S. Postal Service and that the owner had been notified. Crews will work overnight to investigate the cause of the falling concrete.

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