South Shore Line train passengers can expect delays during rush hour Monday morning as the railroad continues to deal with damage to one of its substations caused by a downed power line in Porter.
Delays and cancellations of trains started just after 7 a.m. Sunday when a high-voltage power line dropped across a bridge carrying Ind. 49 over the South Shore Line. The downed line shorted out a South Shore substation about two miles east of the Dune Park station and damaged equipment there, said John Parsons, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District planning and marketing director.
The downed line closed that portion of Ind. 49, which serves as an entrance to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, through the morning hours and into the early afternoon Sunday.
The 34,000-volt NIPSCO line apparently struck the South Shore electric system at some point when it came down, said NIPSCO spokesman Larry Graham. NIPSCO crews had to wait for South Shore crews to complete some testing on South Shore system before repairs to the NIPSCO line could be completed.
Those repairs were not completed until about 1:30 p.m. Graham said he was not sure if the downing of the line was weather-related or due to some other factor.
NICTD is advising passengers to arrive at stations when they normally would Monday morning. Delays of five to 10 minutes or shorter are expected, Parsons said.
Trains are delayed because other South Shore substations are being used to deliver power to that portion of the line, but it's not enough for trains to run at full power.
To add to the South Shore's problems, a tree fell on signal wires Sunday morning near the substation that shorted out, Parsons said. That incident appeared to be weather related because there were high winds in the area at the time.
On Sunday morning, some trains were canceled. By Sunday afternoon, some trains ran an hour to 90 minutes late. Delays were still being experienced Sunday night.