Unlike on commercial airplanes, there are no "black boxes" on CTA trains that record accident data. But surveillance cameras on the trains, in the stations and at the yard will help tell the story of what transpired over a matter of just a couple of minutes, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said.
A preliminary review of some video shows that no operator was at the controls of the out-of-service train, he said. There also were no signs of forced entry or vandalism to the train, he said. But that review does not thus far indicate whether someone was in another part of the head car or in the other three cars attached to it, Steele said.
A CTA supervisor at the Forest Park station and a motorman aboard a train said they saw no one on the train leaving the yard, said Kelly, Local 308 president of the Amalgamated Transit Union president.
Such early indications that no one was driving prompted some longtime CTA employees to dub it a "ghost train."
Tribune reporters Wes Venteicher and Hal Dardick contributed.