Metra trains on the Union Pacific North line through Evanston are being delayed at this hour after a body was found along the tracks near Dempster Street and Sherman Avenue.

Evanston police were called to the area shortly after 8 a.m. after someone on a passing train noticed what appeared to be someone sleeping by the tracks.

Update 9:10 a.m.: Union Pacific and Metra police have also been called to the scene along with Evanston Fire Department crews, and trains are still being delayed.

Update 10:58 a.m.: Evanston police say an engineer on a passing Metra train had noticed the body along the tracks.

Cmdr. Ryan Glew says officers found the body along the northbound tracks at the Dempster Street overpass.

He says it appeared the person, a whilte male of unknown age, had been struck by a train, but it’s unknown when that may have happened.

Evanston police detectives are investigating. There’s expected to be some continued Metra service disruption due to the investigation at the scene.

Update 9:42 p.m.: Police late today said the man whose body was found along the Metra tracks has been identified, but they weren’t yet releasing the information, pending notification of relatives.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Metra [CTA[ and suicide
    We don’t know the reason he was on the tracks but I saw something like this years ago
    On a Sunday afternoon at the Wilmette Metra a 65+ black man was sitting on the tracks holding a teddy bear. While he had short white facial hair [not different than the style for 20s whites] he had on an expensive looking designer shirt.
    I knew no trains would be coming for some time so rather than try pop psychology to get him off the track, I raced toward the fire station a block away but I I then saw they were coming.
    I’d guess he was from one of the nursing/retirement homes near there. Some times it is just discouragement that pushes people too far. I’ve seen this in Evanston with some who might be considered homeless or drug/alcohol problems—but no. They just gave up on people, society and worse life.

  2. metra accident policy
    I would urge Metra to work with local police agencies to develop policies for processing crime scenes in the railroad right-of-way that balance the need to gather evidence against the need to keep trains moving. It seems there should be a way to prioritize checking the rail-bed itself for evidence and then let trains pass slowly. This morning, we were told it would likely be 2 hours before trains would again be allowed to pass, and urged to move to the CTA. (Advice for which I’m grateful – thanks Metra.) But I’m not aware that highways are routinely (if ever) shut down for 2 hours after a fatal accident. There is a way to make this work better.

    1. Sorry for your inconvenience

      Sorry for your inconvenience following the death of a human being. Your priorities are messed up!!

    2. Protocol
      You are completely oblivious to how a crime scene works. Trains are large, heavy machines and rails, ties, and, in fact, the whole area around the rail is constantly moving under the extreme force of trains. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this would greatly impact a crime scene. Furthermore, as the police are involved and are not trained to conduct themselves on railroad Right of ways the same way that rail workers are, it is not at all safe to even run trains “slowly.”

  3. Something is still going on
    It’s 1:12pm and there are 4 fire trucks still on the scene outside the Holiday Inn. Around 10 firemen have entered the motel. Not sure if it’s an event, another body, or if they’re looking out the windows. But a lot of activity for 1 death.

    I saw 2 men walking on the tracks around 8am, but not sure if it was before or after the body was reported. This may turn out not to be a simple suicide.

    1. not related
      Fire Equipment at Holiday Inn not related to Metra incident nor a new incident. I believe there was a training session there.

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