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Metra Service Expansion 2024


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Metra boosting weekend service on BNSF Line

Publication Date

Thursday, April 04, 2024

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Just in time for summer fun, Metra is significantly boosting weekend service on the BNSF Line, adding trains on Saturdays and even more on Sundays to create the same schedule for both weekend days. There will also be weekday changes on the new schedule, which starts on Monday, April 29.


“We continue to listen to our riders and adjust our schedules to meet their needs,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “We’re especially excited to be able to offer more weekend service so that Metra is an even better option for anyone wanting to enjoy all the events and attractions that are part of summer in Chicago.”


Metra will be adding six trains to the BNSF Line’s Saturday schedule and 16 trains to the line’s Sunday schedule. The changes will result in the same level of service on both weekend days, with inbound hourly service from 5 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and outbound hourly service from 10 a.m. to midnight.


As part of the change, trains on the new weekend schedule will no longer stop at the LaGrange Stone Avenue Station. The current weekday off-peak schedule skips some stops, including Stone Avenue, to improve the speed and reliability of service, and Metra wants to use that same pattern on weekends. The stations that are skipped all have alternative stations nearby with full service; in the case of Stone Ave., the LaGrange Road Station is nearby.


Weekday schedule changes include adjusting departure times for off-peak local trains so that each train after 9 a.m. departs Aurora at five past the hour. This change will also affect the departure times from intermediate stations along the route.
The departure times of three morning outbound trains are also being adjusted. Train 1201 will now depart Chicago 2 minutes earlier at 5:33 a.m., Train 1205 will depart 4 minutes earlier at 6:16 a.m. and Train 1211 will depart 1 minute earlier at 6:46 a.m.


In addition, the Fairview Avenue Station is being added as a stop on all off-peak local trains. Trains 1205, 1211, 1272 and 1276 will make stops at Westmont, and Train 1205 will also add a stop at Halsted Street.


BNSF Line riders are encouraged to review the new schedule for changes that may impact them. A copy of the new schedule can be found here.

A Spanish language version of this release is available here.

 

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  • renardo870 changed the title to Metra Service Expansion 2024
8 hours ago, Busjack said:

BNSF was the only line that was profitable, and according to the Feb. ridership report, has an average of 515 passenger trips per day.

image.thumb.png.eef12eedea641b9d67960842009a9902.png

It's actually 515,000.

515 passengers would fill up a train or two.

And I think it is per month, not per day.  The population of DuPage County (where most of the passengers come from) is 920,000 (as of 2022).  515,000 per day would mean that over half of the residents of DuPage County rode the train every day.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Smolensk said:

It's actually 515,000.

515 passengers would fill up a train or two.

And I think it is per month, not per day.  The population of DuPage County (where most of the passengers come from) is 920,000 (as of 2022).  515,000 per day would mean that over half of the residents of DuPage County rode the train every day. 

I guess so long as the Board understands the graph, that's what counts. For our purposes the takeaway is that the BNSF has 41% more ridership than the next closest line (UP-NW).

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15 hours ago, Smolensk said:

It's actually 515,000.

515 passengers would fill up a train or two.

And I think it is per month, not per day.  The population of DuPage County (where most of the passengers come from) is 920,000 (as of 2022).  515,000 per day would mean that over half of the residents of DuPage County rode the train every day.

 

 

 

Just imagine what the numbers would be like for the UP-WEST once the third track is completely done between Maywood and Geneva and service is expanded on that line with more express service like the BNSF. DuPage and Kane County is the second largest and fifth populous counties in the state of IL.

A lot of lines ridership numbers probably would be better if a 3rd track were to be added on UP-N (Clybourn to Kenosha), UP-NW (Barrington to Harvard) & RI (Main Line La Salle to Joliet). Just thinking out loud but if the populations in Lake, Will and McHenry (3rd, 4th and 6th populous counties) increases, it would be make room for expanded local and express services along the routes. Again, just thinking out loud.

 

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11 hours ago, renardo870 said:

Just imagine what the numbers would be like for the UP-WEST once the third track is completely done between Maywood and Geneva and service is expanded on that line with more express service like the BNSF. DuPage and Kane County is the second largest and fifth populous counties in the state of IL.

A lot of lines ridership numbers probably would be better if a 3rd track were to be added on UP-N (Clybourn to Kenosha), UP-NW (Barrington to Harvard) & RI (Main Line La Salle to Joliet). Just thinking out loud but if the populations in Lake, Will and McHenry (3rd, 4th and 6th populous counties) increases, it would be make room for expanded local and express services along the routes. Again, just thinking out loud.

 

You are taking population somewhat into account, but ridership isn't going to take off on the north side routes given the loss of office traffic both in the Loop, but especially in the northern suburbs (no Baxter, Sears, AT&T; Walgreens and Allstate have cut way back). Besides, most of the lines you mentioned have express or skip stop service during the rush hour, and the UP-NW is three track.

These aren't the days when the Armours and Swifts regularly commuted from Lake Forest.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Metra notice that Schedule changes coming June 3 to Milwaukee District North line.The obvious one mentioned in the notice is that a late train is being added in each direction.

I don't know if this is new, but a number of trains reverse direction at Lake Forest and later at Grayslake, instead of pulling out or in to Fox Lake. Also, the number of afternoon locals to Deerfield or Lake Forest appears increased compared to pre-Covid, enen though the reverse commute ridership to Lake Cook Rd. can't be there. Maybe that's another nod to regional rail.

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52 minutes ago, Busjack said:

Metra notice that Schedule changes coming June 3 to Milwaukee District North line.The obvious one mentioned in the notice is that a late train is being added in each direction.

I don't know if this is new, but a number of trains reverse direction at Lake Forest and later at Grayslake, instead of pulling out or in to Fox Lake. Also, the number of afternoon locals to Deerfield or Lake Forest appears increased compared to pre-Covid, enen though the reverse commute ridership to Lake Cook Rd. can't be there. Maybe that's another nod to regional rail.

I wonder if part of the expansion ( specifically for Grayslake) is that service can't be expanded on the,North Central Service because of CN.    MDN is an alternative to NCS now but was once the primary service for many passengers for many years before the NCS came into existence. 

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4 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I wonder if part of the expansion ( specifically for Grayslake) is that service can't be expanded on the,North Central Service because of CN.    MDN is an alternative to NCS now but was once the primary service for many passengers for many years before the NCS came into existence. 

I wonder if Metra or CPKC has plans in the future to fully double track the area between Roundout and Fox Lake? This would allow more service in that area. I believe it's only double tracked around the Grayslake Station. 

Edited by renardo870
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1 hour ago, renardo870 said:

I wonder if Metra or CPKC has plans in the future to fully double track the area between Roundout and Fox Lake? This would allow more service in that area. I believe it's only double tracked around the Grayslake Station. 

I don't think CPKC is involved, because it is not a freight line (as opposed to the main line). However, double track would seem to make sense, since there is a gap SB from Fox Lake between 4:25 p.m. and 8:37 p.m. That gap also used to include Lake Forest until some Deerfield trains were extended there. However, I doubt there is much demand there, comparing the situation to the early days of the SWS and NCS, when there were Metra-subsidized Pace buses (835, 960, 961) to fill the gaps.

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