Chicago Metra Electric lines

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Chicago, Illinois:

Metra Commuter Rail

History and

The Northeast Illinois Regional Railroad Corporation (better as Metra ) operates three commuter rail lines in (in addition to several diesel They originate at Randolph station in downtown Chicago.

The Line runs to University (31.5 miles). It has four as far as Kensington (115th Street), alongside the Illinois Central line, and is completely grade-separated.

The Chicago Branch leaves the Line at 67th Street miles) and runs to 93rd (13.0 miles). After the Main Line, it runs at in the median strip of 71st and along private right-of-way, and is

The Blue Island Branch the Main Line after (14.5 miles) and runs to Island (18.9 miles). leaving the Main Line, it at grade on private right-of-way, cutting through residential and is single-track.

The Metra Electric lines use multiple-unit cars built by and St. Louis Car Company in the 1970s. plans to order new cars

All stations have high and the cars are designed for high-platform exclusively. Most stations are not and fares are usually collected on

These lines were by the Illinois Central Railroad Line in 1856, South Branch in 1883, and Blue Branch in 1892). They used steam locomotives, but converted to electric operation in on demand from the city of to improve the appearance of the Lake shoreline. At this time, the South Shore Line to which formerly terminated at began to run its trains through to Street, via the Illinois Central

In 1987, the Illinois Central Railroad sold the electric to Metra, which now operates directly.

[picture] An all-day pass and a ticket, from vending (August 2001). These have a magnetic coating all the back surface.

[front] | A newer style of vending ticket (August 2006). ticket has the magnetic coating in along the sides of the back


These were all in August 2001.

The Main

[picture] The entrance gates to the Electric platforms at the Randolph terminal. A Blue Island is about to leave.

[picture] on the platform at Randolph Street, two are bathed in an eerie orange

[picture] An outbound and an inbound pass at Van Buren Street, in a looking northward down the from above.

[picture] An train pulls into the at Roosevelt Road, with the Michigan Avenue skyline in the

[picture] A southbound train 59th Street in the rain, a northbound train stops on the track. (These are the center tracks which are used by Park and South Chicago

[picture] The University Park is the southern terminus of the main It opened in 1977 when the was extended two miles south its former terminus at Richton

[picture] Turning around 180 degrees from the view in the picture, we see how isolated the University station is. Somewhere beyond the a few miles away, is Governor’s University which is linked to the by a bus route. Otherwise the station mainly park-and-ride commuters, large parking lots on sides of the tracks.

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The South Branch

[picture] An outbound train at the Bryn Mawr station, in the of 71st Street. This was typical of most on the South and Blue Island branches, its wooden station house and dating from electrification in It has since been rebuilt, 2006.

[picture] A few minutes the train shown in the previous crawls eastward along Street, while a line of waits to turn left the tracks. (The beauty store must be having a big today!)

[picture] An inbound rounds the curve onto Street just after the South Shore station brick building just the end of the train).

[picture] The 93rd station is the southern terminus of the Chicago branch. This is a new station which opened in 2001, replacing the former at 91st Street.

The Blue Branch

[picture] The Blue terminal, in a view looking across Vermont Street. The old house has been torn and construction on a new one has just started, so we an unusually unobstructed view of two at the end of the tracks. The tracks crossing are the former Rock Island line, used by express of Metra’s Rock Island

Note the track connecting the two

In fact, we’re standing at the end of the platform of the Rock Island’s Street station, with the building behind us. Beyond the edge of the picture, the tracks of the Island local suburban come in, pass the Rock station on the other side the main line, and join the line a bit further on. Between the two Island lines, north of Street, is the yard where the Island trains are stored.

An interesting location!

[picture] A inside the open door of the cab at the front of a train at Blue

This page was last on 10 May 2007, and verified on 3 December

This page is 2007 by Jon (jbell at, who is solely for its content. If you are interested in using pictures, please read my of usage.

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