Monday, March 20, 2006

Congratulations Metra

Now there's a commuter railroad that does things right.

This January, Metra, Chicago's commuter rail agency, expanded service on three corridors. This included new stations in, among other communities, Grayslake, La Fox, and Schiller Park.

This writer finds the La Fox extension particularly interesting. Ten years ago, when we moved away from the Chicago area into the dark railroad void of New Mexico, La Fox was a developing suburb well beyond the end of the North Western (now UP) West Line. The area has become frighteningly developed in those ten years. But what is more remarkable is the ability of Metra to work with Union Pacific to build a coach yard at Elburn (click La Fox, above, to see map) to replace the previous facility on the west side of West Chicago and just beyond the UP crossing with Elgin, Joliet & Eastern, aka Turner Junction.

The line through La Fox and Elburn is Union Pacific's transcon and the reason they bought the North Western in the first place. It's busy, and even busier now with trains going all the way out to Elburn. (The end of the line had been pushed well beyond West Chicago for a long time, most recently to Geneva on the Fox River.)

Metra, with 52 new trains and seven new stations, and the entire Chicago Area, we applaud your investment and initiative in passenger rail.

© 2006 - C. A. Turek - mistertrains@gmail.com
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