General Leasing Information
Metra offers leasing and vendor opportunities at various locations on property it owns. However, some of Metra's stations are owned and operated by municipalities or master tenants. Metra also has limited vacant land available. If you are interested in a particular site or would like to learn more about available opportunities, please contact Metra's Leasing Manager at 312-322-8003.
WORKING ON METRA PROPERTY
The Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Metra), a division of a municipal corporation, owns or controls railroad right of way (ROW) on the Rock Island District, Milwaukee District, Metra Electric District, and SouthWest Service located in Cook, DuPage, Will, McHenry, Kane and Lake counties in Illinois. If you need access to the ROW for any reason, including but not limited to surveying, development, utility installation, planning or construction, you or your company must obtain permission from Metra as evidenced by a Right of Entry Agreement executed by Metra. Please see the appropriate application and construction standards below and, if additional information is required, please call Metra's Right of Way Administrator at 312-322-8016 for details and to obtain the necessary agreement.
The boundary of the rail ROW is like any other property line, and should be respected when determining building setback and buffer requirements established by local zoning laws. It is vitally important to accurately depict the location of the Metra ROW and the nature of our ownership rights on any survey, plan or development that occurs near the ROW.
Licenses & Permits
Any business, roadway, utility or residence that occupies or desires to occupy any part of the ROW must be licensed by Metra. Metra has procedures in place to determine whether or not rights will be granted to those who wish to use certain areas of the ROW for residential or commercial purposes. For assistance in obtaining the required documentation, please call Metra's Right of Way Administrator at 312-322-8016.
Utility Crossings and ROW Occupations
Metra has developed applications and design guidelines for ROW occupations. These guidelines and their manuals are available for download below. You will need the Adobe Reader to view these manuals and applications.
- Application for Pipeline
- Pipeline manual
- Application for Wireline
- Wireline manual
- Right of Entry Application
It can take a train up to a mile and a half to come to a complete stop. Construction workers, survey crews and others with permission who are working within or near the ROW should stay alert and always expect a train at any time, on any track, in either direction. Remember, trains can't stop quickly, but you can.
Hours of Operation
Work on Metra's ROW is allowed during non-rush hour times only. These allowable times are generally between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the discretion of the Transportation Department of the Railroad District impacted by the work. Night hours and weekend work will be determined by Metra on a case-by-case basis.
In general, a railroad flagman is required any time work is performed within the Metra ROW. This protection cannot be provided by any personnel other than an authorized Metra employee. Metra will make the sole determination as to whether flagging protection is required based on the work to be performed. The minimum hour for a railroad flagman is 8 hours per day. The overtime rate shall be charged for all time in excess of 8 hours. Flagmen are paid from the time they leave their headquarters to the time they return.
Changes to Facilities
Temporary and permanent changes to signal, communication, power transmission lines, trailers, drainage and other railroad facilities required in connection with the project to clear the temporary and/or permanent work to be performed by the contractor as shown on the approved construction plans, will be made by Metra or Metra's duly authorized agent, at the sole cost and expense of the contractor in accordance with Metra's force account estimate. Any other changes made or services furnished by Metra shall be at the sole cost and expense of the contractor.
Metra has specific insurance requirements for any work performed on, over, under or across its ROW. Any questions pertaining to Metra's insurance requirements can be answered by calling Metra's Risk Management's Insurance Specialist at 312-322-6991.
Photography & Videography
For safety and security reasons, photography or videography on Metra property is only permitted in areas that are clearly open to public use. Areas that are accessible only to Metra employees, including but not limited to, the right-of way and rail yards, are highly restricted areas and are not able to be accessed for photography or videography by the general public. Metra will prosecute trespassers to the fullest extent of the law.
Individuals seeking permission for all photographic and videographic opportunities should complete and submit the form here per the instructions indicated.
Instructions for Submitting Application:
- Submit application at least 20 business days prior to your proposed first shoot day, Monday-Friday, excluding Metra holidays. Return completed Permit Application via either Fax, email or mail to:
- Send a COPY of your Application and your non-refundable $500.00 Permit Application Fee.
Metra will evaluate your Application. If your Application is accepted, you will be required to agree to the terms and conditions of a License Agreement for Film and Video Productions which includes restrictions on use of Metra property and equipment, an indemnification provision, and insurance requirements. A location fee, fee for use of Metra equipment, location and services, Metra staff time are applicable and will be assessed. All applicable fees must be paid in full and insurance requirements must be met before you begin your activity on Metra property.
Submitting an Application does not guarantee that Metra will issue an Agreement for filming. Metra’s primary purpose is to provide safe, secure, reliable and clean transportation services to its passengers. Metra may, at its sole discretion, deny your Application to prevent interference with Metra’s primary transportation responsibilities.
Please note that Metra's requirements apply only to the property it owns and/or controls in commuter service. Other railroad ROWs are owned and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern and the BNSF Railway. Each of these entities has its own ROW specifications and policies.
Available Contact Information for Metra Railroad Partners: