Metra to open new station at 35th St. in time for White Sox home opener Rock Island schedule to be adjusted

Metra next month will open a new station in Chicago at 35th St. along the Rock Island line, just in time for the Chicago White Sox home opener at nearby U.S. Cellular Field.

Rock Island trains will begin stopping at the station, which is on 35th St. just east of the Dan Ryan Expy., on Sunday, April 3. The first White Sox game will be held the following Thursday, April 7.

But the station isn’t just for White Sox fans. It also gives another mass transit alternative to students at the adjoining Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as to local workers and neighborhood residents. And it offers a convenient link to the nearby CTA Red and Green lines.

The Metra Board of Directors voted to name the new stop after Lovana S. “Lou” Jones, a state lawmaker who represented the area for nearly 20 years. She died in 2006. The station will be formally dedicated in early May.

The station was funded with $4.9 million in federal money secured by U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Chicago), a longtime supporter of the project, and an additional $6.8 million from the federal stimulus bill, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The new, fully accessible station features heated ramps, stairways, eight-car platforms, heated platform shelters, bicycle racks, benches, Metra’s audio and visual information system, lighting and landscaping. It is the first new Metra station since 2006.

On weekdays, 26 inbound trains and 21 outbound trains will stop at the new station. It will be served by all weekend trains.

Metra will increase its service on game days to accommodate White Sox fans. For weekday afternoon games, an extra outbound train will leave the station after the final out. For weekday evening games, Train 531 (departing LaSalle St. at 11:15 p.m.) will have more cars, and an extra outbound all-stop train will operate about 30 minutes after the last out. For weekend games, an inbound extra train will arrive at the station about an hour before the first pitch, and an outbound extra will operate about 30 minutes after the final out.

The Rock Island schedule is being adjusted to accommodate the new station, but there are also other modifications to the schedule to improve on-time performance, to make the schedule more consistent and to reflect actual operating conditions. Rock Island riders are urged to view the new schedule here.