Metra announced today that Union Pacific Railroad (UP) will be performing track work across all three of its commuter lines throughout the month of November that will impact midday and weekend train schedules.
“Every effort is made to inconvenience as few of our customers as possible by scheduling work during our midday off-peak hours and on weekends,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “This is the last opportunity to get the tracks in the best condition possible before winter weather sets in, and projects like these allow us to maintain the service speeds and frequency that our riders rely upon.”
The work that is expected to have the greatest impact on riders is on the UP North Line to Kenosha. The line has a limited number of locations where trains can cross between tracks, which restricts train operations to a single track for longer portions of the rail line than the actual work zones, increasing the potential for delays. UP plans to replace approximately 1,500 ties along line between the Evanston Main Street and Ravinia stations and between Lake Forest and Waukegan. Workers will also be making repairs to a bridge south of the Ravenswood Station.
On the UP West Line to Elburn, workers will be replacing insulated joints throughout the line. Insulated rail joints are used to separate electric circuits in the railroad’s signal system. Wear and tear can cause signal failures that disrupt rail traffic and delay trains. Welders will also be out across the line making repairs to the track and work on the Salt Creek Bridge in Villa Park that began in October will continue.
UP workers also will replace more than 11,000 ties on the UP Northwest Line’s McHenry branch and replace part of the rail and ties where the line crosses the Canadian National tracks in Barrington. Smaller tie replacement projects also are planned for locations between the Ogilvie Transportation Center and the Clybourn Station and between Mount Prospect and Barrington.
Construction schedules for each line are available here and will add 10 minutes to the schedules for all midday trains and most weekend trains.