Metra today announced a revised weekday BNSF Line schedule that includes two new trains to relieve crowding on some trains and other minor adjustments. Metra also is adding a train in each direction to the weekend schedule as part of a summer pilot program. The new schedule can be viewed here, and paper timetables will be available at Chicago Union Station later this week.
The weekday revisions, which will begin June 3, were made in response to a survey of BNSF riders that was taken earlier this year. Metra tried to accommodate requests from as many survey respondents as possible; however, due to a variety of factors, it was not possible to accommodate everyone or eliminate all crowding on the line. While we were able to add a five-car train by using equipment from other Metra lines, there is no other equipment available. In addition, there are capacity constraints in the yards, on the tracks and at Chicago Union Station that prevent Metra and BNSF Railway from adding more trains or cars.
On the revised weekday BNSF schedule, a new inbound Train 1374 will serve Highlands (7:14 a.m.), Western Springs (7:17 a.m.), Stone Avenue (7:21 a.m.), LaGrange Road (7:23 a.m.), Congress Park (7:26 a.m.), Brookfield (7:28 a.m.), Riverside (7:31 a.m.) and Berwyn (7:35 a.m.) and will arrive at Union Station at 7:50 a.m. In a survey earlier this year, BNSF customers from those stations requested more service and help with crowding on existing trains.
In the afternoon weekday schedule, Metra split Train 1255, the 4:50 p.m. departure, into two trains to relieve crowding on the current train and speed up the trip – two changes that were also requested by customers in the survey. Under the revised schedules, Train 1255 will still depart at 4:50 p.m. and will stop at Riverside, Brookfield, Hinsdale, West Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Westmont and Fairview Avenue. A new Train 1375 will depart at 4:53 p.m. and stop at Halsted, Berwyn, Congress Park, LaGrange Road, Stone Avenue, Western Springs and Highlands.
The revised weekday schedule also makes a variety of minor timetable tweaks to several trains. For instance, Train 1200, the first train of the morning, will leave from all stations 5 minutes earlier, because customers in the survey expressed a desire to get downtown earlier to catch CTA buses. BNSF Line customers are encouraged to check the new schedule to see if their trains are affected.
For more information about the results of the BNSF survey, click here.
The weekend pilot schedule, which will begin June 8 and end Sept. 2, includes a new inbound train on Saturday that departs from Aurora at 3:20 p.m. and makes stops at Route 59 (3:30 p.m.), Naperville (3:35 p.m.), Lisle (3:41 p.m.), Belmont (3:45 p.m.) and Downers Grove Main Street (3:50 p.m.) before expressing to Chicago Union Station, arriving at 4:23 p.m.
It also includes a new outbound train on Saturday leaving Union Station at 11:40 a.m. and making all the usual Saturday stops to Aurora, arriving at 1:01 p.m.
The Sunday pilot schedule includes a new inbound departure from Aurora at 9:20 a.m., making all normal Sunday stops and arriving at Union Station at 10:47 a.m. There also is a new outbound departure from Union Station at 5:40 p.m., making all the normal Sunday stops and arriving at Aurora at 7:01 p.m.
Metra also added trains to the UP Northwest and Rock Island weekend schedules as part of the summer pilot program.