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Rock Island Riders: Connect to Metra Electric Blue Island Branch for express trains to Auto Show

(February 4, 2019) - 

Metra is adding special weekend trains during the Chicago Auto Show that will express Rock Island Line riders directly to McCormick Place from Blue Island via the Metra Electric Line, making it easier than ever before to attend the show,  which runs from Saturday, Feb. 9 through Monday, Feb. 18. 

The hourly express service will connect with extra weekend trains running on the Rock Island Line between Joliet and Blue Island – Vermont Street, allowing riders to transfer to a Metra Electric Blue Island Branch Line train that will take them directly from Blue Island to Metra’s station located conveniently at the Auto Show site at McCormick Place.  A detailed schedule for the Rock Island Line Auto Show service and connecting express Metra Electric Blue Island Branch service can be found here.

Customers can also drive to the Blue Island Station, where parking is plentiful and parking fees will be waived during the show’s two weekends. 

When it’s time to leave the show, Rock Island riders can board extra trains that will run express every hour from McCormick Place to Blue Island, where they can transfer back to an outbound Rock Island train making all stops from Blue Island – Vermont Street to Joliet. 

The express service will also result in minor changes to the regular Saturday Metra Electric Blue Island Branch schedule. Click here for inbound changes and here for outbound changes. The schedule for the rest of the Metra Electric Line will not change.

Weekend attendees can save money by taking advantage of Metra’s unlimited ride $10 Weekend Pass. Plus, with Metra’s Family Fares, up to three children 11 and under can ride free with an adult. And remember, now when you ride Metra, you can buy tickets right from your smartphone with the Ventra App. Download it from the App Store or Google Play.

As in previous years, some Metra Electric Line trains also will make flag stops at McCormick Place through the duration of the show.  Please click here for the complete Metra Electric schedule for the duration of the show. Those traveling from or living downtown can make the quick trip from Millennium and Van Buren Street stations to McCormick Place.

Getting to the show from Metra’s other downtown stations is easy too, thanks to our friends at the CTA. Special Auto Show buses will operate between Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station and McCormick Place every 15 to 20 minutes on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., every 10 to 20 minutes on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and every 12 to 20 minutes on Sundays from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Look for buses with “To Auto Show McCormick Place” in their destination signs at the following locations:

•    Ogilvie Transportation Center: on Clinton Street at Madison Street.
•    Chicago Union Station: from the corner of Clinton and Quincy streets or at Jackson Boulevard and the Chicago River.
•    Museum Campus: on Columbus at 11th Street.

When it’s time to leave the show, you can board buses for a return trip to your train station at Gate #26 beneath McCormick Place. Just look for buses with the signs: Metra Stations/Via Downtown.

For more information about CTA service, please visit

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