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Most lines to operate with modified Sunday schedules through June 7
First Published - 05/31/2020 - 9:22PM

Through Sunday, June 7, Metra will be operating a modified Sunday schedule with the last late night inbound train and last late night outbound train cancelled. There will be no service on the SouthWest Service, Heritage Corridor or North Central Service lines. Riders are advised that more trains could be cancelled during the day depending on circumstances; we will be closely monitoring events and our priority will be the safety of our passengers, employees and our system. Please pay attention to this website for the latest updates.

Sunday schedules can be viewed on these timetables: Metra Electric   Rock Island    BNSF     UP West   Milwaukee District West    Milwaukee District North    UP North     UP Northwest (the last train on the UP Northwest Line will leave downtown at 10:30 p.m. instead of 11:30 p.m.)

We hope to be able to expand service to our alternate schedules posted here next week if possible.

Last Updated - 06/03/2020 - 4:21PM

Chimes are for Safety

Metra customers on eight lines may have heard an occasional doorbell chime sounding in their cars during their commute. We’d like to explain what they are for.

In response to two fatal passenger train accidents in which speeding was a factor – Amtrak in Philadelphia in May 2015 and Metro North in New York in December 2013 – the Federal Railroad Administration issued a safety advisory to help railroads avoid a recurrence. That advisory encouraged railroads to take additional operational actions to prevent overspeed events, including “requiring additional crew communications regarding applicable passenger train speed limits and restrictions.”

At Metra, safety is our highest priority, and we certainly take the FRA’s safety recommendations very seriously. Therefore, we added a new practice regarding crew communications in which the chimes play a key role. Here’s how it works:

  • There are 17 locations on eight of our 11 lines where trains must reduce their speed by 20 mph or more, all of them curves. (There are no such locations on the Rock Island Line, the UP Northwest Line and the Heritage Corridor Line.)
  • We have programmed our GPS system to sound chimes as our trains are approaching those locations.
  • The purpose of the chimes is to alert the train crew to remind the engineer that the train is approaching one of locations and be prepared to take action if the train should fail to slow down for any reason.
  • Engineers already are required to know all speed limits on the line; this new practice adds another layer of safety by involving the train crew to remind the engineer.

The chimes were designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, but they must be loud enough for the crew to hear and must sound in every car, since members of the crew move from car to car during travel.

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