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Safety

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

Train Horns and Quiet Zones

Trains horns are an essential tool in keeping commuters, rail employees and the public safe when near railroad tracks and crossings, not only for Metra, but for the freight railroad companies that own and operate lines throughout the six-county region.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rules require locomotive engineers to sound train horns between 15 and 20 seconds, but no more than a quarter-mile, in advance of all public grade crossings. Train horns must be sounded in a standardized pattern of two long, one short and one long blasts. Under the FRA mandate, the pattern must be repeated or prolonged until the lead locomotive or lead cab car is in the grade crossing.

This rule applies 24 hours a day, even if a crossing is equipped with lights, bells and crossing gates.

Train crews also may deem it necessary to sound a horn as a warning when there is a vehicle, person or animal near the tracks. Track construction, workers within 25 feet of a live track or malfunctioning crossings, also require crews to sound the horn.

FRA rules do allow communities to reduce train horn noise by establishing Quiet Zones. In a Quiet Zone, railroads are directed to cease the routine sounding of horns when approaching public grade crossings. However, it is important to understand that even if a community establishes a Quiet Zone, train horns may still be used workers within 25 feet of the track or in emergency situations, such as a person or a vehicle on the tracks, or at the discretion of the crew.  

Communities that wish to establish a Quiet Zone are responsible for the process and associated costs, which may include improvements to the crossing or roadway design that mitigate the increased risk caused by the absence of a train horn. Communities are also responsible for the costs associated with maintaining the improvements. Only the FRA can grant a Quiet Zone. For more information on creating a Quiet Zone in your community, please visit the FRA’s website.

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