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COVID-19 Information
First Published - 04/05/2021 - 5:27PM

Metra trains are operating on alternate schedules that we will update regularly to meet increasing demand. For the latest schedules, click hereFor information about Metra's response to the pandemic, click here.

Last Updated - 06/01/2021 - 8:03AM

The Signal

Welcome to The Signal, Metra's blog where you can learn more about the agency, our employees, stations and services. Each post will give our customers a deeper look at what makes Metra, one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, move. You'll find semi-weekly features on the diverse group of men and women who work at every level of our organization, the stations you pass by during your trip around Chicagoland and the people who sit next to you on your daily commute.

We'd also love to hear from you. Have an idea for The Signal? Send it to

(November 11, 2020) - Ty Hughes was on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico when the crew spotted flames and black smoke billowing from a fishing trawler nearby. Hughes, then a petty officer first class in the U.S. Coast Guard, assembled his team to climb... Read more
(October 6, 2020) - Designing a heritage locomotive isn’t about recreating the past but honoring and preserving history while merging it with the new. Perhaps the most obvious example of that philosophy is on the nose of the Chicago & North... Read more
(August 7, 2020) - The Metra Electric Line is getting a major upgrade, but most customers will never know it. That’s because the new system works to prevent delays before they happen, making each ride on the line even more reliable. Crews in the... Read more
(June 29, 2020) - In 1968 when he was 17, John Appel cared more about dating than he did about trains. But two weeks after graduating high school, these unrelated interests became curiously entangled.   “I had never been on a train before in my life... Read more
(June 5, 2020) - Metra is honored to be home to so many dedicated and innovative employees across all departments. When confronted with a problem, they take it upon themselves to find effective solutions. In the Elgin coach yard, the same kind of... Read more
(May 22, 2020) - Masks, hand sanitizer and electrostatic sprayers have become as crucial to offering train service as wheels, fuel and seats during the coronavirus pandemic. At Metra, a team of employees are taking extraordinary measures to ensure... Read more
(May 8, 2020) - Metra Rules Examiner Arturo Mota knows the power of $10.  After hearing that local restaurants were setting aside their own financial struggles caused by COVID-19 to make and deliver meals for local healthcare workers, Mota, a Metra... Read more
(April 21, 2020) - (Photo by Dan Marinellie) Locomotive 402’s journey through Metra’s in-house rehab program could be described as fate.   The MP36-3S locomotive, which bore the name the State of Illinois, was slated to undergo a midlife rehab when... Read more
(March 8, 2020) -   The Chicagoland region is home to extraordinary women of all talents, walks of life and accomplishments. Their influence may be local or far-reaching, their names well-known or not, but their significance to the Chicago region... Read more
(October 18, 2019) - The mysterious locomotive had sat undisturbed at the shop long enough. It arrived at the BNSF Railway’s 14th Street shop from Georgia a week earlier, its only distinctive marker an all caps black “METX 211” printed on the side... Read more
(September 18, 2019) -   Hundreds of switches line Metra’s railroad network. Most of the time, they work seamlessly to guide trains from one track to another. But when a single switch fails, it can delay thousands of customers. Metra performs... Read more
(July 12, 2019) - Of all the phone calls Metra Conductor Omarr Hardaway has had with his friend and former U.S. Army squad leader Bell, none compare to one he received this spring.  “We’re going to the White House,” Bell said.  Then came the voice... Read more
(May 10, 2019) - Like in any job, the life of a railroader has its ups and downs. While some days are routine within the glasshouse at Track 19, Metra’s hub for managing train traffic, crewmembers and announcements from Chicago Union Station’s north... Read more
(April 19, 2019) -   The rain started lightly, a few cold drops plopping onto hard hats and orange reflective vests inconspicuously from the dark skies above.   “Is it supposed to rain tonight?” Metra Track Foreman Luis Fallad asked.   Fallad and... Read more
(April 5, 2019) - Metra has changed the schedules for 10 of its 11 lines in the past three years alone.  Those schedule changes range from minor adjustments to reflect actual operating conditions or the addition of a station, all the way to more... Read more


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