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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.

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(July 14, 2017) - In July 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of the United States, Ernie Banks and Nellie Fox were playing Chicago baseball, moviegoers were flocking to see Elvis Presley’s “Loving You” and Donna Matteson was starting her... Read more
(June 21, 2017) - Nearly two months ago, Fabiola Benitez received a call from Metra’s Communications Department notifying her that her son, Andres, had won Honorable Mention in his grade for Metra’s 11th annual Safety Poster and Essay Contest.... Read more
(June 16, 2017) - Imagine it: You’re about to depart for an international flight to attend a wedding, and the day before your flight your bridesmaid’s dress is left on the train, rolling down the rails towards some unknown destination. It’s enough... Read more
(June 2, 2017) - Seconds matter when it comes to saving a life. A person in the grips of cardiac arrest needs to receive CPR immediately, experts agree. With that urgency in mind, Metra has certified more than 1,000 of its employees to perform CPR... Read more
(May 26, 2017) - The wait is over; summer fun unofficially begins this weekend! That also means the roads will be packed with families and visitors traveling to the Chicago area. Fortunately, there are a variety of activities all summer long just... Read more
(May 19, 2017) - You sit in the same seat in the same car. So you probably feel like you don’t need to pay much attention to the train and railroad crossings during your morning hustle. That couldn’t be further from the truth, according to Metra’s... Read more
(April 28, 2017) - Joe Sykes’ railroad ties run deep. A third generation railroader, he remembers taking his first train ride on Chicago’s L when he was 9 years old. And from the time he was 11 until he turned 18 he spent an hour nearly every... Read more
(April 14, 2017) - To some, a Metra train is merely a vehicle to transport them to and from their destination. To others, it’s an art studio on wheels. These dynamic riders are members of Urban Sketchers Chicago, which is part of an international... Read more
(March 31, 2017) - In the battle between a steel train wheel and a pile of leaves, the winner is not as clear-cut as it might seem. Leaves could cause a set of wheels rolling down the rails to slide rather than spin, creating a flat spot that could... Read more
(March 17, 2017) - When was the last time you thanked your conductor, ticket agent or engineer? This Friday and Saturday you have the perfect excuse. Metra is joining the RTA in celebrating Transit Employee Appreciation Day in honor of the... Read more
(March 3, 2017) - Bruno Zawisza has waited years to place a small silver plaque inside the vestibule of Metra Car 7476. The plaque distinguishes the car as one of 176 that the dedicated team of men and women at the 49th Street Car Shop along the... Read more
(February 17, 2017) - Locomotive engineer Jose Dominguez pulls back on the master controller to accelerate his Metra Electric train out of downtown Chicago.   Before he gets too far, fog rolls in, obscuring his view of a signal, the tracks and the... Read more
(January 20, 2017) - Eavesdrop on a conversation at a hospital, office or restaurant and you’re likely to hear a string of slang words that leave you wondering what was said. Conversations in the railroad industry are no different. Railroad... Read more
(January 6, 2017) - What’s in a name? To a group of leaders from the RTA’s Commuter Rail Service Board who gathered in April 1985, the identity of their fledgling agency rested in a name. Holding its first meeting less than a year earlier, the board... Read more
(December 16, 2016) -   A muffin can change a person’s life.   Just ask Hilary Verhaeghe, a Geneva resident who’s adopted a new identity because of a baked good. The 29-year-old esthetician is also known as the Muffin Lady, leader of The Muffin... Read more


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