Metra and UP POS Agreement Changes

Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

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Re: Metra and UP POS Agreement Changes

Post by eolesen » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:27 am

MetraBNSF wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:25 pm
Aside from a small yard south of Clybourn does UP have any other freight facilities along the north and northwest?
Quite a bit on the Northwest line, enough to justify 2-3 weekly manifests Proviso-Janesville plus a couple unit trains per week during grain hauling season.

Blommer Chocolates right next to Northwest Junction still receives cars off both the west line (hoppers) *and* the northwest line (presumably vegetable oil cars on lower level of the factory). On the Northwest Line, there are still freight customers in Arlington Heights (lumber), Rolling Meadows (multiple), Crystal Lake (multiple), Woodstock (multiple), plus grain elevators at Ridgefield, Chemung, Evansville.

I don't see UP abandoning all that traffic between Janesville and Des Plaines.

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Re: Metra and UP POS Agreement Changes

Post by Tadman » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:53 am

I don't think they should abandon that traffic, the real question is if it can be handled mid-day or after hours.

In comparison, the South Shore sees a very healthy freight business but they know how to keep the freights out of the way. Each freight is overpowered to move quickly and always carries power facing both directions so it can turn quickly and rarely runs LHF, which makes it easier and safer with regard to running in close proximity to passenger trains at 50mph.

For that matter, BNSF does quite a good job of running freights down the racetrack despite being the heaviest commuter line in the city. Perhaps it's the triple track, but I see plenty of coal trains and merchandise freights moving among the commuter trains. My sister lives a block off the main near 294 and her 3yo daughter is becoming quite the railfan, she can tell a Metra from a freight since age 2.
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Re: Metra and UP POS Agreement Changes

Post by eolesen » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:15 am

It's already handled in off-hours. The bulk of traffic moves overnight, but there's a mid-day window where you'll occasionally see freights rolling on the UP-NW/Harvard. In fact, I saw a unit grain train of about 80-100 cars rolling east past Arlington Park yesterday around 0930.

As long as they can maintain track speed and don't have to stop for the CN @ Barrington (MP 32.3), it's usually not a problem to cover the gap between the end of triple track before Barrington (MP 31) and the end of commuter territory at Harvard (MP 63). West of Crystal Lake (MP 43.2), the locals working customer sidings have more flexibility as there are only a few trains that run all the way out to Harvard during the day.

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