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

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by Drtrack
If you look at whatever map program you use in Downtown Oswego you will see a street named Station St just west of Orchard Rd.Follow it North and it ends at the BNSF main line. Now open Google Earth at the same spot and you will see a parking lot, about small commuter station size. Pace ran a shuttle bus from this route to the ATC. "907 - Oswego-Aurora Shuttle - introduced 6/7/2004, as first Pace route mostly in Kendall County, outside RTA area but subsidized in part by Village of Oswego. Operated by Pace Fox Valley Division. Discontinued 1/2/2013, with replacement service operated by recently formed Kendall Area Transit." From the Chicago Railfan.com Web site. A quick look at KAT's web site seems to suggest that it is no longer operated
  by Milwaukee_F40C
Extending Metra out to Sandwich wouldn't go over as well as the UP extension out to Elburn a decade ago, if all of Kendall County needs to be included in the RTA sales tax. It AIN'T the same demographic out in Yorkville, Plano, and Sandwich. Extremely few people work in Chicago or anywhere close to a stop on the BNSF. It's more like work truck land, and in Sugar Grove, cop land. The Elburn extension was in a county already paying the sales tax with three Metra lines spread evenly through it, and had the in-demand Geneva and St. Charles area backing it.
  by Rockingham Racer
That is probably why this idea is going nowhere, fast.
  by Engineer Spike
Where do studies show the people in the Sandwich area work? I know that there are lots of companies, which are based in Naperville. A good percentage must work in Chicago. With the way the area built up between 200, to 2009, it is doubtful that Kendall County had a sudden baby boom, or something. People keep moving further out, as housing costs rise, in the traditional suburban area, east of Aurora.

As to making a connection to the main line west, I think there was a ramp, which was used to go from the Hill Yard, to the old Aurora Depot. Apparently this was taken out, when the ATC was built.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
Plano and Sandwich are very "blue collar" towns. Sandwich was not built up much at all in the 2000s. Plano gained a few small residential subdivisions that are more logistically connected to Yorkville, which was built up the most (with many ghost subdivisions). All three towns are full of rental housing. Yorkville is most likely to have the commuters going to Chicago (insane) or the big offices along the highways.

Many Plano and Sandwich residents work locally, or probably in service type jobs scattered around the nearby suburbs. There's Plano Molding and the giant Menard's distribution center. Big factories southwest of Aurora, such as Caterpillar, although that's closing. It also seems to be a popular area for utility workers, who work everywhere.
  by Engineer Spike
That’s good to hear. I still wonder how they’ll work the logistics of the Hill Yard/ATC being stun ended? I still feel that the sprawl will keep moving further west. It wouldn’t surprise me if the UP-W eventually goes to De Kalb, or even Rochelle. With the student population at NIU. I can see the BN to Mendota.

A few posts back someone posted that Sandwich is a blue collar town tied to local factories like Plano, and the former Cat plant in Montgomery. Back 20 years ago when I was in BNSF Suburban Services, the talk was about inter suburb commutes. There was talk about adding service along the J. This could connect people in the south suburbs to jobs in the north..... The whole game is changing.
  by Jeff Smith
https://patch.com/illinois/montgomery/m ... ond-aurora
The Kendall Extension Study is examining the feasibility of extending the BNSF commuter rail line beyond its existing terminus in Aurora. This study is looking at new outlying yard locations in addition to new commuter rail stations at Montgomery, Oswego, Yorkville, Plano and Sandwich, Illinois.

The Kendall Extension Study Project Team, in coordination with Metra, invites you to learn more about the study results including the environmental analysis, ridership analysis, the station and yard designs and the cost and funding options. The virtual presentation will also provide participants the opportunity to submit questions for the project team to address live. Individuals may also submit questions in advance of the Virtual Open House by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9 to [email protected].
  by njtmnrrbuff
Aurora Station would have to have platforms along the main, in addition to the terminal tracks on the side, for the trains that would continue west of Aurora. If Metra is extended to Sandwich, then all of those trains would have to run express to at least Downers Grove Main Street. Otherwise, it will be too long of a ride. Here in New Jersey Transit land, passengers living in outlying suburbs and travel to Manhattan or Jersey City often have to take painfully slow local trains.
Chicago to Sandwich, Ill is equivalent to the distance of Manhattan, NJ to Hackettstown, NJ-61 miles. From NYC Penn Station to get to Hackettstown, most of the trains require you to switch at either NWK Broad or Montclair State University. Your trip by train from NYP-Hackettstown could be as long as two hour and twenty minutes. Hoboken to Hackettstown-there are a few trains that do the trip in just under two hours and that's if you are lucky. In Metraland, when those Aurora super expresses(many of which ran nonstop to Naperville) ran, they did the trip from Chicago to Aurora in 45-50 minutes. Right now, the fastest express trains to Aurora only run express as far as Downers Grove and the trip from end to end takes an hour. Local trains take about an hour and a half. That extra 30 minutes on an outer zone train is huge.
  by Rockingham Racer
metraRI wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:24 pm The study area for the extension does not include Aurora. My guess it would stay as-is, and trains traveling west would by-pass Aurora. We are only talking about 2-6 round trips.
Which seems quite sensible. Aurora has loads of service already.