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: metraRI, JamesT4

  by twropr
 
If I counted correctly, METRA operates 170 weekday trains over its electrified former IC lines. How many electric commuter trains did IC operate on a weekday circa 1971?
Another interesting item - METRA claims that its BNSF line carries the most passengers; however the "raceway" handles 96 scheduled trains. Am guessing that each BNSF train has more cars and carries heavier passenger loads.

Andy
  by doepack
 
According to my copy of IC's 1971 suburban schedule, there were a total of 246 daily trains, which included more frequent midday service on the SC and BI branches, as well as 40 min. midday headways on the main line to Richton Pk. (extension to Univ. Park didn't open until 1977, for you young folks in the audience). It was right about then that the Chicago area population demographics began to change (i.e., more folks moving to the suburbs, less people in the city), and as a result, barely a decade later, BNSF grabbed the title of "most daily passengers carried" and has had a stranglehold on the title since; the route now sees over 60k passengers a day. But before that, as recently as 1979, IC was carrying approx. 50k passengers a day which was the most at that time...
  by GWoodle
 
A good part of the story is the development of DuPage county relative to the south suburbs. Names like Naperville, Downer's Grove, come to mind. Also the Diehl Road & other developments continuing to spread west. Where the Fox River communities used to be separate, a lot of space has filled in. There may be other riders from the south of the BNSF using that line rather than the poor service of the old Heritage Line. It is amazint to me how far south Naperville spreads. In the Far Western area, ther is a lot of development in the Yorkville area. IMHO it may be a matter of time for BNSF Metra service to work west of Aurora.
  by Pacific 2-3-1
 
In between the two rush hours, headways on the South Chicago branch until the mid 1950's were EVERY TEN MINUTES.

In the 1960's it was only every 20 minutes.

With the high platforms and the three stations downtown, it was more like a posh, privately operated rapid transit line -- something like BART, but with stops closer together.

At one time there were six 1500 v DC electrified tracks part of the way in the inner city instead of the present four (plus the two for freight and two for intercity passenger).

"Smoking Car located at the North end of the train."
  by justalurker66
 
Pacific 2-3-1 wrote:At one time there were six 1500 v DC electrified tracks part of the way in the inner city instead of the present four (plus the two for freight and two for intercity passenger).
Correct ... there were six electrified tracks from 51st St north to Roosevelt Rd. (Plus the four non-electric mains along most of the route.) But that was a long time ago.

BTW: Even in the "good old days" the electric dropped down to a three track main north of Roosevelt Rd.