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 theseaandalifesaver
 
I'll be in Chicago for the next three days and I'd love some advice on great places to railfan. Any interesting things to see, stations I should visit, spots where I can see some trains would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
theseaandalifesaver wrote:I'll be in Chicago for the next three days and I'd love some advice on great places to railfan. Any interesting things to see, stations I should visit, spots where I can see some trains would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!
As someone doing the same thing next week, I did ask a few weeks ago myself. There are some suggestions in there, particularly of the CTA.
  by MetraPace
 
I would highly recommend vising Franklin Park Railroad Daze. There are always plenty of trains on display and you are allowed to tour many of the passenger cars and locomotive cabs. It is tomorrow (Saturday, June 14) from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm in Franklin Park. It is right at the Franklin Park Metra Station.
  by CHTT1
 
Utilize Metra to see a lot of the Chicago area and mucho railroad activity.

Everybody's first choice would probably be a ride on the Metra BNSF line, get off somewhere along the triple track route (everybody has a favorite spot) and view almost constant commuter, Amtrak and freight action.

UP West line also has plenty of pleasant suburban spots to observe heavy freight action along with Metra trains.

A ride on the South Shore to Michigan City or South Bend offers plenty of unique views, including the street running in Michigan City.

A ride on Metra Electric to Homewood and its viewing platform allows CN freight, Amtrak and Metra action.

Heck, ride any Metra line and get a view of big time Chicago railroading.

Of course, there's always Roosevelt Road and its view of Union and LaSalle St. action action and Metra Electric/South Shore trains.

Ride the CTA, of course, to see the city upclose. Red Line north to Howard, then Yellow Line to Skokie or Purple Line to Evanston offers a nice slice of CTA operations _ subway, elevated, at level with grade crossings.
  by theseaandalifesaver
 
Where would be the best public view, within the city, to see freight action?
  by byte
 
Take a ride on the Orange line from the loop to Midway and back. Passes by probably 5-6 different railroads. (there is a reason for this; the Orange line was built on R-O-Ws which the class 1s were no longer using.
  by ExCon90
 
Including a nice aerial view of Brighton Park (on the right going away from the Loop), not possible before the Orange Line was opened.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
I keep forgetting about the Franklin Park thing. I'm usually doing track work or something on Saturdays during the summer.