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 doepack
 
Finally got a chance to return to that amazing railfan paradise called Joliet Union Station this weekend, and I noticed something. Historically, the Rock Island side was three tracks through the depot and the crossing with the ex-ATSF & Alton (or BNSF & UP for the youngsters/non-locals in the audience). Two of the tracks were taken up of course (I've heard sometime in the early 80's, but could never find out for sure) with only the track closest to the depot remaining, but I wonder if Metra has, or had ever considered restoring those two tracks as a small yard to store equipment; perhaps 2 or 3 of the longer rush hour sets. Lots of unused real estate out there nowadays...
  by CHTT1
 
Metra seems to have plenty of room in MC Yard (east of the station.) The plan for the revived Joliet station calls for passenger boarding (and station ticketing and waiting) on the east side of the crossing, keeping Metra trains off the crossing entirely, so I doubt if anything will be added west of the station. Amtrak will also move east of the crossing (and the Chicago-St Louis trains may take a right turn and use the Rock Island to enter Chicago), leaving the historic station to banquets, bus passengers and other uses.
Now if the Heritage Corridor gets more trains and the Illinois Valley service to Ottawa ever gets going, then who knows? Still, I think Metra will keep all its yard trackage east of the crossing.
  by SlowFreight
 
Not part of your original question, but the 3 tracks were there when I first visited in 1987 and gone by the time I got back around 1989 or 90.

Is that UP or CN at the crossing? Never was sure where ownership changed, but sure never thought I'd be asking THAT question back in 1987.
  by CHTT1
 
Ownership change is north of the station, so its UP at the crossing.
  by doepack
 
SlowFreight wrote:Not part of your original question, but the 3 tracks were there when I first visited in 1987 and gone by the time I got back around 1989 or 90.

Is that UP or CN at the crossing? Never was sure where ownership changed, but sure never thought I'd be asking THAT question back in 1987.
Ah, so the triple track on the Rock side lasted longer than I thought. Thanks. And yes, it is UP at the crossing; according my latest (2012) copy of CORA, the ownership change occurs at the Jackson St. grade crossing, about a 1/2 mile north of the depot...
  by GWoodle
 
doepack wrote:
SlowFreight wrote:Not part of your original question, but the 3 tracks were there when I first visited in 1987 and gone by the time I got back around 1989 or 90.

Is that UP or CN at the crossing? Never was sure where ownership changed, but sure never thought I'd be asking THAT question back in 1987.
Ah, so the triple track on the Rock side lasted longer than I thought. Thanks. And yes, it is UP at the crossing; according my latest (2012) copy of CORA, the ownership change occurs at the Jackson St. grade crossing, about a 1/2 mile north of the depot...
The crossing should also have BNSF/ATSF on track 1 & 2 while CN/IC UP occupies track 3 & 4. I thought part of the Joliet project would move passenger trains to Track 1 & 4 while the freight could pass on 2 & 3. Passengers would get a new tunnel under 2-3 to get to 4.

Some recent video show new fence between Track 1 & 2 to try and control passengers crossing the freight lines for their trains. Not sure if this is for the Amtrak trains or the few Metra trains on the line.