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 diburning
 
I'll be in Chicago in a couple weeks and plan on going for a joyride on the BNSF line for the whole length (I'll buy the $10 Ventra day pass in the app)

I have a few questions:

1. How often do trains run late?
2. I read somewhere that all trains originate in Aurora. Does that mean that westbound trains don't turn immediately to run as eastbound trains?
3. If I ride a westbound train out to Aurora, and it's late, will I potentially miss the eastbound going back?

More specifically, I'm planning on riding (according to the current alternate schedule) train 1225 leaving Union Station at 10:33AM, arriving into Aurora at 11:50AM. Then, I'd like to ride train 1258 leaving Aurora at 12:04PM to get back to Union at 1:16PM. Does 1225 turn as 1258? Or will I run the risk of missing the eastbound if the westbound is over 10 minutes late?
  by eolesen
 
If it's scheduled within 10 to 15 minutes of an arrival at Aurora (same for Elgin and Crystal Lake), it's going to be a turn unless you're dealing with the very first trains of the day into the city.

The only servicing in Aurora takes place overnight. Everything during the daytime is done down at the coach yard south of Union Station.

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  by MACTRAXX
 
DB - I have suggestions riding rail lines in this manner using an unlimited use pass in the past:

1-Check with a member of the train crew if the equipment of #1225 west turns for #1258 east at Aurora.
If the westbound train is on time into Aurora you have 14 minutes for the scheduled eastbound - if it is
the same equipment you may have to get off the train for the Metra crew to make the brake test before
it is ready to board...If the train arrives late that will cut into your turnaround time with the goal that the
eastbound train leaves Aurora on or close to schedule...

2-If there will be a different consist and crew check the schedule to see what the eastbound scheduled
times at Route 59 and Naperville in the event that you choose to make the turn there if the westbound
is running late...Depending on which other Metra lines that you would like to cover on that day you may
want to stop over at Aurora-which is one of the largest "Collar Cities" in the Chicagoland region-Metra's
Station there is quite interesting in itself-and take a later train back...or stop over at another station on
the Aurora Line: LaGrange, Hinsdale and Downers Grove are just three good ones that come to mind...

3-Metra's Day Pass on the Ventra Card or app is a GOOD deal at $10...Take full advantage if you can...
MACTRAXX
  by MetraBNSF
 
diburning wrote: Sat Sep 03, 2022 3:06 am I'll be in Chicago in a couple weeks and plan on going for a joyride on the BNSF line for the whole length (I'll buy the $10 Ventra day pass in the app)

I have a few questions:

1. How often do trains run late?
2. I read somewhere that all trains originate in Aurora. Does that mean that westbound trains don't turn immediately to run as eastbound trains?
3. If I ride a westbound train out to Aurora, and it's late, will I potentially miss the eastbound going back?
1. On time performance on the line is generally around the 95% range. But sharing tracks used heavily by freight trains (BNSF owns the route and runs Metra service under contract using BNSF crews) there is always a chance for a delay.
2. Some rush hour trains DO NOT originate in Aurora. In the morning some trains might deadhead out of Hill Yard just east of Aurora and begin their trips in Downers Grove or even further east.
  by Engineer Spike
 
I wouldn't get too worried about missing connections, because the service is run well. I can see how you can worry if you are doing the ride on a tight schedule between appointments. If time is that tight, then if you plan on starting the trip in Chicago, then Id suggest making the westward leg early in the morning. This way there will be tons of eastbound to ride. To make things even faster, you could catch an express, this way it's not so drawn out. You'd have to watch the schedule because some morning express trains do not call at Aurora. They go stage along MT 2. Another point is that some jobs work early mornings, but finish in the early afternoon. These sometimes change crews in the early to mid afternoon in Aurora. The second crew usually works past midnight.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
https://youtu.be/QSA-yHzkvP8?feature=shared

Here in The Land Of The Burlingtons, I don't think any car has been washed since COVID.

While dirty cars can handle as many people as clean ones and has no bearing on their roadworthiness, it is just a sign of METRA's woes having lost on the BNSF some 35% of their ridership that, simply, is never coming back. Further, the COVID relief Feddybux creek, if it hasn't already, will soon be dry. It's now been more than a year (May 11) since the government decreed COVID to be over.

METRA is soon to be "in a world of hurtin'".

I've lived here since '79; there was simply no such a thing as a dirty train complete with its "silvered" running gear.
  by eolesen
 
With the rains this week, they should be looking a little better. Last night was a 30 minute car washer..

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