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
Due to ongoing complaints from riders, Metra will be issuing a newly revised schedule for UP North, effective 9/26...
  by metraRI
Hold that thought... Metra pulled the schedule in order to revise it once more because "Evanston passengers may be adversely affected".
  by doepack
The new schedule didn't seem radically different than the one currently in effect now, at least at first glance. Now that it's being pushed back a week (at least), I wondered what the Evanston commuters didn't like about the latest revision, so I compared rush hour service levels at the three Evanston stations using the current and proposed schedule. For the AM rush, I counted the trains that arrived OTC between 6 and 9am, and the evening rush included OTC departures between 4 and 7pm. Here's how it breaks down, by number of rush hour trains:


Central St. 9 morning, 7 evening

Davis St. 10 morning, 7 evening

Main St. 8 morning, 5 evening


Central St. 7 morning, 7 evening

Davis St. 11 morning, 9 evening

Main St. 7 morning, 6 evening

Right now, there are two gaps in service of at least 30 min. during the morning rush at Davis St, a situation which should not exist for a station that is the second busiest on the route (Ravenswood is #1). While the proposed schedule fixes that (by having all 11 trains that arrive OTC within the 6-9 window stop there) another problem is created by reducing service at Central St. in the AM rush from 9 trains to 7, including a 42 min. gap in service from 6:40 to 7:22. I'm guessing that was one of the issues that led to the postponement. But even if the re-revision fixes that, it will most likely be a situation of robbing Peter to pay Paul, because I highly doubt it will be possible for Metra to create a schedule that everyone will be able to live with, given the capacity constraints brought on by the construction; some stations are just going to get screwed more than others. If the busier stations don't have to bite the bullet as often, it'll be a small victory...
  by doepack
Tribune wrote:Under the schedule planned for Sunday, some stops would have been removed from trains operating over capacity while some would have been added to trains under capacity. One morning rush-hour train would have been removed, and another would have been added during the evening rush hour.
According to the breakdown in my previous post, that's exactly what the proposed service levels at Main St. Evanston would have looked like when compared to the current service. And Davis St. would get service increases at both times of the day, at the apparent expense of Central St, which is the bone of contention here. I just wonder what other North Shore town will cry foul after the next revision. Rest of the article here...
  by vxla
UP North bridge project postponed, original schedule to be reinstated Oct. 3
Dear Union Pacific North Line passengers,

I would like to thank you for your patience as we undertake an unprecedented construction project on the Union Pacific North Line. The replacement of 22 bridges affects the third highest ridership in our Metra system and we want to take extreme measures to make sure all communities are served to the best of our ability.

Due to the complexity of this project, we are postponing construction until Spring 2011. Starting Sunday, October 3rd, we will be reverting the Union Pacific North Line schedule back to its original form. We are exploring engineering options that provide for maintaining a two-track operation when construction resumes.

The original construction plan requiring inbound and outbound trains to share a single track in the construction zone was derived in a way to be most economical in working with a constrained budget. We had temporarily changed the Union Pacific North Line schedule to fit the single-track operation. We appreciate your feedback, have listened to your comments and firmly believe that the quality of service and ease of travel to our passengers is paramount and thus are going back to the schedule that best fit the needs of our passengers.

While construction is on hold and additional alternatives analysis is completed, we will vigorously maintain repairs needed and monitor each bridge until construction resumes.

Construction updates for the entire project will be posted on Metrarail.com. Passengers that would like to be notified when there are updates, can also log on to MyMetra and sign up by selecting the UP North line and checking the box that says, e-mail notifications of service alerts on my train routes. Passengers can also receive updates following on Twitter at MetraUPN.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and appreciate your patience as we continue to address the needs of passengers in all Union Pacific North Line communities.


Carole R. Doris
Metra Board of Directors
To update your alert preferences or to unsubscribe please visit My Metra
  by E Runs
I really have to wonder if this would have happened if say Cicero were inconvenienced instead of Evanston.
  by CHTT1
I agree with you, E Run, there will be no pleasing these North Shore types. Metra should terminate all trains in Evanston and let the riders switch to the CTA! lOL! That would speed up the bridge work construction! Maybe four years instead of eight years.
  by doepack
Tribune wrote: Before that, Metra had planned to reconstruct embankments for a wider right-of-way and keep two tracks in use.

This plan would have disrupted many landscaped areas and parking along the UP North line through Chicago's Ravenswood and Rogers Park neighborhoods.
Perhaps so, and construction-related complaints from the affected local residents would have been long and loud. And offhand, I'm not sure how, or if this could be mitigated. But when undertaking a project of this magnitude, you've GOT to keep the trains moving, and any plan that involves the retention of two track service through the construction area has to be given priority. Say what you will about the Evanston commuters raising a stink about the new schedule, but a 42 min. gap in service during the AM rush on your third busiest line is unacceptable, and something had to be done.

Good-bye, single track concept (and good riddance, hopefully). Now can we PLEASE bring back CNW's old MT1?