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CHICAGO – (Sept. 27, 2016) – Metra today announced a revision to the Union Pacific West Line schedule to take effect on Sunday, Oct. 2. The changes are intended to reduce delays to commuter service caused by conflicts with freight trains that also use the corridor.
The new schedule will affect most inbound trains arriving downtown after 10 a.m. on weekdays. Customers should note that some of these trains will depart Elburn seven minutes earlier under the new schedule. In addition, riders who board at Villa Park and Elmhurst will board trains from Platform 3, which is the southernmost platform, farthest from the station building. A copy of the new schedule accompanies this release.
Inbound trains that will now board from Platform 3 at Villa Park and Elmhurst are clearly marked on the new passenger schedules, which will be available for customer pickup at Ogilvie Transportation Center by the evening rush on Tuesday, Sept. 27, posted at stations along the route and online at metrarail.com. A copy of the new schedule accompanies this release. Conductors will also make onboard announcements to inform customers of the schedule changes. These schedule and operational changes do not affect inbound UP West trains during the morning rush. The schedule for outbound service remains unchanged.
The schedule changes are designed to reduce conflicts with freight trains using the Union Pacific’s Proviso Yard located to the east of Elmhurst. Currently, inbound Metra trains use the northernmost track, which can frequently be blocked during the midday and evening hours by freight trains moving in and out of the yard. By changing departure times and diverting inbound commuter traffic to a different track, the goal is to maintain the flow of traffic and minimize delays by creating a better route for Metra trains through the Proviso area.
“We understand that our customers value our service because it gets them to their destination on time,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “That’s why we periodically review our schedules and adjust our timetables to make them as realistic – and therefore as reliable – as possible. In this case, the volume of freight traffic sharing this corridor meant that too many commuter trains were being delayed by traffic at Proviso and our published schedule was no longer representative of actual operating conditions.”
Metra tries to design its schedules to correspond to typical conditions and circumstances along a route. Schedules are reevaluated on a regular basis and adjusted when on-time performance results indicate a change is needed.
Read the original Metra release here.