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Old 10-30-2007, 08:13 AM
 
474 posts, read 2,447,289 times
Reputation: 114

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For a moment, let's set up a pseudo scenario between the two railroads listed in my above marquis. And suppose that 'you' work downtown in Chicago but live in Naperville. Let's also assume that it is 20 degrees below zero outdoors and Chicago is having a two foot snow blizzard. This is a rare Chicago situation but it has happened in the past.

So your boss lets everyone go home early. Your usual method of traveling home to Naperville is the Burlington Northern railroad. However, when you arrive at Union Station in downtown Chicago, you are informed that the electroinic track switches are frozen in La Grange, Illinois. Therefore the Burlington Northern line is at a complete shut down / stand still. So what next?

In downtown Chicago, the Burlington Northern in the Union Station is only four blocks from the Union Pacific in the Olgivie Station. And so you inform your wife of the Burlington Northern problem - - and then you walk to the nearby Olgivie Station. There, you purchase a ticket on the Union Pacific "West Line" for your goal of Wheaton.

At Wheaton, you disembark and your wife is waiting for you there (at either Wheaton station) - - for your drive home to Naperville.

It is still true that the winter storm conditions are fierce. But in arriving at Wheaton via the railroad, the driving distance to you home in Naperville is only seven miles. And that is far better than staying at a Chicago hotel that could cost $200 per night.

Carter Glass,

Wheaton, IL
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Bristol, WI
281 posts, read 885,544 times
Reputation: 194
I live near Waukegan and take the UP North line to work every day. In seven years I have been seriously late maybe a dozen times, every one due either to weather that was extreme even by Chicago standards or some numbskull walking into the path of the train. Most of the other passengers are decent sorts (some are real sweethearts) and the conductors are gentlemen.
I have lived and commuted around this country, and my morning commute on the UP Metra is the prize winner hands down.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:47 PM
 
2,117 posts, read 5,077,840 times
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I agree! I've taken the UP-North many, many times, as well as some of the other Metra train lines, and Metra in general provides a huge boost to Chicago area commuters. The ride is comfortable, quick & reliable. Once that UP-North train clears the city limits, it blazes through Chicago's north side at lightning speed into downtown (well just west of downtown off of Clinton & Madison). I picked up the latest newsletter from Metra (available also at Metra - Welcome to Metra), and it breaks down the statistics for the busiest stations & busiest train lines in the Metra system. On the UP-North line, the Ravenswood station actually takes the prize. A LOT of yuppie commuters apparently have opted to take the train from Ravenswood over taking the extremely slow CTA Brown Line el train to commute to the Loop. There are also plenty of reverse commuters these days on the UP-North as well (city people commuting to suburban jobs). The busiest station in the entire Metra system was down in Naperville, which was not a surprise to me at all. The 2nd busiest station was ALSO a Naperville station (Naperville has two Metra stations). Both of the Naperville stops are on the Burlington North Santa Fe line that Carter Glass (HOWELL_STREET) referenced above. I sure hope that Metra receives sufficient funding in the near future as they are supposedly in a budget crisis (as is the CTA & Pace....all of Illinois's transit agencies pretty much).

Quote:
Originally Posted by trailerguy View Post
I live near Waukegan and take the UP North line to work every day. In seven years I have been seriously late maybe a dozen times, every one due either to weather that was extreme even by Chicago standards or some numbskull walking into the path of the train. Most of the other passengers are decent sorts (some are real sweethearts) and the conductors are gentlemen.
I have lived and commuted around this country, and my morning commute on the UP Metra is the prize winner hands down.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:54 AM
 
474 posts, read 2,447,289 times
Reputation: 114
Default Hello To Trailerguy And Reppin

Thank you for your very nice comments. Hopefully, some day in the future the METRA system will go even further West of Elburn, Illinois. Beyond Elburn, there is Maple Park, Cortland and then De Kalb. I suppose right now, the Union Pacific "West LIne" commuter service is testing the amount of commuters who are now riding from Elburn. IF the response increases like it probably will, then someday Northern Illinois University students and many others will have commuter service between De Kalb, IL and downtown Chicago.

AMTRAK is on the "Burlington Northern / Santa Fe tracks. And so AMTRAK westward bound out of downtown Chicago (from Union Station) has its first stop at La Grange. The next stop is at Naperville. And then it heads SW towards Earlville, Illinois.

For the Chicago Suburbanites, the METRA commuter railway system is fantastic.

Carter Glass
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