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 eolesen
 
If you want to look at relevant examples of Metra running a 60-mile schedule, check out the UPNW and how places like Woodstock and Harvard are served. Or, more approximately, were served prior to the pandenic...

Run Express to Barrington or Crystal Lake and then local because the triple track ends at Barrington... It's about a 90 minute ride at best but people do it for the quality of life and much lower cost of living.

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  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Yes, that is true about people who live around Crystal Lake. Looking at the schedule to Harvard, there is only one express train each way daily. I wish that there were some more. Even during the week, the main Crystal Lake Station is only served by one express train in each direction.

Here in the NYC area, Metro North and LIRR run plenty of express trains daily from outlying areas and more people are moving to places like Beacon, NY to save money. Beacon to Grand Central is about 60 miles and many of the MNR trains that serve Beacon run local to Ossining, and then skip a few stops down to Tarrytown where they stop next. After Tarrytown, they run nonstop to 125th Street-Harlem, stopping there, and then ending at Grand Central Terminal. MNR's Hudson Line trains run about 70 miles from Grand Central Terminal to Poughkeepsie.

Back to the BNSF West Line Extension-yes, there are already many trains that end in Aurora. Probably a reason to think about for adding platforms at Aurora along the Main tracks is do people work in Aurora who might live west of there in the proposed communities served. What about somebody who might want to travel to Downtown Aurora and Chicago to spend the day-maybe this could be something to think about if weekend service were to ever be added at some point if the actual project happens.
  by eolesen
 
Living in the hinterland, I made a point of working around the express schedule to keep my commute down to about an hour. It was easily 90 minutes on the local, so that provided a lot of incentive not to linger.

Getting that 2-3 hours back during Covid office closures has been priceless for just about everyone I know who still commuted downtown. None plan to return to a five day commute unless there isn't an option given to remain remote.

That may come into play with the extension feasibility study. Kendall residents might push back on the RTA tax if fewer of them need the train on a regular basis.

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  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Something tells me the even if the BNSF Line is extended west of Aurora, many people will still drive to Aurora or even Rt. 59 for more train service. Down the road, I believe that Amtrak is supposed to begin state supported service to Moline, Illinois, which will result in some additional trains stopping in Plano. Hopefully, sooner rather than later and before the extension of Metra into Kendall County happens if it ever does, the Carl Sandburg will get restored. Thankfully right now, Amtrak's Illinois Zephyr permits for a daytrip to Chicago and it stops at Plano Station. Even if Metra only runs weekday service west of Aurora or they don't run west of there at all, people living in and around Plano will have some more Amtrak options for travel to and from Chicago.