• Metra Adventure

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by MetraRy
last tuesday i embarked on a metra journey. it started at 7o'clock at the summit station. while whating for the last inbound of the day, 2 light loco's came threw on the inbound track. this forced our train to boared on the wrong side. something that i assume happens frequently at summit as a lot of commuters were already on that side before the announcement was made. The trip downtown was uneventful except for a minor delay at brighton park. the train reached union station on time, on track 14. after disenbarking i headed for the doors to canal street. i then made my way to randoph street station. I, however, despite numerous tries was unable to find randoph street station. Seeing how i am a guy, i refused to ask for directions and just decided to catch next train at Vanburen instead. i purchased my ticket from a agent as the vending machine was broken and went to the platform. while waiting for my train to richton park i walked up and down the platform looking at all the stored cars awaiting cleaning. my train pulled in 4 minutes late. it was four cars, one car still not refurbised. I boarded the leading car with about 5 other people. This, beimg my first time in a MU i was not prepared for the rate of acceleration out of the station. it felt as if we were blasted out of a canon. i noticed that many stations along this line are inneed of a rehab. the train next flies past KYD where i spot the two new electric cars preparing for the days test runs. we arrive at richton park two minutes late. This station is done in a modern style. the 2 track main becomes one here and there is a storage track on the west side of the platform. i was suprised at the way the station was laid out. if metra ever wanted to extend the second main further south, the ramp and part of the station are in the way. i board my train back downtown. the train consist of the same equitment and crew members as my trip outbound. nothing much happened except for seeing the new MU's testing. I got of at randoph street. The station is coming along nicely. it almost looks like a shopping mall to me, however. i would have much more prefered a train station that looks like a train station. i exited and relized that if i walked across the street earlier i would have found the station. Metra should invest in some signs! I then made my way to union for the 1:45 departure to Orland Park. i get on the first of three open cars and settle in for the ride to 179th street. There is much constuction activity along the line. Crews were busy at ashburn, oaklawn, worth, palos park and 179th getting the stations ready for the new service. Metra is really investing a lot in stations along the line. some finished products include wrightwood, palos hieghts, 153rd, and 179th. We reach 179th on time and unload onto the old platform. the train then pulls into the storage yard to prepare for the trip back. Crews are busy working on the signal bugleow just south of the station. The warming house here is a big improvent over the previous bus shelters. The train pulls in and i boarded by myself. this train is very empty as only one half of a car is open. the trainman is a metra traniee who previosly worked for the BN. He, by acciendent opens the door on the wrong side at 143rd street. Some of the deadheading old timers jokingly dig into him the whole ride down to union station because of this.
We arrive at union station 15 minutes late do to having to wait for a outbound to clear the single track at ashburn. I thought that this area was supposed to be double tracked? At union i wait for my final train of the day. the 4:54 BN express to lagrange. I get on the third from the last car. the windows on this car are horrible and i am unable to see out. The train follows a earlier local because of a frieght on the inbound main. something thats been happing a lot as of late.

  by David Benton
Thanks for your trip report . Great reading .

  by EastCleveland
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who, now and then, enjoys taking a "pleasure" trip aboard a commuter train.

Many rail travel devotees turn up their nose at the idea, ignoring the fact that most of America's commuter rail networks were built and originally operated by Class I railroads (New York Central, Pennsylvania, Illinois Central, Southern Pacific, etc.).

Most commuter railroads serve towns and counties many miles removed from the nearest Amtrak route. Some commuter routes (fanning out from cities like Chicago, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.) cover such long distances that a one-way trip, end to end, can last as much as 3 hours. And best of all, the extremely varied trackside scenery (urban, industrial, small town, and even rural) can be as interesting as anything you'll see from an Amtrak window.

Here's a page containing links to the web sites of every commuter system in the nation:


  by AmtrakFan
Great Reading.

  by MetraRy
thanks guys, i have one on caltrain coming soon
  by Amtrak31
Yep, Great reading. Thanks for sharing it with us.