BNSF Railway (Metra)
The BNSF Railway Line is a Metra commuter rail line operated by the eponymous freight railroad in Chicago and its western suburbs. In 2010, the BNSF Railway Line continued to have the highest weekday ridership (average 64,600) of the 11 Metra lines. While Metra does not refer to its lines by particular colors, the BNSF line's color on Metra timetables is "Cascade Green," a nod to the paint of the Burlington Northern Railroad. In July 2017, the public timetable (published October 9, 2016) showed 47 trains leaving Chicago each weekday, of which 31 run to Aurora. Of the 16 trains that do not reach Aurora, 5 terminate at Route 59, 1 at Naperville, 1 at Downers Grove-Main Street, 5 at Downers Grove-Fairview Avenue, 3 at Westmont, and 1 at Brookfield. The public timetable (published October 9, 2016) also showed 47 trains arriving in Chicago each weekday, of which 29 start in Aurora. Of the 18 trains that do not start in Aurora, 6 start at Lisle, 1 at Downers Grove-Main Street, 7 at Downers Grove-Fairview Avenue, 1 at Highlands, and 3 at Brookfield.
|BNSF Railway Line|
An inbound Metra train arrives in Naperville.
|Daily ridership||63,000 (average weekday 2018)|
|Owner||BNSF Railway (Leased to Metra)|
|Line length||37.5 miles (60.4 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The east end is Union Station in downtown Chicago. The line traverses Chicago and its western and far western suburbs to Aurora. BNSF Railway operates it under a "purchase of service agreement" with Metra, inherited from Burlington Northern. While Metra owns all rolling stock, the management and crews are BNSF employees. BNSF controls the right-of-way on the line and handles dispatching from corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. The June 2007 timetable shows a 70 mph maximum allowed speed for passenger trains.
Metra has studied the feasibility of extending the line beyond Aurora, possibly as far as Sandwich, Illinois.
The railroad between Chicago and Aurora was constructed in 1864 by the Chicago and Aurora Railroad, which evolved into the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The CB&Q operated the commuter service until the railroad merged into the Burlington Northern in 1970. Burlington Northern merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1995 to form the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. It later changed its name to the abbreviation, BNSF.
When the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) began subsidizing Chicago's commuter rail operations in 1974, Burlington Northern continued to operate its line under contract to the RTA. This arrangement continued when the RTA organized commuter rail under a service board that became Metra.
The Clyde station at South Austin Boulevard and West 29th Street in Cicero was closed on April 1, 2007 due to low ridership and its dilapidation. In the months before its closure, it was used by about 50 passengers a day.
Kendall County extensionEdit
There have been proposals to extend service west into Kendall County, which as of 2019 is outside the RTA's service area. Potential new stations would be in Montgomery, Oswego, Yorkville, Plano (which already has an Amtrak station) and Sandwich.
Since 2014 annual ridership has declined from 16.6 million to 15.8 million, an overall decline of 5%.
The BNSF Railway's locomotive fleet consists mainly of the EMD F40PHM-2, with some EMD F40PH locomotives. Until 2012, MPI MP36PH-3S locomotives also operated on the line, however, they were all reassigned to the Milwaukee lines, the North Central Service and the Rock Island District due to operating difficulties. Rail cars include coaches from Budd, Morrison-Knudsen/Amerail, and Nippon Sharyo.
|Zone||Location||Station||Connections and notes|
|A||Chicago||Union Station||Amtrak (long-distance): California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle|
Amtrak (intercity): Blue Water, Hiawatha Service, Illini and Saluki, Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg, Lincoln Service, Pere Marquette, Wolverine
Metra: Milwaukee District / North Line, Milwaukee District / West Line, North Central Service, Heritage Corridor, SouthWest Service
Chicago "L": Blue Line (at Clinton), Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple lines (at Quincy)
CTA Bus: 1, 7, J14, 19, 28, 56, 60, 120, 121, 124, 125, 126, 128, 130, 151, 156, 157, 192
Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach: Chicago-Madison and Chicago-Rockford (Van Galder), Chicago-Louisville (Greyhound)
(rush hours only)
|CTA Bus: 8, 18, N62|
|Western Avenue||Chicago "L": Pink Line (at Western)|
CTA Bus: 18, 49, X49
|B||Cicero||Cicero||CTA Bus: 35, 54, 54B, 60|
|Morton Park||Closed between 1938 and 1957|
|Clyde||Closed April 1, 2007|
(rush hours only)
|Pace: 302, 314|
|Berwyn||Pace: 302, 311|
|Harlem Avenue||Pace: 302, 307|
|Brookfield||Hollywood||Pace: 304, 331|
(rush hours only)
|Pace: 302, 331|
|La Grange||La Grange Road||Amtrak: Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg|
Pace: 302, 330, 331
|D||Western Springs||Western Springs||Pace: 669|
(rush hours only)
|Hinsdale||Pace: 668 Burr Ridge-Hinsdale|
(rush hours only)
|Clarendon Hills||Clarendon Hills||Pace: 663, 664|
|Westmont||Westmont||Pace: 662, 665, 715|
|E||Downers Grove||Fairview Avenue|
|Downers Grove Main Street||Pace: 461, 462, 463, 834|
Grove Commuter Shuttle: West Route
|Lisle||Lisle||Pace: 820, 825, 826, 827, 828, 829|
|F||Naperville||Naperville||Amtrak: California Zephyr, Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg, Southwest Chief|
Pace: 530, 676, 677, 678, 680, 681, 682, 683, 684, 685, 686, 687, 688, 689, 714, and 722
Burlington Trailways: Chicago–Davenport
|G||Aurora||Route 59||Pace: 534, 559, 672, 673, 675|
Greyhound Lines: Chicago–Davenport
|Eola||Eola||Closed to passengers prior to 1971, closed entirely later|
|H||Aurora||Aurora Transportation Center||Pace: 524, 530, 533, 540, and 802|
- "Operations and Ridership Data". Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- "Ridership Reports -System Facts". Metra. Archived from the original on January 2, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "Did you know?" (PDF). On the Bi-Level: 3. June 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2010.
- "BNSF Railway Full Timetable" (PDF). Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
- Mann, Leslie (March 23, 2011). "When that lonesome whistle blows, rail fans know where to line up". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- Ruzich, Joseph (February 21, 2007). "Cicero's Metra stop to receive makeover". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- "A step closer on local Metra station". Oswego Ledger-Sentinel. March 12, 2009. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
- Girardi, Linda (November 26, 2019). "Possible Metra extension into Kendall County focus of upcoming meetings". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- "RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2018" (PDF). Metra. p. 4. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Metra BNSF Railway Line.|
- Metra BNSF Railway service schedule