Chicago Subdivision

The Chicago Subdivision or Chicago Sub is a railroad line in Illinois that runs about 38 miles (61 km) from Chicago to Aurora and hosts Metra's BNSF Railway Line commuter service. It is operated by BNSF Railway as the easternmost part of the railroad's Northern Transcon to Seattle, Washington.[1][2][3][4] This line is known as the Racetrack because it is mostly triple-tracked and supports fairly fast trains. It had been operated by a BNSF ancestor, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, which introduced high-speed Zephyr passenger trains in 1934 and ran many of them along this subdivision from Chicago to points west.

Chicago Subdivision
Carl Sandburg train.jpg
Amtrak's Carl Sandburg on the Chicago Subdivision in Berwyn, Illinois. The bridge above the train belongs to the Canadian National Railway (previously Illinois Central).
Overview
TypeFreight rail
Commuter rail
Inter-city rail
SystemNorthern Transcon
LocaleChicago metropolitan area
TerminiChicago
Aurora, Illinois
Operation
OwnerBNSF Railway
Operator(s)BNSF Railway
Metra
Amtrak
Technical
Line length38 mi (61 km)
Number of tracks3-4
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed70 mph (110 km/h)
Route map

Chicago Subdivision
Aurora
original station
38.4
Aurora
Transportation Center
Metra yard
33.4
Eola
Eola Yard
31.6
Route 59
28.4
Naperville
24.4
Lisle
22.9
Belmont
21.1
Downers Grove Main Street
20.3
Fairview Avenue
19.4
Westmont
18.2
Clarendon Hills
17.8
West Hinsdale
16.8
Hinsdale
16.3
Highlands
15.4
Western Springs
14.1
Stone Avenue
13.7
La Grange
13.0
Congress Park
12.3
Brookfield
11.7
Hollywood
11.0
Riverside
10.0
Harlem Avenue
9.6
Berwyn
9.0
La Vergne
8.5
Clyde
Cicero Yard
7.0
Cicero
3.7
Western Avenue
Western Avenue Yard
1.8
Halsted Street
0.0
Union Station

The Chicago Subdivision meets the Aurora Subdivision and Mendota Subdivision in Aurora. Commuter service ends at the Aurora Transportation Center, though Amtrak trains continue southwest on the Mendota Subdivision. Triple-tracking runs from where track leading to the Aurora station and Metra Yard joins the subdivision eastward to Cicero, where multiple tracks from a yard join. It is then quadruple-tracked for the rest of the way until the turn to Union Station.[5] As of 2015 weekday traffic on the subdivision was 94 Metra commuter trains, eight Amtrak intercity trains, and 60 BNSF freight trains.[6]

After the introduction of the CB&Q Zephyrs, train speeds increased significantly around the country for the next decade or so, but the Naperville train disaster along these tracks in 1946 was one event that contributed to the federal government restricting speeds in later years. Trains that had once traveled at or above 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) were soon restricted to a maximum of 79 miles per hour (127 km/h).[7][8][9] Much of this line has a speed limit of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) for passenger trains, while freight trains run slower.[1][2][3][4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Don Winter. "Eola to Aurora". Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Don Winter. "La Grange to Eola (ex-CB&Q)". Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Don Winter. "Cicero to La Grange (ex-CB&Q)". Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Don Winter. "Western Avenue to Cicero (ex-CB&Q)". Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  5. ^ Bill Vandervoort. "Railfan tips/operating detail". Chicago Transit & Railfan. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Blaszak, Michael W. (March 2015). "Metra mojo". Trains. 75 (3): 53.
  7. ^ William Wendt (July 30, 2007). "Hiawatha dieselization". Yahoo Groups. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  8. ^ John Gruber and Brian Solomon (2006). The Milwaukee Road's Hiawathas. Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-2395-3.
  9. ^ "Ask Trains from November 2008". Trains Magazine. December 23, 2008. Archived from the original on June 24, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2010.

External linksEdit