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Union Pacific / North Line

The Union Pacific / North Line (UP-N) is a Metra line in the Chicago metropolitan area. It runs between Ogilvie Transportation Center and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Although Metra owns the rolling stock, the trains are operated and dispatched by the Union Pacific Railroad. This line was previously operated by the Chicago & North Western Railway before its merger with Union Pacific, and was called the Chicago and North Western Milwaukee Division and then the Chicago & North Western/North Line before the C&NW was absorbed by Union Pacific in April, 1995.

Union Pacific / North Line
Highland Park Metra train 070915.jpg
A southbound train departs Highland Park station
Overview
TypeCommuter Rail
SystemMetra
StatusOperational
LocaleChicago metropolitan area
TerminiOgilvie Transportation Center
Waukegan/Kenosha
Stations27
Daily ridership41,000 (Avg. Weekday 2009)[1]
Operation
OwnerUnion Pacific Railroad
Operator(s)Union Pacific Railroad
Metra
Technical
Line length51.6 miles (83.0 km)[2]
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Route map

text
text
Amtrak
Lake Front Depot
demolished
84.2
Milwaukee
(1966-1971)
83.0
Amtrak
82.5
78.2
Cudahy
closed
74.7
61.8
Racine
closed
51.6
Kenosha BSicon PCC.svg
KD Line
to Rockford
44.5
Winthrop Harbor
43.1
Camp Logan
closed
42.1
Zion
39.9
Dunes Park
closed
37.6
Asbestos
closed
35.9
Waukegan
34.0
Abbott's Platform
closed
33.7
North Chicago
CN Railway logo.svg
32.2
Great Lakes
30.2
Lake Bluff
28.3
Lake Forest
25.7
Fort Sheridan
24.5
Highwood
23.0
Highland Park
21.5
Ravinia
20.9
Ravinia Park
20.5
Braeside
19.2
Glencoe
17.7
Hubbard Woods
16.6
Winnetka
15.8
Indian Hill
15.2
Kenilworth
14.4
Wilmette
13.3
Evanston Central Street
12.7
Weber Subdivision
to Mayfair
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
12.0
Evanston Davis Street Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
11.5
11.0
Evanston Main Street Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
10.3
Calvary
closed
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Yellow
9.4
Rogers Park
8.4
Kenmore
closed
7.8
Rose Hill
closed
7.1
Summerdale
closed
6.5
Ravenswood Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
6.2
5.5
Northcenter
closed
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
4.6
3.5
Deering
closed
Chicago River (north branch)
UP-NW
to Harvard
or McHenry
2.8
Clybourn
UP-W to Elburn
MD-N NCS MD-W Amtrak
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Green Pink
0.0
Ogilvie Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg

Metra does not refer to its lines by particular colors, but the timetable accents for the Union Pacific/North line are dark "Flambeau Green," a nod to the C&NW's Flambeau 400 passenger train.[3])

The current timetable has 35 weekday trains leaving Chicago, 17 of which terminate at Waukegan, 9 at Kenosha, 3 at Highland Park, 5 at Winnetka, 1 at North Chicago.

HistoryEdit

The route followed by the UP/North Line was constructed in 1854 by the Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad.[4] Passenger service between Chicago and Waukegan began on January 4, 1855. Initially, a single train operated each day, departing from a terminal in Chicago at Water St. and Kinzie St. at 8:30 am and returning from Waukegan at 3:30 pm.[5][6] The president of the railroad, former Chicago mayor Walter S. Gurnee, speculated on land in Lake County spurring the development of railway suburbs along the line.[7] The railroad merged with the Green Bay, Milwaukee & Chicago Railroad in 1863, and was acquired by the Chicago and North Western Railway in 1866.[6][8] Commuter rail services along the line started operating into the new Chicago and North Western Terminal (now Ogilvie Transportation Center) in 1911. In 1966, the Chicago and North Western closed the Lake Front Depot and began operating into the new Milwaukee Union Station. This service would ultimately prove to be relatively short lived as the Chicago and North Western ended operations between Chicago and Milwaukee in 1971 and the line was truncated to Kenosha.

The North line became part of Metra when the agency was formed in 1984. The trains continued to be operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway under contract until that railroad was bought by Union Pacific in 1995. UP now operates passenger services along the line for Metra. Under a longstanding agreement that UP inherited from the C&NW, Metra owns the vehicles and the stations along the line, but Union Pacific employs the people who actually drive the trains, and they also control the right-of-way along the route.

All stations on the line except for Ravinia Park are open daily. Ravinia Park is only open during the Ravinia Festival in the summer months.

Current and futureEdit

In 2010, Metra began a project to replace 22 bridges between Clybourn and Rogers Park, which are at the end of their design lives and in need of replacement. Metra's initial plan called for significantly reduced service for the duration of the project.[9] Widespread frustration with this service pattern led to the project being delayed to investigate potential ways to keep existing service. Many people were angry that the original plan for the project would have centered the tracks in the existing right-of-way, preventing any possibility of rebuilding a third track without rebuilding the entire right-of-way or purchasing additional land.[10] Metra claimed that in order to maintain existing service levels during construction, $100 million in additional funding would be needed. This funding was eventually procured and in 2011, Metra began work on a modified plan that will allow pre-existing service levels to be maintained as the bridges are replaced.

There have been ongoing plans to extend the line, possibly as far as Milwaukee for many years. Wisconsin's now defunct Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SERTA) had completed several studies of the project, but was disbanded in 2011.[11] An Application for funding under the FTA's New Starts program was submitted in 2010, and the agency received federal money for preliminary engineering and construction. In 2011, however, a new Wisconsin budget passed which disbanded SERTA. $15 million in federal funding was returned.[12] The project has since received little attention and is generally considered "Dead."

In late 2015, the Racine City Council unanimously approved a study to extend the line from its current terminus at Kenosha to Racine.[13]

RidershipEdit

Annual ridership[14]
Year Annual ridership
2014 9,328,441
2015 9,248,834
2016 9,220,477
2017 9,030,120
2018 8,689,776
Average weekday ridership
Period Avg. weekday ridership
2008 41,000 [15]
July 2008–
June 2009
42,000 [16]
2010 36,400 [17]
July 2011–
June 2012
35,400 [18]
July 2015–
June 2016
35,500 [19]
July 2016–
June 2017
34,700 [20]
Average weekend ridership
Period Avg. weekend ridership
July 2011–
June 2012
17,300 [21]

Rolling stockEdit

The Union Pacific / North Line operates push-pull service with bi-level gallery car coaches and cab cars from Budd, Morrison-Knudsen/Amerail, and Nippon Sharyo. The locomotive fleet consists of EMD F40PHs.

Car 553Edit

Car 553 is a club car operating exclusively on the UP/North Line. It is not actually owned by the railroad, but by a private club of commuters. UP allows the operation at no charge, apart from collecting ticket fares from the club members, who are in charge of maintaining the railcar. Club membership was once limited to wealthy male commuters from affluent North Shore towns such as Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Highland Park, but is now open to any commuter on the line for a $900 annual membership fee.[22] It is the last privately owned railcar in American commuter service.

RouteEdit

The southern terminus of the UP/North Line is at the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago. The route traverses Chicago's northern neighborhoods and its northern and far northern suburbs to Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Trail parallels the Union Pacific / North Line, using the former right of way of the North Shore Line for over 51.9 miles (83.5 km) from Chicago Loop to Kenosha, Wisconsin.

StationsEdit

Zone Station Municipality County Notes
N/A Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Closed 1971

Connections:
  C&NW trains: intercity trains
  Milwaukee Road trains: intercity trains
  Milwaukee & Suburban Transport buses

N/A National Avenue Closed between 1943 and 1956
N/A Cudahy Cudahy, WI Closed between 1956 and 1961
N/A South Milwaukee South Milwaukee, WI Closed between 1956 and 1961
N/A Racine Racine, WI Racine Closed 1971

Connections:
  C&NW trains: intercity trains

K Kenosha Kenosha, Wis. Kenosha Connections:
  Kenosha Streetcar
  Kenosha Area Transit buses: 1 Isetts/Tremper to UW-Parkside/North 30th Ave., 4 60th St./Meijer/Carthage
I Winthrop Harbor Winthrop Harbor, Ill. Lake
Camp Logan Zion Closed after October 28, 1956

Points of interest:
Camp Logan

Zion Points of interest:
Illinois Beach State Park

Connections:
  Pace buses: 571 Zion

N/A Dunes Park Beach Park Closed after October 28, 1956
N/A Asbestos Waukegan Closed after October 28, 1956
H Waukegan Points of interest:
Genesee Theatre

Connections:
  Pace buses: 561 Castlecrest via McAree, 562 Gurnee via Sunset, 563 Great Lakes Naval Station, 564 /14th, 565 Grand Avenue, 568 Belvidere, 571 Zion, and 572 Washington

G Abbott's Platform North Chicago Closed 1986[23]

Points of interest:
Abbott Laboratories

North Chicago Connections:
  Pace buses: 563 Great Lakes Naval Station and 564 Jackson / 14th
Great Lakes Points of interest:
Naval Station Great Lakes

Connections:
  Pace buses: 563 Great Lakes Naval Station

Lake Bluff Lake Bluff
F Lake Forest Lake Forest
Fort Sheridan Highwood Connections:
  Pace buses: 472 Highland Park/Highwood
E Highwood Connections:
  Pace buses: 472 Highland Park/Highwood
Highland Park Highland Park Connections:
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road, 471 Highland Park/Northbrook Court, and 472 Highland Park/Highwood
Ravinia
Ravinia Park Seasonal service

Points of interest:
Ravinia Festival

Braeside Points of interest:
Turnbull Woods, William N. Erickson Preserve, and Chicago Botanic Garden

Connections:
  Pace buses: 628 Braeside Shuttle Bug 8, 629 Braeside Shuttle Bug 9, and 640 Braeside Station/Commercial Avenue Shuttle Bug

D Glencoe Glencoe Cook Connections:
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road
Hubbard Woods Winnetka Connections:
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road
Winnetka Connections:
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road and 423 Linden CTA/The Glen/Harlem CTA
Indian Hill Connections:
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road
Kenilworth Kenilworth, Illinois Connections:
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road
C Wilmette Wilmette Connections:
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road, 421 Wilmette Avenue, and 422 Linden CTA/Glenview/Northbrook Court
Evanston Central Street Evanston Connections:
  CTA buses: 201 Central/Ridge and 206 Evanston Circulator
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road
Evanston Davis Street Connections:
  CTA "L" trains:      Purple Line (at Davis)
  CTA buses: 93 California/Dodge, 201 Central/Ridge, and 206 Evanston Circulator
  Pace buses: 208 Golf Road, 213 Green Bay Road, and 250 Dempster Street
Dempster Street Closed December 1, 1958
Evanston Main Street Connections:
  CTA "L" trains:      Purple Line (at Main)
  CTA buses: 206 Evanston Circulator
  Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road
N/A Calvary Closed December 1, 1958

Points of interest:
Calvary Cemetery

B Rogers Park Chicago Connections:
  CTA buses: 22 Clark and 96 Lunt
Kenmore Closed December 1, 1958[24]
Rose Hill Closed December 1, 1958[24]

Points of interest:
Rosehill Cemetery

Summerdale Closed December 1, 1958[24]
Ravenswood Connections:
  CTA "L" trains:      Brown Line (at Damen)
  CTA buses: 81 Lawrence
N/A Ravenswood–Wilson Closed December 1, 1958
N/A Northcenter Closed December 1, 1958
N/A Belmont Avenue Closed December 1, 1958
N/A Deering Closed after June 13, 1943
A Clybourn Connections:
  Metra trains:      Union Pacific / Northwest
  CTA buses: 9 Ashland, X9 Ashland Express, and 73 Armitage
Ogilvie Transportation Center Connections:
  Metra trains:      Union Pacific / Northwest      Union Pacific / West
  CTA "L" trains:      Green Line and      Pink Line (at Clinton)
  CTA buses: J14 Jeffery Jump, 19 United Center Express, 56 Milwaukee, 60 Blue Island/26th, 120 Ogilvie/Streeterville Express, 124 Navy Pier, 125 Water Tower Express, 126 Jackson, 128 Soldier Field Express, 130 Museum Campus, 157 Streeterville/Taylor, and 192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express

In popular cultureEdit

  • The tracks of this line are shown in several scenes of the 1990 film ‘Home Alone’, which takes place in Winnetka.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ridership Reports – System Facts". Metra. Archived from the original on January 2, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
  2. ^ Metra Railfan Tips – Union Pacific/North Line Archived September 12, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Did you know?" (PDF). On the Bi-Level: 3. June 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2010.
  4. ^ "Gurnee History". Village of Gurnee. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  5. ^ Mason, Blanche (1919). "Historical Sketch of Highland Park". Highland Park Public Library. Retrieved December 3, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Giles, H. H. (1879). "Wisconsin Railroads". The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin. Chicago: Western Historical Company. pp. 173–185.
  7. ^ Ebner, Michael H. "Lake County, IL". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  8. ^ "Chicago & North Western – A Capsule History". Chicago & North Western Historical Society. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  9. ^ Wronski, Richard (August 24, 2010). "New Metra Union Pacific North schedule snarls commute for many". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  10. ^ Wronski, Richard (September 25, 2010). "Metra's UP North bridge project pitting city riders vs. suburbanites". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "Reports". Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Commuter Link. Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  12. ^ Sandler, Larry (July 25, 2011). "It's official: Rail line from Kenosha to Milwaukee is dead". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  13. ^ Asiyanbi, Heather (November 4, 2015). "City Council Unanimously Approves Metra Study". Racine County Eye. Archived from the original on November 11, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2018" (PDF). Metra. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  15. ^ "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009.
  16. ^ "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Archived from the original on January 2, 2010.
  17. ^ "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012.
  18. ^ "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Archived from the original on October 28, 2013.
  19. ^ "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017.
  20. ^ "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  21. ^ "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2013.
  22. ^ Wronski, Richard (July 20, 2009). "Public Transit's Private Club". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 23, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  23. ^ Ridership Trends - Annual Report 2017 (PDF) (Report). Metra Division of Strategic Capital Planning. February 2018. p. 32. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c "Chicago & North Western Railroad: History of Milwaukee line". Edgewater Historical Society. Retrieved August 10, 2018.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata