Union Pacific Third Main Line Project

Union Pacific West Train Tracks

Union Pacific is building a third railroad line on its UP/Metra West Line from Kress Road in West Chicago through all of Geneva. The 6-mile stretch of new rail will be set 20 feet south of the current tracks from Peck Road to Route 25. Heading east toward Kirk Road, the existing tracks will be shifted and the new line will be built on the north side.

The project got underway in September 2022 and is expected to be finished in July 2024.

Construction will require the temporary closure of the Western Avenue and Third Street grade crossings as well as the Route 31 underpass to traffic. The closures will be staggered so only one crossing will be impacted at a given time.

Union Pacific said work would be taking place seven days a week with extended construction hours. Federal law requires all trains to slow down and sound their horns when entering construction areas when workers are present regardless of previously designated quiet zones.

The Third Main Line improvements are designed to ensure smoother traffic flow and reduce conflicts between commuter and freight trains that share the line. Union Pacific is funding the third rail line expansion.

Open House

Union Pacific will be inviting residents, business owners and community stakeholders to learn more about the Third Main Line project during a community open house scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023 at the Geneva Public Works Department, 1800 South St. 

Construction Schedule & Closures

The following construction schedule and projects were submitted by Union Pacific and are subject to change:

  • The Route 31 overflow daily fee parking lot, which will be used as a construction staging area, was closed to commuters in July 2022. The lot will remain unavailable throughout the duration of the project.
  • Construction will begin on the Fox River train bridge spanning the Fox River from October 2022 to April 2024.
  • Route 31 underpass will be shut down from April to August 2023.
  • Third Street crossing will be closed from April to June 2024.
  • Western Avenue crossing will be closed from June to July 2024.

Fox River Trail Detour

The Fox River Trail remains open to walkers and cyclists, but a detour route was established to accommodate the construction. Workers have witnessed pedestrians disregarding the trail closure on the west bank. As a reminder, the public should not go around the physical barriers for the closed sections of the trail. Union Pacific's contractor has heavy equipment in the area that can pose serious safety concerns.

Please follow the detour signage to enjoy the trail.

Union Pacific provided assurances to the City throughout the planning process that the pedestrian bridge (underneath the train tracks) over the Fox River would remain open during construction. However, there may be times when the bridge access is limited or even closed.

Latest Update

Follow our "Pardon The Progress" blog for the latest construction updates regarding the Third Main Line Project. The public can subscribe to receive future blog updates via Notify Me.

While the City of Geneva is providing information to the community, the City has no authority or control over Union Pacific's project. The details shared by the City are only as good as the information provided to us by Union Pacific.