Union Pacific Third Main Line Project
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, all three 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 improvements are designed to ensure smoother traffic flow and reduce conflicts between commuter and freight trains that share the line. The West Line third rail expansion will allow 59 Metra trains and 70 freight trains that use the line each day to operate simultaneously, which the railroad agencies believe is critical to improving the line’s reliability and efficiency.
Union Pacific will be funding the third rail line expansion.
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 July 2022. The lot will remain unavailable throughout the duration of the project.
- The Fox River Trail will remain open, but detours will be established on the west bank Sept. 26 and the east bank Oct. 10, 2022.
- 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.