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We've received numerous phone calls, social media posts about the number of train whistles in recent days. While Union Pacific has not contacted us directly, we believe the horns are associated with this rail replacement project outlined below.
We have scheduled a meeting with Union Pacific to get more details about the future third rail project and will provide more details as information becomes available.
NEWS RELEASE PROVIDED BY METRA:
Metra Union Pacific West Line riders will see alterations to midday and weekend train schedules when a major rail replacement project gets underway Sept. 15.
From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Union Pacific forces will replace the rail on nearly 13 miles of track between Kress Road in West Chicago and Elburn (milepost 32.1 to milepost 45). The work will take place on Track Number 1, which regular UP West Line riders would know as the northernmost or “inbound” track. This rail was originally laid in 1980 and has reached the end of its useful life. Changing the rail will avoid slow orders in the future and ensure the continuation of reliable service for passengers from Elburn, La Fox and Geneva.
“Our goal with our partners at UP is to minimize the inconvenience to our customers; however, replacing rail that is more than 30 years old is essential to our ability to continue to provide safe and reliable service now and into the future,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno.
A construction schedule will be in effect throughout the project with delays of 10 minutes expected for midday trains on weekdays and 15 minutes for trains on weekends. These schedules are posted on Metra’s website (see link below). However, due to the nature of the project and the amount of rail traffic in this corridor, trains operating during peak construction periods may experience additional delays.
To minimize the impact on UP West riders and shorten the project’s time frame, workers will be deployed seven days a week and plan to limit single-track operations to the weekends. UP will also divert as much freight traffic as possible away from the corridor to reduce interference with passenger service.
Throughout the project, riders who board at Elburn, La Fox, Geneva and West Chicago should pay close attention to platform announcements, especially on weekends when trains may be operating on a single track, to ensure that they are on the correct platform. Customers are also advised to check Metra’s website for updated service information throughout the project.