BNSF Railway (Metra)

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This article is about a commuter rail line. For the freight railroad company, see BNSF Railway.
BNSF Railway Line
Metra Train at Naperville.jpg
An inbound Metra train arrives in Naperville.
Type Commuter Rail
System Metra
Termini Union Station
Stations 26
Daily ridership 64,600 (Avg. Weekday 2010)[1]
Owner BNSF Railway (Leased to Metra)
Operator(s) BNSF Railway
Line length 37.5 miles (60.4 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map

The BNSF Railway Line is a Metra commuter rail line operated by the BNSF Railway in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. In 2010, the BNSF Railway Line continued to have the highest weekday ridership (average 64,600) of the 11 Metra lines.[1] (Metra does not refer to its lines by particular colors, but the timetable accents for the BNSF line are "Cascade Green," like the paint of the Burlington Northern Railroad.[2]) In April 2014, the public timetable (published March 11, 2012)[3] showed 47 trains leaving Chicago each weekday, of which 31 run to Aurora.

The east end is Union Station in downtown Chicago. The line traverses Chicago and its western and far western suburbs to Aurora. BNSF Railway operates it under a "purchase of service agreement" with Metra; management and crews are BNSF employees and Metra owns the equipment. The June 2007 timetable shows a 70 mph maximum allowed speed for passenger trains.

Metra has studied the feasibility of extending the line beyond Aurora, possibly as far as Plano, Illinois.[4]


BNSF Railway Line is in Light Green

The railroad between Chicago and Aurora was constructed in 1864 by the Chicago and Aurora Railroad, which later merged into the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The CB&Q operated the commuter service until the railroad became part of the Burlington Northern in 1970. Burlington Northern merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1995 and the name of the railroad became Burlington Northern Santa Fe. It later changed its name to the abbreviation, BNSF.

With three tracks, fast and frequent Amtrak and Metra passenger trains, and BNSF freight trains, the line nicknamed the "race track" is a favorite of rail fans.[5]

The Clyde station at South Austin Boulevard and West 29th Street in Cicero was closed on April 1, 2007 due to low ridership and its dilapidation. In the months before its closure, it was used by about 50 passengers a day.[6]

Station stops[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ridership Reports -System Facts". Metra. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Did you know?". On the Bi-Level: 3. June 2009. 
  3. ^ "BNSF Railway Full Timetable". Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  4. ^ "A step closer on local Metra station". Oswego Ledger-Sentinel. March 12, 2009. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ Mann, Leslie (23 March 2011). "When that lonesome whistle blows, rail fans know where to line up". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Ruzich, Joseph (21 February 2007). "Cicero's Metra stop to receive makeover". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 

External links[edit]