BNSF Railway (Metra)
The BNSF Railway Line is a Metra commuter rail line operated by the eponymous freight railroad in Chicago and its western suburbs. In 2010, the BNSF Railway Line continued to have the highest weekday ridership (average 64,600) of the 11 Metra lines. While Metra does not refer to its lines by particular colors, the BNSF line's color on Metra timetables is "Cascade Green," a nod to the paint of the Burlington Northern Railroad. In July 2017, the public timetable (published October 9, 2016) showed 47 trains leaving Chicago each weekday, of which 31 run to Aurora. Of the 16 trains that do not reach Aurora, 5 terminate at Route 59, 1 at Naperville, 1 at Downers Grove-Main St., 5 at Fairview Avenue, 3 at Westmont, and 1 at Brookfield. The public timetable (published October 9, 2016) also showed 47 trains arriving in Chicago each weekday, of which 29 start in Aurora. Of the 18 trains that do not start in Aurora, 6 start at Lisle, 1 at Downers Grove-Main St., 7 at Fairview Avenue, 1 at Highlands, and 3 at Brookfield.
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, inherited from Burlington Northern. While Metra owns all rolling stock, the management and crews are BNSF employees. BNSF controls the right-of-way on the line and handles dispatching from corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. The June 2007 timetable shows a 70 mph maximum allowed speed for passenger trains.
The railroad between Chicago and Aurora was constructed in 1864 by the Chicago and Aurora Railroad, which evolved into the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. The CB&Q operated the commuter service until the railroad merged into the Burlington Northern in 1970. Burlington Northern merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1995 to form the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. It later changed its name to the abbreviation, BNSF.
When the Regional Transportation Authority began subsidizing Chicago's commuter rail operations in 1974, Burlington Northern continued to operate its line under contract to the RTA. This arrangement continued when the RTA organized commuter rail under a service board that became Metra.
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.
|Period||Avg. weekday ridership|
|Period||Avg. weekend ridership|
The BNSF Railway's locomotive fleet consists mainly of the EMD F40PHM-2, with some EMD F40PH locomotives. Until 2012, MPI MP36PH-3S locomotives also operated on the line, however, they were all reassigned to the Milwaukee lines, the North Central Service and the Rock Island District due to operating difficulties. Rail cars include coaches from Budd, Morrison-Knudsen/Amerail, and Nippon Sharyo.
Metra trains: Milwaukee District / North, Milwaukee District/West, North Central Service, Heritage Corridor, and SouthWest Service
Amtrak trains: California Zephyr, City of New Orleans, Empire Builder, Hiawatha Service, Illini and Saluki, Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Lake Shore Limited, Pere Marquette, Wolverine, Blue Water, and Lincoln Service
CTA "L" trains: Blue Line (at Clinton), Brown, Orange, Pink, and Purple Line Express (at Quincy)
CTA buses: 1 Bronzeville/Union Station, 7 Harrison, J14 Jeffery Jump, 19 United Center Express, 28 Stony Island, 56 Milwaukee, 60 Blue Island/26th, 120 Ogilvie/Streeterville Express, 121 Union/Streeterville Express, 124 Navy Pier, 125 Water Tower Express, 126 Jackson, 128 Soldier Field Express, 130 Museum Campus, 151 Sheridan, 156 LaSalle, 157 Streeterville/Taylor, 192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express
Pace buses: 755 Plainfield/IMD/West Loop Express
Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach: Chicago-Madison and Chicago-Rockford (via Van Galder), Chicago-Louisville (via Greyhound)
|Halsted Street||Rush hour service only
CTA "L" trains: Pink Line (at Western)
CTA buses: 18 16th/18th, 49 Western, and X49 Western Express
CTA buses: 35 31st/35th, 54 Cicero, 54B South Cicero, and 60 Blue Island/26th
|Morton Park||Closed between 1938 and 1957|
|Clyde||Closed April 1, 2007|
|LaVergne||Berwyn||Rush hour service only
Pace buses: 302 Ogden/Stanley and 311 Oak Park Avenue
Pace buses: 302 Ogden/Stanley and 307 Harlem
|Hollywood (Zoo Stop)||Brookfield||Points of interest:|
Pace buses: 331 Cumberland - 5th Avenue
|Congress Park||Rush hour service only
|La Grange||La Grange||Connections:|
Amtrak trains: Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg
Pace buses: 302 Ogden/Stanley, 304 Cicero - LaGrange, and 330 Mannheim - LaGrange Roads
|D||Western Springs||Western Springs||Connections:|
Pace buses: 669 Western Springs – Indian Head Park
|Highlands||Hinsdale||DuPage||Rush hour service only|
|Hinsdale||Points of interest:|
Downtown Hinsdale Historic District
|West Hinsdale||Rush hour service only|
|Clarendon Hills||Clarendon Hills||Connections:|
Pace buses: 663 Darien-Clarendon Hills and 664 Willowbrook-Clarendon Hills
Pace buses: 662 South Central Westmont, 665 Darien–Westmont, and 715 Central DuPage
|E||Fairview Avenue||Downers Grove|
|Downers Grove Main Street||Connections:|
Pace buses: 461 North Downers Grove, 462 Southwest Downers Grove, 463 Southeast Downers Grove, and 834 Joliet/Downers Grove
Pace buses: 821 Woodridge-Belmont
Grove Commuter Shuttle: West Route
Pace buses: 820 University Heights-Hobson Creek-Lisle, 825 Central Bolingbrook-Lisle, 826 South Lisle, 827 Green Trails-Steeple Run, 828 North Lisle, and 829 Lisle-Naperville Office Corridor
Amtrak trains: Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg, California Zephyr, and Southwest Chief
Pace buses: 530 West Galena/Naperville, 676 Cress Creek, 677 Naperville–West Glens, 678 Naperville–Carriage Hill, 680 Naperville–Knoch Knolls, 681 Naperville–Saybrook, 682 Naperville–Brookdale, 683 Naperville–Ashbury, 684 Naperville–Maplebrook, 685 Naperville–West Wind Estates, 686 Naperville–Old Farm, 687 Naperville–Farmstead, 688 Naperville–Huntington, 689 Naperville–Hobson Village, 714 College of DuPage–Naperville–Wheaton Connector, and 722 Ogden Avenue
Burlington Trailways: Chicago–Davenport
Pace buses: 534 Fox Valley Villages/Route 59 Metra Station, 559 Illinois Route 59, 672 95th St. Park & Ride/Route 59 Metra Direct, 673 Community Christian Park-n-Ride/Route 59 Metra Direct, and 675 Wheatland Salem Park-n-Ride/Route 59 Metra Direct
Greyhound Lines: Chicago–Davenport
|N/A||Eola||Eola||Closed to passengers prior to 1971, closed entirely later|
|H||Aurora Transportation Center||Aurora||Kane||Connections:|
Pace buses: 524 West Aurora, 530 West Galena/Naperville, 533 Northeast Aurora, 540 Farnsworth Avenue, and 802 Aurora/Geneva via Lake
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- "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.
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- "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
- "Operations and Ridership Data". Metra. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 27, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Metra BNSF Railway Line.|
- Metra BNSF Railway service schedule