Union Pacific / West Line
|Union Pacific West Line|
|Termini||Ogilvie Transportation Center
|Daily ridership||27,196 (avg. weekday 2014)|
|Owner||Union Pacific Railroad (Leased to Metra)|
|Operator(s)||Union Pacific Railroad|
|Line length||44 miles|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The Union Pacific West Line (UP-W) is a Metra commuter rail line operated by Union Pacific Railroad in Chicago, Illinois and its suburbs. Metra does not refer to its lines by particular colors, but the timetable accents for the Union Pacific/West line are "Kate Shelley Rose" pink, honoring an Iowa woman who saved a Chicago & North Western Railway train from disaster in 1881. In April 2013 the public timetable shows 30 trains leaving Chicago each weekday, of which 22 run to Elburn. All weekend trains run to Elburn. Of the 8 trains on weekdays that do not run through to Elburn, 4 terminate at Elmhurst, 2 at Geneva, 1 at West Chicago, and 1 at La Fox. All weekend trains run through to Elburn. Until 2006, all trains that terminated at Elburn today terminated at Geneva.
The line runs from the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago through the western suburbs to Elburn. This is the oldest railway route in Chicago, the route of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad along Kinzie street.
In late spring 2009 Union Pacific began an upgrade to the line. A third mainline track will be built between Elmhurst and River Forest, major signal system upgrades, the consolidation of the Bellwood and Melrose Park Stations (separate project), removal of all mid-platform pedestrian crossings at stations, warning systems for pedestrians, and new platforms. Work will be completed by late December 2010.
Speculation exists that the line could be extended from Elburn west through Maple Park and Cortland to DeKalb. This would provide greater access for North-Central Illinois Residents to the Chicago area, as well as for students at Northern Illinois University. Maple Park has indicated that adding a Metra stop in the town is in the County's 2040 transportation plan. Further west remains uncertain. Union Pacific has already said that these plans are unlikely to go through if Geneva does not allow a third track to go through their town. This is due to the high usage of the rail for both freight and passenger trains. Freight trains currently back up in rural Elburn for a half-hour or more waiting for a clear line to West Chicago.
- Ogilvie Transportation Center (Chicago)
- Kedzie (Chicago)
- Oak Park
- River Forest
- Melrose Park
- Villa Park
- Glen Ellyn
- College Avenue (Wheaton)
- West Chicago
- La Fox (unincorporated area)
- Metra Railfan Tips - Union Pacific/West
- "Did you know?" (PDF). On the Bi-Level: 3. June 2009.
- "Kane County Long Range Transit Plan" (PDF). Kane County, IL. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- "DeKalb-to-Chicago passenger train not in immediate future". Northern Star. September 26, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- Metra Union Pacific/West service schedule
Media related to Metra Union Pacific/West Line at Wikimedia Commons