Union Pacific / North Line

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Union Pacific / North Line
Highland Park Metra train 070915.jpg
A southbound train departs Highland Park station
Overview
TypeCommuter Rail
SystemMetra
StatusOperational
LocaleChicago metropolitan area
TerminiOgilvie Transportation Center
Waukegan/Kenosha
Stations27
Daily ridership41,000 (Avg. Weekday 2009)[1]
Operation
OwnerUnion Pacific Railroad
Operator(s)Union Pacific Railroad
Metra
Technical
Line length51.6 miles (83.0 km)[2]
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Route map

Amtrak
Empire Builder
to Seattle or Portland
Milwaukee
84.2
Milwaukee
(1966-1971)
National Avenue
(Milwaukee)
83.0
Amtrak
Hiawatha and Empire Builder
to Union Station
82.5
78.2
Cudahy
74.7
South Milwaukee
61.8
Racine
51.6
Kenosha
KD Line
to Rockford
44.5
Winthrop Harbor
43.1
Camp Logan
42.1
Zion
39.9
Dunes Park
37.6
Asbestos
35.9
Waukegan
33.7
North Chicago
32.2
Great Lakes
(Lake Bluff)
30.2
Lake Bluff
28.3
Lake Forest
25.7
Fort Sheridan
(Highwood)
24.5
Highwood
23.0
Highland Park
21.5
Ravinia
(Highland Park)
20.9
Ravinia Park
(Highland Park)
20.5
Braeside
(Highland Park)
19.2
Glencoe
17.7
Hubbard Woods
(Winnetka)
16.6
Winnetka
15.8
Indian Hill
(Winnetka)
15.2
Kenilworth
14.4
Wilmette
13.3
Central Street
(Evanston)
12.7
Weber Subdivision
to Mayfair
12.0
Davis Street
(Evanston)
11.5
Dempster Street
(Evanston)
11.0
Main Street
(Evanston)
10.3
Calvary
(Evanston)
9.4
Rogers Park
(Chicago)
8.4
Kenmore
(Chicago)
7.8
Rose Hill
(Chicago)
7.1
Summerdale
(Chicago)
6.5
Ravenswood
(Chicago)
Brown Line
to Kimball
6.2
Ravenswood–Wilson
(Chicago)
5.5
Northcenter
(Chicago)
4.6
Belmont Avenue
(Chicago)
3.5
Deering
(Chicago)
Chicago River (north branch)
2.8
Clybourn
(Chicago)
Wells Street Station
(1855-1911)
Green and Pink lines
0.0
Ogilvie Transportation Center
(Chicago)

The Union Pacific / North Line (UP-N) is a Metra line in the Chicago metropolitan area. It runs between Ogilvie Transportation Center and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Although Metra owns the rolling stock, the trains are operated by the Union Pacific Railroad. (Metra does not refer to its lines by particular colors, but the timetable accents for the Union Pacific/North line are dark "Flambeau Green". The colors came from the company colors of the Chicago & North Western Railway, while "Flambeau" refers to the C&NW's Flambeau 400 passenger train.[3]) This line was previously known as the Chicago and North Western Milwaukee Division before becoming the Chicago & North Western/North Line which it remained until the C&NW was absorbed by Union Pacific in April, 1995.

The current timetable has 35 weekday trains leaving Chicago, 17 of which terminate at Waukegan, 9 at Kenosha, 3 at Highland Park, 5 at Winnetka, 1 at North Chicago.

History[edit]

The route followed by the UP/North Line was constructed in 1854 by the Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad.[4] Passenger service between Chicago and Waukegan commenced on January 4, 1855. Initially, a single train operated each day, departing from a terminal in Chicago at Water & Kinzie Streets at 8:30 am and returning from Waukegan at 3:30 pm.[5][6] The president of the railroad, former Chicago mayor Walter S. Gurnee, speculated on land in Lake County spurring the development of railway suburbs along the line.[7] The railroad merged with the Green Bay, Milwaukee & Chicago Railroad in 1863, and was acquired by the Chicago and North Western Railway in 1866.[6][8] Commuter rail services along the line started operating into the new Chicago and North Western Terminal (now Ogilvie Transportation Center) in 1911. In 1966, the Chicago and North Western closed the Lake Front Depot and began operating into the new Milwaukee Union Station. This service would ultimately prove to be relatively short lived as the Chicago and North Western ended operations between Chicago and Milwaukee in 1971 and the line was truncated to Kenosha. The North line became part of Metra when the agency was formed in 1984. The trains—though owned by Metra—continued to be operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway until that railroad was bought by Union Pacific in 1995. UP now operates passenger services along the line for Metra.

All stations on the line except for Ravinia Park are open daily.

Current and future[edit]

In 2010, Metra began a project to replace 22 bridges between Clybourn and Rogers Park, which are at the end of their design lives and in need of replacement. Metra's initial plan called for significantly reduced service for the duration of the project.[9] Widespread frustration with this service pattern led to the project being delayed to investigate potential ways to keep existing service. Many people were angry that the original plan for the project would have centered the tracks in the existing right-of-way, preventing any possibility of rebuilding a third track without rebuilding the entire right-of-way or purchasing additional land.[10] Metra claimed that in order to maintain existing service levels during construction, $100 million in additional funding would be needed. This funding was eventually procured and in 2011, Metra began work on a modified plan that will allow pre-existing service levels to be maintained as the bridges are replaced.

There have been ongoing plans to extend the line, possibly as far as Milwaukee for many years. Wisconsin's now defunct Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SERTA) had completed several studies of the project, but was disbanded in 2011.[11] An Application for funding under the FTA's New Starts program was submitted in 2010, and the agency received federal money for preliminary engineering and construction. In 2011, however, a new Wisconsin budget passed which disbanded SERTA. $15 million in federal funding was returned.[12] The project has since received little attention and is generally considered "Dead."

In late 2015, the Racine City Council unanimously approved a study to extend the line from its current terminus at Kenosha to Racine.[13]

Rolling stock[edit]

The Union Pacific / North Line operates push-pull service with bi-level gallery car coaches and cab cars from Budd, Morrison-Knudsen/Amerail, and Nippon Sharyo. The locomotive fleet consists of EMD F40PHs.

Car 553[edit]

Car 553 is a club car operating exclusively on the UP/North Line. It is not actually owned by the railroad, but by a private club of commuters. UP allows the operation at no charge, apart from collecting ticket fares from the club members, who are in charge of maintaining the railcar. Club membership was once limited to wealthy male commuters from affluent North Shore towns such as Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Highland Park, but is now open to any commuter on the line for a $900 annual membership fee.[14] It is the last privately owned railcar in American commuter service.

Route[edit]

The southern terminus of the UP/North Line is at the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago. The route traverses Chicago's northern neighborhoods and its northern and far northern suburbs to Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Trail parallels the Union Pacific / North Line, using the former right of way of the North Shore Line for over 51.9 miles (83.5 km) from Chicago Loop to Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Stations[edit]

Zone Station Municipality County Notes
N/A Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Closed 1971

Connections:
Mainline rail interchange C&NW trains: intercity trains
Mainline rail interchange Milwaukee Road trains: intercity trains
Bus interchange Milwaukee & Suburban Transport buses

N/A National Avenue Closed between 1943 and 1956
N/A Cudahy Cudahy, WI Closed between 1956 and 1961
N/A South Milwaukee South Milwaukee, WI Closed between 1956 and 1961
N/A Racine Racine, WI Racine Closed 1971

Connections:
Mainline rail interchange C&NW trains: intercity trains

K Kenosha Kenosha, WI Kenosha Connections:

Heritage streetcar Kenosha Streetcar

I Winthrop Harbor Winthrop Harbor Lake
Camp Logan Zion Closed after October 28, 1956

Points of interest:
Camp Logan

Zion Points of interest:

Illinois Beach State Park
Connections:
Bus interchange Pace buses: 571 Zion

H Dunes Park Beach Park Closed after October 28, 1956
Asbestos Waukegan Closed after October 28, 1956
Waukegan Points of interest:

Genesee Theatre
Connections:
Bus interchange Pace buses: 561 Castlecrest via McAree, 562 Gurnee via Sunset, 563 Great Lakes Naval Station, 564 Jackson/14th, 565 Grand Avenue, 568 Belvidere, 571 Zion, and 572 Washington

G North Chicago North Chicago Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 563 Great Lakes Naval Station and 564 Jackson / 14th

Great Lakes Points of interest:

Naval Station Great Lakes
Connections:
Bus interchange Pace buses: 563 Great Lakes Naval Station

Lake Bluff Lake Bluff
F Lake Forest Lake Forest Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 625 Lake Forest Shuttle Bug

Fort Sheridan Highwood Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 472 Highland Park/Highwood

E Highwood Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 472 Highland Park/Highwood

Highland Park Highland Park Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road, 471 Highland Park/Northbrook Court, and 472 Highland Park/Highwood

Ravinia
Ravinia Park Seasonal service

Points of interest:
Ravinia Festival

Braeside Points of interest:

Turnbull Woods, William N. Erickson Preserve, and Chicago Botanic Garden
Connections:
Bus interchange Pace buses: 628 Braeside Shuttle Bug 8, 629 Braeside Shuttle Bug 9, and 640 Braeside Station/Commercial Avenue Shuttle Bug

D Glencoe Glencoe Cook Points of interest:

Turnbull Woods, William N. Erickson Preserve, and Chicago Botanic Garden
Connections:
Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road

Hubbard Woods Winnetka Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road

Winnetka Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road and 423 Linden CTA/The Glen/Harlem CTA

Indian Hill Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road

Kenilworth Kenilworth Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road

C Wilmette Wilmette Connections:

Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road, 421 Wilmette Avenue, and 422 Linden CTA/Glenview/Northbrook Court

Evanston Central Street Evanston Connections:

Bus interchange CTA buses: 201 Central/Ridge and 206 Evanston Circulator
Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road

Evanston Davis Street Connections:

Metro interchange CTA "L" trains: Purple Line (at Davis)
Bus interchange CTA buses: 93 California/Dodge, 201 Central/Ridge, and 206 Evanston Circulator
Bus interchange Pace buses: 208 Golf Road, 213 Green Bay Road, and 250 Dempster Street

Dempster Street Closed December 1, 1958
Evanston Main Street Connections:

Metro interchange CTA "L" trains: Purple Line (at Main)
Bus interchange CTA buses: 206 Evanston Circulator
Bus interchange Pace buses: 213 Green Bay Road

N/A Calvary Closed December 1, 1958

Points of interest:
Calvary Cemetery

B Rogers Park Chicago Connections:

Bus interchange CTA buses: 22 Clark and 96 Lunt

Kenmore Closed December 1, 1958[15]
Rose Hill Closed December 1, 1958[15]

Points of interest:
Rosehill Cemetery

Summerdale Closed December 1, 1958[15]
Ravenswood Connections:

Metro interchange CTA "L" trains: Brown Line (at Damen)
Bus interchange CTA buses: 81 Lawrence

N/A Ravenswood–Wilson Closed December 1, 1958
N/A Northcenter Closed December 1, 1958
N/A Belmont Avenue Closed December 1, 1958
N/A Deering Closed after June 13, 1943
A Clybourn Connections:

Mainline rail interchange Metra trains: Union Pacific / Northwest Line
Bus interchange CTA buses: 9 Ashland, X9 Ashland Express, 73 Armitage, and 132 Goose Island Express

Ogilvie Transportation Center Connections:

Mainline rail interchange Metra trains: Union Pacific / Northwest Line Union Pacific / West Line
Metro interchange CTA "L" trains: Green and Pink Lines (at Clinton)
Bus interchange CTA buses: J14 Jeffery Jump, 19 United Center Express, 56 Milwaukee, 60 Blue Island/26th, 120 Ogilvie/Streeterville Express, 124 Navy Pier, 125 Water Tower Express, 126 Jackson, 128 Soldier Field Express, 130 Museum Campus, 157 Streeterville/Taylor, and 192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ridership Reports – System Facts". Metra. Archived from the original on January 2, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
  2. ^ Metra Railfan Tips – Union Pacific/North Line Archived September 12, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Did you know?" (PDF). On the Bi-Level: 3. June 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2010.
  4. ^ "Gurnee History". Village of Gurnee. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  5. ^ Mason, Blanche (1919). "Historical Sketch of Highland Park". Highland Park Public Library. Retrieved December 3, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Giles, H. H. (1879). "Wisconsin Railroads". The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin. Chicago: Western Historical Company. pp. 173–185.
  7. ^ Ebner, Michael H. "Lake County, IL". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
  8. ^ "Chicago & North Western – A Capsule History". Chicago & North Western Historical Society. Retrieved September 16, 2007.
  9. ^ Wronski, Richard (August 24, 2010). "New Metra Union Pacific North schedule snarls commute for many". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  10. ^ Wronski, Richard (September 25, 2010). "Metra's UP North bridge project pitting city riders vs. suburbanites". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "Reports". Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Commuter Link. Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  12. ^ Sandler, Larry (July 25, 2011). "It's official: Rail line from Kenosha to Milwaukee is dead". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  13. ^ Asiyanbi, Heather (November 4, 2015). "City Council Unanimously Approves Metra Study". Racine County Eye. Archived from the original on November 11, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  14. ^ Wronski, Richard (July 20, 2009). "Public Transit's Private Club". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 23, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  15. ^ a b c "Chicago & North Western Railroad: History of Milwaukee line". Edgewater Historical Society. Retrieved August 10, 2018.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata