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

text
text
Amtrak
Lake Front Depot
demolished
84.2
Milwaukee
(1966-1971)
83.0
Amtrak
82.5
78.2
Cudahy
closed
74.7
61.8
Racine
closed
51.6
Kenosha BSicon PCC.svg
KD Line
to Rockford
44.5
Winthrop Harbor
43.1
Camp Logan
closed
42.1
Zion
39.9
Dunes Park
closed
37.6
Asbestos
closed
35.9
Waukegan
34.0
Abbott's Platform
closed
33.7
North Chicago
CN Railway logo.svg
32.2
Great Lakes
30.2
Lake Bluff
28.3
Lake Forest
25.7
Fort Sheridan
24.5
Highwood
23.0
Highland Park
21.5
Ravinia
20.9
Ravinia Park
20.5
Braeside
19.2
Glencoe
17.7
Hubbard Woods
16.6
Winnetka
15.8
Indian Hill
15.2
Kenilworth
14.4
Wilmette
13.3
Evanston Central Street
12.7
Weber Subdivision
to Mayfair
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
12.0
Evanston Davis Street Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
11.5
11.0
Evanston Main Street Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
10.3
Calvary
closed
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Yellow
9.4
Rogers Park
8.4
Kenmore
closed
7.8
Rose Hill
closed
7.1
Summerdale
closed
6.5
Ravenswood Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
6.2
5.5
Northcenter
closed
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
4.6
3.5
Deering
closed
Chicago River (north branch)
UP-NW
to Harvard
or McHenry
2.8
Clybourn
UP-W to Elburn
MD-N NCS MD-W Amtrak
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Green Pink
0.0
Ogilvie Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg

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; however, most trains terminate in Waukegan, Illinois. Although Metra owns the rolling stock, the trains are operated and dispatched by the Union Pacific Railroad. This line was previously operated by the Chicago & North Western Railway before its merger with Union Pacific, and was called the Chicago and North Western Milwaukee Division and then the Chicago & North Western/North Line before the C&NW was absorbed by Union Pacific in April, 1995.

Metra does not refer to its lines by particular colors, but the timetable accents for the Union Pacific/North line are dark "Flambeau Green," a nod to the C&NW's Flambeau 400 passenger train.[3])

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 began on January 4, 1855. Initially, a single train operated each day, departing from a terminal in Chicago at Water St. and Kinzie St. 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 continued to be operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway under contract until that railroad was bought by Union Pacific in 1995. UP now operates passenger services along the line for Metra. Under a longstanding agreement that UP inherited from the C&NW, Metra owns the vehicles and the stations along the line, but Union Pacific employs the people who actually drive the trains, and they also control the right-of-way along the route.

All stations on the line except for Ravinia Park are open daily. Ravinia Park is only open during the Ravinia Festival in the summer months.

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]

After the passage of the Rebuild Illinois, $15 million was allocated by the State of Illinois for construction of a new Peterson Ridge station located in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. Construction is expected to start in 2020.[14]

Ridership[edit]

Since 2014 annual ridership has declined from 9.3 million to 8.6 million, an overall decline of 6.8%.[15]

1,000,000
2,000,000
3,000,000
4,000,000
5,000,000
6,000,000
7,000,000
8,000,000
9,000,000
10,000,000
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018

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.[16] 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]

State Zone Location Station Connections and notes
WI
  Milwaukee Milwaukee Intermodal Station Closed 1971
National Avenue Closed between 1943 and 1956
Cudahy Cudahy Depot Closed between 1956 and 1961
South Milwaukee South Milwaukee Closed between 1956 and 1961
Racine Racine Depot Closed 1971
J Kenosha Kenosha Kenosha Area Transit: 1, 4
Kenosha Streetcar
IL I Winthrop Harbor Winthrop Harbor
Zion Camp Logan Closed after October 28, 1956, served Camp Logan
Zion Pace: 571
  Beach Park Dunes Park Closed after October 28, 1956
Waukegan Asbestos Closed after October 28, 1956
H Waukegan Pace: 561, 562, 563, 564, 565, 568, 571, 572
G North Chicago Abbott's Platform Closed 1986[17]
North Chicago Pace: 563, 564
Great Lakes Pace: 563
Lake Bluff Lake Bluff
F Lake Forest Lake Forest
Highwood Fort Sheridan Pace: 472
E Highwood Pace: 472
Highland Park Highland Park Pace: 213, 471, 472
Ravinia
Ravinia Park
(seasonal)
Braeside Pace: 628, 629, 640
D Glencoe Glencoe Pace: 213
Winnetka Hubbard Woods Pace: 213
Winnetka Pace: 213, 423
Indian Hill Pace: 213
Kenilworth, Illinois Kenilworth Pace: 213
C Wilmette Wilmette Pace: 213, 421, 422
Evanston Evanston Central Street CTA Bus: 201, 206
Pace: 213
Evanston Davis Street Chicago "L": Purple Line (at Davis)
CTA Bus: 93, 201, 206
Pace: 208, 213, 250
Dempster Street Closed December 1, 1958
Evanston Main Street Chicago "L": Purple Line (at Main)
CTA Bus: 206
Pace: 213
Calvary Closed December 1, 1958, served Calvary Cemetery
B Chicago Rogers Park CTA Bus: 22, 96
Kenmore Closed December 1, 1958[18]
Rose Hill Closed December 1, 1958,[18] served Rosehill Cemetery
Summerdale Closed December 1, 1958[18]
Ravenswood Chicago "L": Brown Line (at Damen)
CTA Bus: 81
  Ravenswood–Wilson Closed December 1, 1958
Northcenter Closed December 1, 1958
Belmont Avenue Closed December 1, 1958
Deering Closed after June 13, 1943
A Clybourn Metra: Union Pacific / Northwest Line
CTA Bus: 9, X9, 73
Ogilvie Transportation Center Metra: Union Pacific / Northwest Line, Union Pacific / West Line
Chicago "L": Green Line, Pink Line (at Clinton)
CTA Bus: J14, 19, 56, 60, 120, 124, 125, 126, 128, 130, 157, 192


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. ^ Freund, Sara (August 12, 2019). "Construction on two Metra stations starts up again after state funding kicks in". Curbed. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  15. ^ "RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2018" (PDF). Metra. p. 4. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  16. ^ Wronski, Richard (July 20, 2009). "Public Transit's Private Club". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 23, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  17. ^ Ridership Trends - Annual Report 2017 (PDF) (Report). Metra Division of Strategic Capital Planning. February 2018. p. 32. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  18. ^ 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