Union Pacific Northwest Line

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Union Pacific Northwest Line
METX 142 in Norwood Park on the UP Harvard Subdivision.jpg
A Union Pacific Northwest Line train led by an EMD F40PH in the Norwood Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
Overview
Service typeCommuter Rail
LocaleCook and McHenry counties, Illinois
Current operator(s)
Ridership38,600 (Avg. Weekday 2014)[1]
18,800 (Avg. Weekend 2014)[2]
Annual ridership2,602,403 (2020)
Route
TerminiOgilvie Transportation Center
Harvard, McHenry
Stops22 (to Harvard)
20 (to McHenry)
23 (total)
Line(s) used
Technical
Track owner(s)Union Pacific Railroad

The Union Pacific Northwest Line (UP-NW) is a commuter rail line provided by Metra and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad in Chicago, Illinois and its surrounding suburbs. While Metra does not refer to any of its lines by colors, the timetable accents for the Union Pacific Northwest Line are bright "Viking Yellow," honoring the Chicago & North Western Railway's Viking passenger train.[3]

The line runs from Ogilvie Transportation Center to Harvard, Illinois. However, most trains terminate in Crystal Lake, Illinois. A branch line to McHenry, Illinois operates during weekday rush hours in the peak direction. Overall, this is Metra's longest route and one of three routes with branches (the others being the Rock Island District and Metra Electric District). The line is Metra's second busiest with an average of 38,600 boardings on a weekday. It is second only to the BNSF Line.

As of April 25, 2022, Metra operates 33 trains in each direction on the Union Pacific Northwest Line on weekdays. Of these, 11 inbound trains originate from Harvard, three from McHenry, 11 from Crystal Lake, two from Barrington, four from Arlington Heights, and two from Des Plaines. Two outbound trains terminate at Des Plaines, four at Arlington Heights, two at Barrington, 10 at Crystal Lake, three at McHenry, and 12 at Harvard.

Metra operates 17 trains in each direction on the Union Pacific Northwest Line on Saturdays. Of these, 10 inbound trains originate from Harvard, five from Crystal Lake, one from Barrington, and one from Arlington Heights. Two outbound trains terminate at Barrington, five at Crystal Lake, and 10 at Harvard.

Metra operates 10 inbound trains and 11 outbound trains on the Union Pacific Northwest Line on Sundays. Of these, seven inbound trains originate from Harvard, two from Crystal Lake, and one from Arlington Heights. Three outbound trains terminate at Crystal Lake and eight terminate at Harvard.

There is no service at Gladstone Park station or on the McHenry branch on weekends or holidays. All other stations are open every day.

The line is triple-tracked from Clybourn to just southeast of Barrington, with a bidirectional express track, and double tracked from Barrington to Harvard. The McHenry branch is single-tracked. Historically, double track was maintained from Harvard to Baraboo, Wisconsin. A now-gone portion of the Union Pacific Northwest Line diverged at Harvard and passed through Beloit, Wisconsin, and reconnected to the main line at Evansville junction to allow a separate passenger and freight line. Around the time the Beloit line was abandoned, the railroad single-tracked the line from Harvard to Janesville.

Metra has included the possibility of extending the Union Pacific Northwest Line's McHenry branch to Johnsburg in their Cost Benefit Analysis report. If this were to happen, the branch would open an infill station in Prairie Grove. Additionally, an infill station would open between Crystal Lake and Woodstock along the line to Harvard.[4]

Ridership[edit]

Between 2014 and 2019, annual ridership declined from 11,609,358 to 10,384,356, an overall decline of 10.6%.[5][6] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ridership dropped to 2,602,403 passengers in 2020.[7]

2,500,000
5,000,000
7,500,000
10,000,000
12,500,000
15,000,000
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020

Stations[edit]

State County Zone Location Station Connections and notes
WI Rock   Evansville Evansville Closed 1965[citation needed]
Janesville Janesville Closed
Clinton Clinton Closed 1966[citation needed]
Walworth Sharon Sharon Closed 1966[citation needed]
IL McHenry J Harvard Harvard Bus interchange Pace: 808 Crystal Lake–Harvard
Hartland Hartland Closed 1984[8]
Woodstock Woodstock Bus interchange Pace: 807 Woodstock–McHenry, 808 Crystal Lake–Harvard
Ridgefield Ridgefield Closed, proposed new stop
I Crystal Lake Crystal Lake Bus interchange Pace: 550 Elgin Transp. Ctr.–Crystal Lake, 806 Crystal Lake–Fox Lake, 808 Crystal Lake–Harvard
Pingree Road
H Cary Cary
Fox River Grove Fox River Grove Formerly named Chicago Highlands
Cook G Barrington Barrington
F Palatine Palatine
E Arlington Heights Arlington Park
Arlington Heights
D Mount Prospect Mount Prospect Bus interchange Pace: 234 Wheeling–Des Plaines
Des Plaines Cumberland Bus interchange Pace: 208 Golf, 221 Wolf, 234 Wheeling–Des Plaines
Des Plaines Bus interchange Pace: 208 Golf, 209 Busse Hwy, 226 Oakton, 230 South Des Plaines, 234 Wheeling–Des Plaines, 250 Dempster
C Park Ridge Dee Road Bus interchange Pace: 209 Busse Hwy, 226 Oakton, 240 Dee
Park Ridge Bus interchange Pace: 209 Busse Hwy, 241 Greenwood–Talcott, 290 Touhy
Bus interchange CTA Bus: 68 Northwest Highway
Skokie Skokie Skokie branch; Closed December 1, 1958
Lincolnwood Lincolnwood Skokie branch; Closed December 1, 1958
Chicago Sauganash Skokie branch; Closed December 1, 1958
Peterson Weber branch; Closed December 1, 1958
Edison Park Bus interchange CTA Bus: 68 Northwest Highway
Norwood Park Bus interchange CTA Bus: 68 Northwest Highway
B Gladstone Park Bus interchange CTA Bus: 68 Northwest Highway
Jefferson Park Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg Chicago "L": Blue
Bus interchange CTA Bus: 56, 68, 81, 81W, 85, 85A, 88, 91, 92, X98
Bus interchange Pace: 225 Central–Howard, 226 Oakton, 270 Milwaukee
Bus rapid transit Pace Pulse: 100 Milwaukee Line
Mayfair Closed December 1, 1958
Kostner Closed December 1, 1958
Irving Park Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg Chicago "L": Blue (at Irving Park)
Bus interchange CTA Bus: 53 Pulaski, N53 Pulaski Owl, 54A North Cicero/Skokie Blvd, 80 Irving Park
  Parkview Closed December 1, 1958
Avondale Closed December 1, 1958
Maplewood Closed December 1, 1958
A Clybourn Metra Metra:  Union Pacific North
Bus interchange CTA Bus: 9 Ashland, X9 Ashland Express, 73 Armitage
Ogilvie
Transportation
Center
Metra Metra:  Union Pacific North,  Union Pacific West
Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg Chicago "L": Green Pink (at Clinton)
Bus interchange CTA Bus: J14, 19, 56, 60, 120, 124, 125, 126, 128, 130, 157, 192

McHenry branch[edit]

The branch, which formerly had service north to Williams Bay, branches off from the main line north of Pingree Road.

State County Zone Location Station Connections and notes
WI Walworth  
Williams Bay Williams Bay Closed 1966[citation needed]
Lake Geneva Lake Geneva Closed 1975
Pell Lake Pell Lake Closed 1975
Genoa City Genoa City Closed 1975
IL McHenry J
Richmond Richmond Closed 1980
Ringwood Ringwood Closed 1980[citation needed]
Johnsburg Johnsburg Proposed new stop
McHenry McHenry Bus interchange Pace: 806 Crystal Lake–Fox Lake, 807 Woodstock–McHenry
Prairie Grove Prairie Grove Proposed new stop

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 21, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 21, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Did you know?" (PDF). On the Bi-Level: 3. June 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-02.
  4. ^ "Systemwide Cost Benefit Analysis of Major Capital Improvements" (PDF). Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  5. ^ "RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2018" (PDF). Metra. p. 4. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  6. ^ "RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2019" (PDF). Metra. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  7. ^ "RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANNUAL REPORT 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-04-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Ridership Trends - Annual Report 2017 (PDF) (Report). Metra Division of Strategic Capital Planning. February 2018. p. 32. Retrieved December 2, 2018.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata

Media related to Metra Union Pacific/Northwest Line at Wikimedia Commons