Union Pacific / Northwest Line
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.
The line runs from the Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago to endpoints in McHenry, Illinois and Harvard, Illinois, with the McHenry branch served only during weekday rush periods. Overall, this is Metra's longest route and one of three lines with branches. The terminus of the McHenry branch progressively moved southwards, from Williams Bay, Wisconsin to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 1965, Lake Geneva to Richmond, Illinois in 1975, and Richmond to McHenry in 1980.
As of April 2013, the public timetable indicated 33 trains leaving Chicago each weekday, with three terminating at McHenry, 14 terminating at Crystal Lake, 4 terminating at Barrington, 11 at Harvard, and 1 at Des Plaines.
The line has many riders from southern Wisconsin due to its proximity to places like Madison and Janesville. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has funded studies on extending the line from Harvard to into Janesville, with potential stops along the way. This line is also used by a handful of commuters from the Rockford area. There has been talk of rebuilding the KD Line from Rockford to Harvard.
The Union Pacific-Northwest Line is Metra's second busiest line, with an average of 38,600 boardings on a weekday. It is second only to the BNSF Railway.
Union Pacific/Northwest Line trains make the following station stops:
- Chicago, Ogilvie Transportation Center
- Irving Park
- Jefferson Park
- Gladstone Park
- Norwood Park
- Edison Park
- Park Ridge
- Dee Road (Park Ridge)
- Des Plaines
- Cumberland (Des Plaines)
- Mount Prospect
- Arlington Heights
- Arlington Park (Arlington Heights)
- Fox River Grove
- Pingree Road (Crystal Lake)
- Crystal Lake
- McHenry Branch after Pingree Road
- "Did you know?" (PDF). On the Bi-Level: 3. June 2009.
- Behrens, P. L. (2002). Steam Trains to Geneva Lake: C&NW's Elgin – Williams Bay Branch.
- Judy Robson Announces Funding of Metra Feasibility Study[dead link]
- Northern Illinois Commuter Transportation Initiative Rockford Bus Service to Chicago Area
- Metra Union Pacific/Northwest service schedule
Media related to Metra Union Pacific/Northwest Line at Wikimedia Commons