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UPDATED: Metra Announces UP Construction Delayed to 2011

By Victoria Wiedel | Friday, October 1, 2010

UPDATE (10/1/10 10:30 a.m.): I asked the conductor this morning about the schedule change and he replied, “Pretend you’re in Dallas and you just woke up and found Bobby Ewing in your shower.” A few people had hard copies of the schedule (dated October 3) and it showed the “old” times from before the construction project was announced. The schedules online have not yet been updated. There’s no word on the Ravenswood platform project, but I will try to find out today.

Southbound riders disembark on the new "temporary" Metra platform at Lawrence Avenue and Ravenswood. Credit: Victoria Wiedel

9/30/10: Earlier this morning Metra posted an announcement on their website announcing a delay of their planned UP North Line until 2011 and that Metra will move back to the original” schedule.

A Metra’s customer service representative told CSJ that riders should refer to the schedule from February (which is the PDF version posted online - link here). The other schedule link on the same page lists August 22 as the effective date, but the times coincide between the two links.

We will update this post when we can confirm the schedule times. Or feel free to post your comments below if you can provide further clarification.

Below is the text of the announcement Metra posted on their website.

“Dear Union Pacific North Line passengers,

I would like to thank you for your patience as we undertake an unprecedented construction project on the Union Pacific North Line. The replacement of 22 bridges affects the third highest ridership in our Metra system and we want to take extreme measures to make sure all communities are served to the best of our ability.

Due to the complexity of this project, we are postponing construction until Spring 2011. Starting Sunday, October 3rd, we will be reverting the Union Pacific North Line schedule back to its original form. We are exploring engineering options that provide for maintaining a two-track operation when construction resumes.

The original construction plan requiring inbound and outbound trains to share a single track in the construction zone was derived in a way to be most economical in working with a constrained budget. We had temporarily changed the Union Pacific North Line schedule to fit the single-track operation. We appreciate your feedback, have listened to your comments and firmly believe that the quality of service and ease of travel to our passengers is paramount and thus are going back to the schedule that best fit the needs of our passengers.

While construction is on hold and additional alternatives analysis is completed, we will vigorously maintain repairs needed and monitor each bridge until construction resumes.

Construction updates for the entire project will be posted on Metrarail.com. Passengers that would like to be notified when there are updates, can also log on to MyMetra and sign up by selecting the UP North line and checking the box that says, e-mail notifications of service alerts on my train routes. Passengers can also receive updates following on Twitter at MetraUPN.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and appreciate your patience as we continue to address the needs of passengers in all Union Pacific North Line communities.

Sincerely,

Carole R. Doris
Chairman
Metra Board of Directors”

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  • Eric

    The “original schedule” is before the first change for single-track work. So we’ll still have the 8:31 and 8:50 morning trains. How I’ll miss that 9:15. :(

    Write your state representatives and Congressmen and tell them to give Metra $80M so they can build a retaining wall and do this project properly with two tracks in service and a net result of a three-track right of way preserved for future capacity expansion.

    Now is the time to act.

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