Metra is holding an open house at the Evanston Public Library on Wednesday to answer questions about the new Union Pacific north line schedule that takes effect Aug. 21

The new temporary schedule is expected to last four years while rail bridges are replaced on Chicago’s north side.

The work will require northbound and southbound trains to share a single track on a portion of the route, and that means some trains will have to wait while trains going in the other direction pass by.

Metra contends that travel times will be no more than two minutes longer and on some trips will stay the same as before.

The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the library, 1703 Orrington Ave. 

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Two minutes longer doesn’t count the missing trains

    "Metra contends that travel times will be no more than two minutes longer and on some trips will stay the same as before."

    Travel times may only be 2 minutes longer, but the fact that they are dropping a number of trains means many of us will be going to work earlier and/or staying later.

    Metra’s new schedule will add 21 minutes to my commute, as my morning train is dropped completely and I am forced to take the next earlier train.

    1. The “missing” trains

      If you will share with me the details of your commute, I will take it up with the Metra representatives when I cover today’s meeting. In comparing the two schedules, I could not detect any missing trains between 7:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. Central Street and Davis Street have exactly the same number of trains during that period, and Main Street even has one more train.  If you’re leaving before 7:15 a.m., however, Central Street has two fewer trains and Davis Street has one less. Main Street has four trains in the early hours under both schedules.

      During the return trip, between 4:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m., Davis Street has two fewer trains, while Central Street and Main Street have one less train each.

      1. 31 minute gap at Davis

        If you will share with me the details of your commute, I will take it up with the Metra representatives when I cover today’s meeting.


        The issue is the 31 minute gap between 7:25 and 7:56 at Davis.  This is a pretty large gap during a popular commuting time.

      2. Main St 7:47 A.M.

        They may have added trains on the Main St. stop, but they’re eliminating the 7:47 a.m., which a lot of commuters in the area take. That leaves us with a 7:21, a 7:27 and then no train until 7:58. Who came up with that brilliant plan? Why not space the times out better?

  2. Let Metra know about it!

    Well, the changed schedule is here – and it’s not good for the Main Street commuters!  We knew it would be bad, with the 7:47 am train eliminated, but the delays mean that the 7:21 and the 7:27 are often totally full and/or late, and the 7:58 is ridiculously packed; the conductor can’t even collect fares.  What to do?  Let Metra know how you feel!  You can talk to a very nice person at Passenger Services, (312) 322-6777, choice #7.  (#7 immediately connects you to a real person).  Add your voice to the number of complaints and maybe something will change before the four years. 

    Don’t forget to tell her that the 5:25 shouldn’t be the only train stopping at Main Street between 5 and 6 pm!

    1. While you are at it…

      Let Metra know that we expect our bridges and viaducts to be rebuilt.  The massive rebuilding project does not include the Evanston bridges.  They are hearing this from your representatives, but not from the community directly.  Please voice this expectation as well!

      Don Wilson, Alderman, 4th Ward

  3. New Metra schedule

    This schedule adjustment has not been pleasant.  Metra put a note about it on their website.

    Like a lot of people, I was paying attention to the changes in the morning schedule and the new 31 minute gap from 7:25 to 7:56 at Davis.   What I failed to notice is that they eliminated my favorite northbound train – the 6:31 train that used to go directly from Ogilvie to Davis, not even stopping at Clybourn.That was a great train.   

    Now they have a 6:27 that goes nonstop to Winnetka.  What good is that?   Would it really hurt them to stop at Davis on the way to Winnetka? 

    It is no fun being on the 6:35 that stops at Clybourn, Ravenswood, Rogers Park, and Main.

    1. New Metra Schedules effective Sept 26

      The Tribune had an article today about Metra revising its schedules again.

      Follow this link to the new UP North schedule effective September 26. 

      Not much of an improvement in the morning for Davis Street.  There is a 7:26, 7:30, then 7:58 inbound train…so the 31-minute gap will be 28 minutes.

      Returning home, the good news is that the lovely 6:31 non-stop from Ogilvie to Davis is coming back!  20 minutes from OTC to Davis.

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