Union Pacific will replace ties on Metra’s UP-North Line

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Union Pacific is about to embark on a major tie project on Metra’s UP-North line.
David C. Lester

Union Pacific is about to embark on a major tie project over 45 miles of its Metra UP-North Line. The portion of the line receiving the new ties runs from Kenosha and Chicago, and the work will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

To lessen impacts on the current train schedule as well as the communities along the line, work will occur between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. seven days a week through November. Union Pacific believes that this schedule will allow the work to progress more quickly, lessening the impact to communities along the line.

“Tie replacement is essential and must be done at regular intervals to maintain track speeds and service levels,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Jim Derwinski. “We understand that track work during the evening overnight hours will affect the communities near the work zones and that any delays are an inconvenience for our riders. However, accelerating the work schedule and doing it during off-peak hours should minimize these impacts.”

Metra riders may experience minor delays during the evening and some late-night train schedules may be adjusted as the work moves closer to Chicago. Communities along the tracks will experience increased noise levels, including train horns, during work periods. Federal law requires trains to sound their horns when entering a track work zone even if the work takes place in a community that is regulated as a quiet zone. Union Pacific believes that the accelerated work schedule will mean that each community should only experience direct impacts for two to three days as the project moves down the tracks.

Track changes may occur as trains work around the track workers, and customers are advised to listen for platform announcements throughout the project to verify the boarding platform well in advance of a train’s arrival at their station.

As mentioned earlier, the project is expected to last through the end of November. Any changes to the current train schedule will be posted at metra.com.

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