Des Plaines could be getting another Metra station that would give riders a direct trip to O'Hare International Airport and Union Station in Chicago.
City officials are targeting a new station on the North Central Service line just east of the intersection of Oakton and Lee streets. This year, the city plans to fund an estimated $175,000 study to determine whether enough commuters would use the station to justify its construction.
If it does, a new stop still could be at least a couple of years away. After the feasibility study is completed, the city will submit it to Metra to decide whether to approve a new station.
The city would be required to pay for a portion or the entire cost, City Manager Mike Bartholomew said.
A potential Des Plaines station on the North Central Service line would fill a long gap between stops at Prospect Heights and O'Hare, Bartholomew said.
Metra spokeswoman Meg Thomas-Reile confirmed Tuesday that Des Plaines has expressed interest in a new Metra station near Oakton for several years.
"We have advised them all along that a feasibility study would be necessary and that the city would be responsible for securing funding for this study," she said. "Metra has provided them with a list of parameters that a feasibility study should evaluate, such as the station's anticipated costs, the degree of community support and its impact on traffic."
Much would depend upon available funding and how a new stop would fit within Metra's schedules, Thomas-Reile said.
The city's two stations -- downtown at 1501 Miner St. and the Cumberland station at 475 E. Northwest -- are both on the Union Pacific Northwest Line. That line ends at the Ogilvie Center in downtown Chicago.
Meanwhile, the Cumberland station will be completing a makeover in late spring, Bartholomew said. Metra is adding a new roof, facade, windows and lighting, as well as improving the station's interior.
Metra: Cumberland station renovations begin in late spring