Big construction weekend coming on Metra BNSF line

  • Metra BNSF riders can expect schedule tweaks this weekend as the railroad repairs track.

    Metra BNSF riders can expect schedule tweaks this weekend as the railroad repairs track. Daily Herald File Photo

Updated 10/22/2018 6:26 PM

Metra BNSF Line riders jumping on the train this weekend should prepare for delays and schedule changes.

The commuter railroad is squeezing three weeks of track repairs into three days.


Extra crews of BNSF Railway workers will replace 18,000 rail ties on the center of three tracks between Hinsdale and Aurora.

Condensing the project will save riders some pain, Metra Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a statement.

"If this project were to proceed under the normal three-week timeline, our morning rush-hour trains would be delayed throughout by slow orders," Derwinski said.

Tie replacement begins after 8 p.m. Friday, when Metra plans to cancel trains 1294 and 1298 to downtown as well as 1295 and 1299 back to the suburbs. Trains 1293, 1296, 1297, 1324 and 1325 will have adjusted schedules.

On Saturday and Sunday, Metra riders should expect 10-minute delays en route; trains 1323 and 1329 will have revised schedules.

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The BNSF frequently has been hit with delays over the last year. The line from Aurora to Union Station carries the most commuters on Metra along with balancing a hectic freight schedule.

In August, the BNSF was the least punctual route with a 92.7 percent on-time performance score out of 11 lines.

Changes to the BNSF's schedule in June resulted in some overcrowding. The schedule alterations were due to installation of positive train control, an automatic breaking system. The BNSF is the first Metra line to implement PTC on its system.

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