PTC-induced schedule changes coming to Metra Electric line

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CHICAGO – Metra is changing the schedule on the Metra Electric Line, including the cancellation of one outbound South Chicago Branch train during the evening rush, beginning April 23. The changes will provide increased train spacing in preparation for the implementation of positive train control.

Metra Electric riders will notice changes in departure and arrival times to a number of trains in the range of two to five minutes during the morning and evening rush hours. The changes are necessary to meet PTC’s requirement that each signal and switch be tied into its communications system. To do this, Metra had to replace a manually operated switches at 11th Place, just north of the Museum Campus/11th Street Station, with an automated system. More time will now be required to navigate this interlocking because the signals must reset between each train. Schedules had to be adjusted to reflect the new operating conditions.

“We realize that some of our customers will be inconvenienced by these changes, but the implementation of PTC necessitates it,” Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski says. “We examined this carefully and determined that we would need to eliminate a train run to meet the requirements of PTC and maintain a reliable schedule.”

The changes in train spacing necessitated by PTC will result in the permanent cancellation of South Chicago Branch outbound train No. 407, the 5:15 p.m. departure from Millennium Station. To accommodate customers who formerly used train No. 407, outbound train No. 405 will now depart five minutes later at 5:05 p.m.

Several evening rush hour trains to University Park will also depart Millennium Station at later times. Train No. 707 will depart Millennium at 5:21 p.m. instead of 5:17 p.m., train No. 737 will depart Millennium at 5:24 p.m. instead of 5:20 p.m., and train No. 757 will depart Millennium at 5:27 p.m. instead of 5:23 p.m.

Metra is also making similar schedule changes to its BNSF Railway line to accommodate the implementation of PTC there later this year.
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