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Rail News: Passenger Rail
Beginning June 3, Metra
will add two trains to its BNSF Line weekday schedule to relieve crowding on some trains. The BNSF Line is the Chicago commuter railroad's busiest.
A survey of BNSF Line riders taken earlier this year revealed requests for more service and complaints of overcrowding
on existing trains.
In response, Metra added a five-car train by using equipment from other Metra lines. The measure won't eliminate all crowding on the line, but Metra has no additional equipment available, railroad officials said in a press release.
In addition, there are capacity constraints in the yards, on the tracks and at Chicago Union Station that prevent Metra and BNSF Railway Co.
from adding more trains or cars.
Another change to the weekday schedule is the first train of the morning leaving 5 minutes earlier to accommodate riders transferring to Chicago Transit Authority buses in downtown Chicago.
In addition to revised weekday service on the line, Metra will add a train in each direction to the weekend schedule as part of a pilot program beginning June 8 and ending Sept. 2.
Trains were also added to the UP Northwest and Rock Island lines' weekend schedules as part of the pilot.