Will your train station get a makeover? Here’s what Metra is fixing in 2024

A new station platform in Wood Dale, rebuilt crossings in Des Plaines and Elgin, plus 15 updated bridges along the UP North Line are among Metra’s to-do projects this year.

The commuter railroad recently announced a $332.4 million construction program across its 11 lines. Fixing bridges comprise the lion’s share of funds at $140.7 million followed by $81.6 million for station and parking work.

Thirty-five stations are slated for improvements with seven on the Metra Electric Line to be completely rebuilt. Platform modernizations are scheduled for Wood Dale on the Milwaukee West, and Cary and Crystal Lake on the UP Northwest lines.

Less eye-catching but still significant are thousands of rail tie replacements. Workers will install 40,000 new ties on the UP North between Chicago and Highland Park, and 37,000 on the UP Northwest between Chicago and Des Plaines, among other locations.

Here’s a look at other projects.

• Rail crossings will be rebuilt at 35 sites such as: Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville and Hazel Street in Deerfield on the Milwaukee District North; Gifford Road in Elgin, Western Avenue in Bartlett and Park Street in Roselle on the Milwaukee District West; Pearson Street in Des Plaines and Main Street in Cary on the UP Northwest; and Main Street in Glen Ellyn, Western Avenue in Geneva, and Route 47 in Elburn on the UP West.

• Ten new bike racks are coming to stations that include Roselle, Big Timber (Elgin) and Waukegan.

• The revamped Peterson/Ridge Station on the UP North Line will open this spring.

• Automatic ticket vending machines will be installed at stations across the system.

• SMART technology will be added along the Milwaukee District North to monitor how crossing devices perform and detect when maintenance is needed.

• Work will continue on game-changing projects such as adding a third track to the UP West between Geneva and West Chicago. Another is connecting the Milwaukee District West to Union Pacific Belvidere Subdivision tracks allowing for Metra service between Chicago and Rockford, a state initiative.

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