Union Pacific Railroad has announced that it will embark on a major tie project on the UP-West Line beginning Wednesday, June 8. Metra riders may experience minor delays during the work, which is expected to last through the end of September.
“Tie replacement is essential and must be done at regular intervals to maintain track speeds and service levels, especially on a line like the UP-West that sees a significant amount of freight traffic in addition to commuter service,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Jim Derwinski. “We understand that any delays can represent an inconvenience for our riders but focusing the work on off-peak hours should minimize these impacts.”
The project will cover a 40-mile stretch of track from Chicago’s west side to Elburn. Union Pacific forces will replace approximately 90,000 ties and will be working on all three tracks used by the Metra UP-West Line. To complete the work on schedule, UP forces will be working seven days a week with the majority of the work to take place in the overnight hours to early morning.
Metra will be implementing a construction schedule for non-rush hour trains to accommodate the time needed to travel through the work zones. More information on the schedule can be found here. Rush hour trains may also be impacted by the need to reduce operating speeds through work zones.
Track changes may occur as trains work around the track workers, and customers are advised to listen for platform announcements throughout the project to verify the boarding platform well in advance of a train’s arrival at their station.
Because the work will take place around the clock, residents of communities along the UP-West Line may hear more frequent train horns including during the evening and overnight hours. Federal law requires trains to sound their horns when entering a track work zone even if the work takes place in a community that is regulated as a quiet zone.