Metra and local officials today officially dedicated the new Ravenswood Station on the Union Pacific North Line, following the recent opening of the rebuilt inbound side of the facility.
The $36.1 million project completely rebuilt the station, with longer, covered platforms and warming shelters on both sides, new lighting, ramps and stairs, new landscaping, and a vendor space. The station is now fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Metra would like to thank our riders in the Ravenswood community for their patience and understanding during this lengthy reconstruction project,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Jim Derwinski. “It has been a long journey, but this community now has the station that it needs and deserves.”
“This inbound station opening is wonderful news for our community after years of construction,” said Ald. Matt Martin. “Mass transit infrastructure is vital for a thriving community, and I am thrilled for our commuters who can finally expect to be sheltered from the elements during their commute next winter.”
“I am thrilled to see the new Ravenswood Station officially open today right here in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood community, where I grew up and have many fond memories,” said State Sen. Mike Simmons. “The new facilities, including warming shelters, longer platforms, and ramps, are all just the kind of investments we need in our transportation facilities to increase ridership and restore the health of our regional transit. That the new station is ADA compliant is also a major win for transit equity. Thank you Metra, Alderman Martin and all stakeholders who worked so hard to get us to this point.”
“Cook County congratulates Metra on completing upgrades of the Union Pacific North Ravenswood Station as part of a $167 million upgrade to viaducts along the rail line in Chicago,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Continued investment in station improvements outside of downtown Chicago are crucial to making the rail system more convenient and accessible.”
“The Illinois Department of Transportation is proud to invest in a project that highlights the importance of Metra to Chicago’s neighborhoods,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Under the leadership of Gov. Pritzker, IDOT is making improvements just like this one throughout the state, providing safe, reliable and accessible options that strengthen the state’s transportation network.”
“The Federal Transit Administration is pleased to partner with Metra for this significant improvement project at the Ravenswood station that will allow better access for all riders, reduce boarding time, provide platform shelters, and improve train efficiency,” said FTA Regional Administrator Kelley Brookins.
The station was rebuilt in stages as part of a $167 million project to replace aging bridges along the UP North Line on the North Side of Chicago. The outbound half was completed in 2015 as bridges for the outbound tracks over 11 streets between Grace and Balmoral were replaced, and the inbound half was completed after the inbound bridges over those same streets were replaced. The staging was needed in order to keep two tracks open for service during construction.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ravenswood served about 2,400 riders a day, making it the busiest outlying station on the UP North Line and the fourth-busiest Metra station outside of downtown. It also has a substantial number of reverse commuters, mandating the need for new shelters on both platforms. The new station with its longer platforms will better serve the growing number of Ravenswood riders and improve loading times, which will result in more timely and efficient train service.
The project was funded with a combination of federal, state, and local capital sources.