Metra details 2023 construction program

Publication Date
Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Metra and its railroad and municipal partners are undertaking a comprehensive list of construction projects in 2023 to help ensure that customers can continue to enjoy safe and reliable service. Construction work got underway the first week of April and will continue through the fall, weather permitting.

In 2023, Metra is focusing nearly a quarter of its annual capital spending ($119.5 million) on rebuilding and renewing station facilities. In fact, our five-year plan includes improvement projects for about 20% of Metra’s 242 – soon to be 244 – stations.

“Clean, modern, and accessible passenger facilities are an integral part of a good customer experience and create a welcoming gateway to a community,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Jim Derwinski. “For that reason, our capital plans over the next several years are focused on investments in stations across the Metra system.”

The Metra Electric Community Initiative, a multiyear plan to improve 13 stations on the line, is prime example of Metra’s focus on connecting to the communities it serves. Work is continuing this year at the 147th St. Station and scheduled to start at six more: Homewood, 95th, 79th, 87th, 103rd and Millennium (South Water entrance). Each project will completely renew station facilities and focus on accessibility features, such as elevators, to ensure people can easily access our system.

In addition to the major station projects listed above, Metra is planning to replace the existing wooden platforms at the 83rd Street and 67th Street stations and the stairs and retaining walls at 27th Street. Major station projects are also being planned in 2024 for the Van Buren, 59th-60th St./University of Chicago, 111th Street/Pullman and Harvey stations.
Construction is ongoing at two new stations: the Peterson Ridge Station on the Union Pacific North Line, slated for completion this year, and the Auburn Park Station on the Rock Island Line, scheduled for completion in 2024.

On its Milwaukee District North Line, the Grayland Station is being rebuilt in conjunction with the replacement of a 124-year-old bridge over Milwaukee Avenue. Metra is also finishing the rehab of Blue Island Vermont Street on the Rock Island Line and the new inbound platform and shelters at Ravenswood on the UP North Line.

Preserving the historic station facilities across the Metra system is also a part of the 2023 capital program, with major rehabilitation projects set to begin on the 132-year-old Kenilworth Station on the UP North Line and the 97-year-old LaGrange Road Station on the BNSF Line.

Platform replacement and repair projects are scheduled at Grayslake on the Milwaukee District North Line, Wood Dale and Big Timber on the Milwaukee District West Line, Brainerd on the Rock Island Line, Oak Lawn/Patriot on the SouthWest Service, Kenosha and Clybourn on the UP North Line and Kedzie on the UP West Line.

Other station improvements planned in 2023 include the addition of 340 new bicycle parking spaces across Metra, with projects at 17 stations. Metra will also be focusing on smaller ADA accessibility projects such as replacing worn tactile edging on its platforms and improving pathways at station facilities.

Stations are just one part of the equation, however. Maintaining reliable and safe on-time performance requires continual renewal of track and signal systems. Across the Metra system we plan to replace nearly 210,000 ties, at least 7,500 feet of rail, and 24 crossings in 2023. We also plan two separate projects to test new technologies that monitor the performance of safety equipment at rail crossings, with the goal of using that data to proactively identify maintenance needs.

The Metra system is a $35 billion asset that requires ongoing investment. Our focus on stations in 2023 is part and parcel of living up to the goals set out in Metra’s 2023-2027 Strategic Plan. Each of the projects will enhance Metra service to help us grow ridership and provide mobility choices for the entire Chicago region while ensuring the Metra experience is safe, easy, and enjoyable for all our customers.

Many these projects would not be possible without the support of our elected officials and community leaders. The Chicago area’s congressional delegation helped secure $204.1 million in competitive federal grants for projects in 2022, including $86.6 million for station projects – the most by far in any year in Metra’s history. The State of Illinois, Cook County and local communities have also been essential funding partners.

Most work will be performed during off-peak hours and on weekends. Metra will issue construction schedules for its trains during some of these projects. Construction schedules are issued when workers need to be on or very near the tracks, requiring trains to reduce speed or stop before proceeding through the construction zone. These schedules, in general, can add 10 to 15 minutes to the length of a trip. When construction schedules are in place, the modified schedules are reflected in Metra’s web-based Rail-Time Tracker and Schedule Finder and in the Ventra App’s Transit Tracker feature. The construction schedules will be posted on our website, here.

Below is a list of the projects planned in 2023. Please note that timing of the projects listed may change and, when warranted, projects may be added to or removed from this list.


Metra Electric Line
•    Harvey –147th Street/Sibley - Ongoing work to rehab station
•    Chicago – Millennium Station South Water Street – Rehab of the station facilities and access points
•    Homewood – Rehab of station facilities and access tunnel
•    Chicago – 79th Street, Chatham – Rehab of station and platforms
•    Chicago – 87th Street, Woodruff – Rehab of station and platforms
•    Chicago – 95th Street, Chicago State University – Rehab of station and platforms
•    Chicago – 103rd Street, Rosemoor Station – Rehab of station and platforms
•    Chicago – 83rd St – Platform replacement
•    Chicago – 67th St – Platform replacement
•    Chicago – 27th Street – Stair and retaining wall repairs

Milwaukee District North Line
•    Chicago – Grayland – Ongoing project to replace station and platforms
•    Grayslake – Platform replacement

Milwaukee District West Line
•    Wood Dale – Platform replacement
•    Elgin – Big Timber – Platform replacement

Rock Island Line
•    Chicago – Brainerd – Platform replacement
•    Chicago – Auburn Park – Ongoing work to construct new station
•    Blue Island – Vermont Street – Ongoing work to rehab historic station
•    Chicago – 103rd St Washington Heights – Complete rehab of depot and ADA access improvements

SouthWest Service
•    Oak Lawn Patriot – Platform replacement

UP North Line
•    Chicago – Clybourn – Platform improvement
•    Chicago – Peterson Ridge – Ongoing work to construct new station
•    Chicago – Ravenswood – Ongoing work to replace station facility and platforms
•    Kenilworth – Rehab and upgrade facilities at historic station
•    North Chicago – Rehab of depot interior
•    Kenosha – Platform replacement

UP West Line
•    Chicago – Kedzie – Platform replacement
•    La Fox – Repave driveway to station parking lot

•    LaGrange – LaGrange Road – Rehab and upgrade of station facilities


Metra Electric Line
•    Chicago – 78th Street (South Chicago Branch)
•    Chicago – Jeffrey Boulevard (South Chicago Branch)
•    Chicago – Stewart Avenue (Blue Island Branch)
•    Chicago – Wallace Avenue (Blue Island Branch)

Milwaukee District North Line
•    Lake Forest – Everett Road
•    Bannockburn – Half Day Road
•    Niles – Touhy Avenue
•    Round Lake – Hart Road

Milwaukee District West Line
•    Franklin Park – Edgington Street
•    Itasca – Prospect Avenue
•    Roselle – Rodenburg Road

Rock Island Line
•    Chicago – Ashland Avenue, Beverly Branch
•    Tinley Park – 66th Court
•    Chicago – Prospect Avenue, Beverly Branch

SouthWest Service
•    Will County – Maple Street
•    Oak Lawn – Central Avenue

UP Northwest Line
•    Barrington – Main/Cook Street
•    Des Plaines – Graceland Avenue
•    Ridgefield – Country Club Drive

UP West Line
•    Villa Park – Villa Avenue
•    Elmhurst – Poplar Avenue

•    Westmont – Cass Avenue
•    Riverside – Cowley Road
•    Hinsdale – Monroe Street


Metra Electric Line
•    Chicago – Replace 38,000 ties between Adams Street and 111th Street
•    Chicago – Replace 900 ties between Randolph Street and 11th Place in Chicago
•    Chicago – Replace 2,000 feet of rail to fix worn curves at the north end of McCormick Place

Milwaukee District North Line
•    Lake Forest – Install new crossovers
•    Libertyville – Replace 2,500 feet of rail to fix worn curves
•    Rondout – Install two turnouts and new siding track

Rock Island Line
•    Chicago – Replace 14,000 ties between Englewood and LaSalle Street
•    New Lenox – Replace 3,000 feet of rail near Cedar Road to fix worn curves

UP North Line
•    Chicago to Highland Park – Replace 41,000 ties

UP Northwest Line
•    Chicago to Harvard – Replace 116,000 ties

UP West Line
•    West Chicago to Geneva – Project to add third track continues between West Chicago and Geneva

•    Westmont – Replace platform ties at the station


Metra Electric Line
•    Chicago – Ongoing project to repair bridge columns

Milwaukee District North Line
•    Chicago – Work continues to replace the bridge over Milwaukee Avenue near the Grayland Station

Rock Island Line
•    Chicago – Lift bridge over freight tracks between 78th and 79th Street as part of the Auburn Park Station project


Metra Electric Line
•    Chicago – Install remote monitoring system at 14 grade crossings along the South Chicago Branch to quickly detect anomalies and repair critical safety devices
Milwaukee District North Line
•    Lake Forest – Ongoing signal grade crossing improvements
•    Rondout – Finish signal renewal project

Milwaukee District West Line
•    Hanover Park – Install signalized pedestrian crossing

SouthWest Service
•    Mokena – SMART crossing pilot project