General Leasing Information

Metra offers leasing and vendor opportunities at various locations on property it owns. However, some of Metra's stations are owned and operated by municipalities or master tenants. Metra also has limited vacant land available. If you are interested in a particular site or would like to learn more about available opportunities, please contact Metra's Leasing Manager at 312.322.6477.

Working on Metra Property

Property Access

The Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Metra), a division of a municipal corporation, owns or controls railroad right of way (ROW) on the Rock Island District, Milwaukee District, Metra Electric District, and SouthWest Service located in Cook, DuPage, Will, McHenry, Kane and Lake counties in Illinois. If you need access to the ROW for any reason, including but not limited to surveying, development, utility installation, planning or construction, you or your company must obtain permission from Metra as evidenced by a Right of Entry Agreement executed by Metra. Please see the appropriate application and construction standards below and, if additional information is required, please call Metra's Right of Way Administrator at 312-322-8004 for details and to obtain the necessary agreement.

The boundary of the rail ROW is like any other property line, and should be respected when determining building setback and buffer requirements established by local zoning laws. It is vitally important to accurately depict the location of the Metra ROW and the nature of our ownership rights on any survey, plan or development that occurs near the ROW.

Licenses and Permits

Any business, roadway, utility or residence that occupies or desires to occupy any part of the ROW must be licensed by Metra. Metra has procedures in place to determine whether or not rights will be granted to those who wish to use certain areas of the ROW for residential or commercial purposes. For assistance in obtaining the required documentation, please call Metra's Right of Way Administrator at 312-322-8004.


Utility Crossings and ROW Occupations

Metra has developed applications and design guidelines for ROW occupations. These guidelines and their manuals are available for download below. You will need the Adobe Reader to view these manuals and applications.



It can take a train up to a mile and a half to come to a complete stop. Construction workers, survey crews and others with permission who are working within or near the ROW should stay alert and always expect a train at any time, on any track, in either direction. Remember, trains can't stop quickly, but you can.

Hours of Operation

Work on Metra's ROW is allowed during non-rush hour times only. These allowable times are generally between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the discretion of the Transportation Department of the Railroad District impacted by the work. Night hours and weekend work will be determined by Metra on a case-by-case basis.

Flagging Protection

In general, a railroad flagman is required any time work is performed within the Metra ROW. This protection cannot be provided by any personnel other than an authorized Metra employee. Metra will make the sole determination as to whether flagging protection is required based on the work to be performed. The minimum hour for a railroad flagman is 8 hours per day. The overtime rate shall be charged for all time in excess of 8 hours. Flagmen are paid from the time they leave their headquarters to the time they return.

Changes to Facilities

Temporary and permanent changes to signal, communication, power transmission lines, trailers, drainage and other railroad facilities required in connection with the project to clear the temporary and/or permanent work to be performed by the contractor as shown on the approved construction plans, will be made by Metra or Metra's duly authorized agent, at the sole cost and expense of the contractor in accordance with Metra's force account estimate. Any other changes made or services furnished by Metra shall be at the sole cost and expense of the contractor.


Metra has specific insurance requirements for any work performed on, over, under or across its ROW. Any questions pertaining to Metra's insurance requirements can be answered by calling Metra's Risk Management's Insurance Specialist at 312-322-1455.

Other Railroads

Please note that Metra's requirements apply only to the property it owns and/or controls in commuter service. Other railroad ROWs are owned and operated by Union Pacific Railroad, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern and the BNSF Railway. Each of these entities has its own ROW specifications and policies.

Available Contact Information for Metra Railroad Partners:

Union Pacific

Canadian National

BNSF Railway

Norfolk Southern