METRA SERVICE LEVELS - PAST AND PRESENT

Numbers of weekday trains on each Metra line at the downtown Chicago station, during various eras.



Line         Early           Late
             1940's          1950's           1971            2009

        Arrive  Depart  Arrive  Depart  Arrive  Depart  Arrive  Depart

UP-N     33      33      31      28      34      32      35      35
UP-NW    37      33      38      36      34      33      32      33
UP-W     23      23      25      27      28      31      29      30
MILW-N   13      13      13      13      18      17      30      30
MILW-W   14      14      14      14      18      18      29      29
RI-CITY  35      36      25      24      18      19      11      10
RI-SUBN  15      14      12      12      13      13      23      24
BNSF     31      33      33      33      31      31      47      47
SW        1       1       1       1       1       1      15      15
HC        1       1       1       1       1       1       3       3
EL-CITY 151     155     102     103      61      61      33      35
EL-SUBN  42      41      42      40      39      39      40      36
NC        0       0       0       0       0       0      11      11


All three Union Pacific (former Chicago & North Western) lines remained relatively stable over the years. Although there was a shift in emphasis towards outer suburban areas, with more closer in traffic assumed by paralleling CTA rapid transit lines.

Growth is notable on the Milwaukee District lines, the BNSF (former Burlington) line, and the three smaller Metra operations.

Declines are notable for the services within the city of Chicago, with the Rock Island and the Electric (former Illinois Central) lines. The city and suburban trains on those lines are counted separately. Trains terminating in Blue Island on both lines are counted as "city" trains. While "suburban" trains include trains on the Rock Island line beyond Blue Island to Joliet, and on the Electric main line beyond Kensington to University Park.

On the Rock Island and the Electric lines, many of the "suburban" trains also served the "city" markets, so the distinction is not always clear. On the Electric line during slack periods, trains serving South Chicago and Blue Island would make connections with the main line trains. Those trains and are not counted here, not operating directly to and from downtown. And on the Rock Island line, except during rush hours, all trains now operate between Chicago and Joliet, using the branch through Beverly Hills. While in the past, nearly all trains via Beverly Hills terminated in Blue Island, with trains serving Joliet operating via the more direct main line.