With only three weekday rush hour trains each direction, this is Metra's most minor operation. But because those trains share the Joliet station with the Rock Island District trains, it is possible to ride an afternoon train to Joliet and return on a Rock Island District train. The Heritage Corridor trains use the Canadian National (former Gulf Mobile & Ohio, later Illinois Central Gulf) main line to St. Louis, which is also used by Amtrak trains. South of Joliet, trackage eventually became owned by Southern Pacific, now Union Pacific. Between the Chicago River crossing and Brighton Park, CTA's Orange Line parallels this line. The most significant suburbs along this route are Lemont and Lockport, but these are not typical "bedroom communities" whose main function is to serve as residential areas for people working in the big city. Instead they are more like individual small towns with their own economies and industries. The Des Plaines River and other waterways in the area enabled industries to develop there early on, including an oil refinery. Freight action along the route is moderate.
Speed Limit: 79 mph
Scenes along the line.