Local Mayors Ask Metra for Additional Heritage Corridor Trains

Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves and Romeoville Mayor John Noak plan to deliver a letter to Metra's board of directors Friday morning, according to Congressman Dan Lipinski's office.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and 22 local elected officials are asking Metra to add two rush hour trains to the Heritage Corridor line—one morning inbound train and one evening outbound train.

The Heritage Corridor line runs from Joliet to Chicago, with stations in Lockport, , Willow Springs and Summit. Plans are underway to build a new station . Currently, the line has three-round trip trains per day, with no midday or weekend service.

Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves and Romeoville Mayor John Noak delivered a letter to Metra's board of directors at its meeting in Chicago on Friday, according Lipinski's office.

“The bottom line is that the current level of service of just three round-trip trains per day on the Heritage Corridor isn’t nearly enough,” Lipinski said in a press release. “Will County’s population has surged by 175,000 in the last decade, and Cook County communities along the line have also grown. But Heritage Corridor service has not kept pace. That’s why today we are all speaking with one voice to urge Metra to add one inbound and one outbound rush hour train as a first step toward expanding service.”

Lipinski has long been a proponent of improving transportation in the southwest surburbs, particularly along Metra's Heritage Corridor line. In April 2011, funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Although results of the study have yet to be released, Lipinski said it only considered what would be needed to add six new Metra trains. Moreover, it focused on adding trains during midday, not in the morning or evening.

Lipinski believes Metra can add two rush hour trains without making costly infrastructure upgrades.

“Adding the two trains we are talking about is something that we should be able to do in the near future at modest cost,” he said.

With construction on a  scheduled to begin in 2014 and an East Side development plan in the works, Noak has also taken an active interest in the Heritage Corridor.

“With the addition of a new Romeoville station next year, adding more trains to the Heritage Corridor is a top priority for the village,” Noak said in the release. “Our population has almost doubled in the last decade, and with growth continuing in the area, we need to give residents more options for getting to work.” 

During Lemont's , Reaves said increasing Metra service is one of his main goals in 2012.

“Lemont residents have been clamoring for more service on the Heritage Corridor,” Reaves said in the release. “This is something that is truly needed and I strongly encourage Metra to give full attention and consideration to this request.”

Would you like to see more trains added to the Heritage Corridor line? When, and how many? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Paul C. May 11, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I wish they added weekend service. Mid-day trains and evening trains are a start. They should also add more parking. As gas prices continue to rise more people would like public transportation options. As a family, we love to do things in the city on the weekend and it would be nice to able to use the station that is close to us. I also think the more trains you have the more the businesses in the area will benefit. If we want the downtown area to be a destination then we need to make sure that we are doing what is possible to make it accessible. The current schedule is pretty much useless unless you are a commuter with a job in the city M-F.
angie May 12, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Angie Please start to use NIGHT-time whistles 24/7. Local trains do not need. If rural route full whistle needed. Yes, it is a very good plan to expand the commuter trains
Darci McHale-George May 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I currently drive to New Lenox to take the metra into the city because the Heritage line doesn't provide enough flexibility for me. With limited options on train times it isn't possible to coordinate with kids schedules. And if there were an emergency in the middle of the day with my kids I wouldnt be able to take a train back to where my car was parked, I would have to take the Rock Island or the Southwest line just to get back into the area. Metra needs to stop neglecting its southwest and will county riders.
Deb Derda- Mussallem May 14, 2012 at 01:02 PM
I am a working mom that takes the HC daily expect for Tuesdays. Tuesdays I drive to Downers Grove so I can get home earlier . Last week, I was ill on the HC train and decided to return home after arriving at Union Station. I would think that one train would be returning to Lemont in the morning. There is nothing til 4:50 pm!! I had to take the Burlington Northern and have someone pick me up. What a inconvenience!! I live in walking distance to the train station. Why should I have to drive to another town to get home earlier. Downers Grove is bustiling with people everymorning. Starbucks is busy, bakeries are busy. If you want to bring more new residence and business. This is the place to start. Good public transportation is vital to community!! Let's get the ball rolling.
LemontFan May 14, 2012 at 03:19 PM
There is no doubt that additional train service and stations are needed along the Heritage Corridor. When it comes to Metra's train lines, we are at the bottom of the barrel and lowest priority. I do have to ask, why does it take so long for the Romeoville Station to be built and added to the line? With the addition of this station and additional train service, you can add ridership from the surrounding towns (Plainfield, Bolingbrook, south Naperville, Darien, Woodridge etc). I am so envious of riders on the BNSF as they have so many options. Neighbors of mine in Lemont drive to Downer Grove and ride the BNSF because of the options.


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