Metra Could Look Totally Different 5 Years From Now After Upgrades

The upgrades will come as a result of Gov. Pritzker's $45 billion Rebuild Illinois program

Did you know Metra is one of the oldest fleets of rail cars in the Midwest? Over half are more than 40 years old and soon, riders will see some upgrades.

A news conference Monday detailed where the $45 billion Rebuild Illinois program will spend its money—Illinois roads and CTA are set to benefit from Gov. Pritzker's program, but Metra is expected to get a chunk big enough to make some major changes, according to CEO and Executive Director James Derwinski.

“In the next five years, we are going to be able to put out a contract for new cars…that is the first and the biggest one passengers will see all over the system,” he said.

In addition to new rolling stock, Metra is also planning some changes, including those in Union Station.

For daily commuters, one of the most important changes will focus on delays, targeting the switch failures that trigger some of them.

“We are going to be investing in technologies that are going to be looking at the gate circuits and also the switches out there…and start providing critical data before they fail,” Derwinski added.

The idea is to create new stations and upgrade existing ones that will make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination based on disability.

Officials also said riders can expect to see new bridges and a $100 million Metra extension into Kendall County.

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