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Union Pacific / Northwest Line

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fb/METX_142_in_Norwood_Park_on_the_UP_Harvard_Subdivision.jpg/50px-METX_142_in_Norwood_Park_on_the_UP_Harvard_Subdivision.jpg

Description. Lang: en

The Union Pacific / Northwest Line (UP-NW) is a commuter rail line provided by Metra and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad in Chicago, Illinois and its surrounding suburbs. While Metra does not refer to any of its lines by colors, the timetable accents for the Union Pacific/Northwest line are bright "Viking Yellow," honoring the Chicago & North Western Railway's Viking passenger train.The line runs from Ogilvie Transportation Center to Harvard, Illinois, with a branch line to McHenry, Illinois that operates during weekday rush hours. Overall, this is Metra's longest route and one of three routes with branches (the others being the Rock Island District and Metra Electric District). The terminus of the McHenry branch originally was in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, but was cut back to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 1965, Lake Geneva to Richmond, Illinois in 1975, and Richmond to McHenry in 1980.As of April 2013, the public timetable indicated 33 trains leaving Chicago each weekday, with 3 terminating at McHenry, 14 terminating at Crystal Lake, 4 terminating at Barrington, 11 at Harvard, and 1 at Des Plaines.
The line has many riders from southern Wisconsin due to its proximity to places like Madison and Janesville. The railroad in its entirety passes through Madison and Janesville, with the current official ending of the track located 4 miles North of Evansville Wisconsin, at or near milepost 124 (measured from Ogilvie Transportation Center). Although passenger service does not serve the Madison subvision at this time, the ownership of this portion of the railroad shifts after the end milepost 124, and the rail that was maintained to passenger severity now operates for freight car storage under State of Wisconsin ownership. The track then continues for over 70 miles until it terminates in Reedsburg Wi, at milepost 191.   Wisconsin Department of Transportation has funded studies on extending the line from Harvard into Janesville, with potential stops along the way.  This line is also used by a handful of commuters from the Rockford area. There has been talk of rebuilding the KD Line from Rockford to Harvard. A 1.6-mile (2.6 km) extension of the McHenry branch to Johnsburg is proposed as part of CMAP’s Go to 2040 Priority Projects. This service enhancement would include the addition of two new stations: Prairie Grove on the McHenry branch and Ridgefield on the Harvard branch.The Union Pacific / Northwest Line is Metra's second busiest line, with an average of 38,600 boardings on a weekday. It is second only to the BNSF Railway Line.
The line is triple-tracked from Clybourn to just southeast of Barrington, with a bidirectional express track, and double tracked from Barrington to Harvard. The McHenry branch is single-tracked. Historically, double track was maintained from Harvard to Baraboo, Wisconsin. A now-gone portion of the Union Pacific / Northwest Line diverged at Harvard and passed through Beloit, Wisconsin, and reconnected to the main line at Evansville junction to allow a separate passenger and freight line. Around the time the Beloit line was abandoned, the railroad single-tracked the line from Harvard to Janesville.
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