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The Signal

Welcome to The Signal, Metra's blog where you can learn more about the agency, our employees, stations and services. Each post will give our customers a deeper look at what makes Metra, one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, move. You'll find semi-weekly features on the diverse group of men and women who work at every level of our organization, the stations you pass by during your trip around Chicagoland and the people who sit next to you on your daily commute.

We'd also love to hear from you. Have an idea for The Signal? Send it to social@metrarr.com.

(November 21, 2017) - A parade of locomotives rolling from Georgia to Chicago continues. Earlier this month, Metra received the first of 30 rehabilitated F40PHM-2 locomotives from the Progress Rail plant in Patterson, Ga. Often referred to as... Read more
(October 27, 2017) - A piece of metal the size of a pencil eraser is all it takes to bring a train to a screeching halt. The air braking system on a train is made up of thousands of parts belonging to dozens of valves that control the flow of air... Read more
(October 13, 2017) - If you’re a passenger on the Milwaukee District North, Milwaukee District West, or North Central Service lines, you may have seen two locomotives sitting in the Western Avenue yard that don’t quite fit in. Beyond their road... Read more
(October 2, 2017) - Metra can take you to Mars, no special spacesuit necessary. OK. So it’s probably not the Mars you imagined. The terrain isn’t rocky or red and the trip seemed surprisingly short. Turns out, you’re still on earth, in Chicago’s... Read more
(September 15, 2017) - A surprise from 1977 has hit the rails. Metra on Thursday unveiled a special locomotive wrap on one of its F40PH locomotives to commemorate 40 years of continuous passenger service for the locomotive model that is the backbone... Read more
(August 18, 2017) - Tucked in the corner of the bathroom and beneath the stairs in every Metra car sits a small piece of machinery that enables all Metra commutes. The loading door motor is a critical part of every commuter railcar, opening and... Read more
(July 27, 2017) - Have you ever wondered where your station ranks in terms of passenger volume? With 241 stations across our six-county region, determining passenger volume allows us to better understand how our system is being used and how... Read more
(July 14, 2017) - In July 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of the United States, Ernie Banks and Nellie Fox were playing Chicago baseball, moviegoers were flocking to see Elvis Presley’s “Loving You” and Donna Matteson was starting her... Read more
(June 21, 2017) - Nearly two months ago, Fabiola Benitez received a call from Metra’s Communications Department notifying her that her son, Andres, had won Honorable Mention in his grade for Metra’s 11th annual Safety Poster and Essay Contest.... Read more
(June 16, 2017) - Imagine it: You’re about to depart for an international flight to attend a wedding, and the day before your flight your bridesmaid’s dress is left on the train, rolling down the rails towards some unknown destination. It’s enough... Read more
(June 2, 2017) - Seconds matter when it comes to saving a life. A person in the grips of cardiac arrest needs to receive CPR immediately, experts agree. With that urgency in mind, Metra has certified more than 1,000 of its employees to perform CPR... Read more
(May 26, 2017) - The wait is over; summer fun unofficially begins this weekend! That also means the roads will be packed with families and visitors traveling to the Chicago area. Fortunately, there are a variety of activities all summer long just... Read more
(May 19, 2017) - You sit in the same seat in the same car. So you probably feel like you don’t need to pay much attention to the train and railroad crossings during your morning hustle. That couldn’t be further from the truth, according to Metra’s... Read more
(April 28, 2017) - Joe Sykes’ railroad ties run deep. A third generation railroader, he remembers taking his first train ride on Chicago’s L when he was 9 years old. And from the time he was 11 until he turned 18 he spent an hour nearly every... Read more
(April 14, 2017) - To some, a Metra train is merely a vehicle to transport them to and from their destination. To others, it’s an art studio on wheels. These dynamic riders are members of Urban Sketchers Chicago, which is part of an international... Read more

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