Metra's new Rock Island Line schedule begins Jan. 28 on trial basis

Metra's new Rock Island Line schedule will be implemented on a trial basis starting January 28. Metra hopes the pilot will help evaluate operations and ridership patterns over the next few months.

The updated schedule includes changes for the new Positive Train Control (PTC) system, as well as service enhancements that include express trains. According to a Metra press release, the final schedule includes the following changes:

-Restores the departure times from LaSalle Street Station of outbound Train 405 to 2:55 p.m. and outbound Train 407 to 3:45 p.m.

-Turns inbound Train 408, arriving at LaSalle Street at 7:22 a.m., into an express train from Tinley Park-80th Avenue (with stops at Blue Island-Vermont St. and 35th St./"Lou" Jones)

-Retains the proposed train that arrives downtown before 6 a.m. (Train 400, arriving at LaSalle at 5:38 a.m.) and the proposed outbound mainline train that departs from LaSalle Street at 7:05 p.m. (Train 423).

PTC is a federally mandated safety system that will automatically stop a train if the engineer fails to obey a signal or exceeds the speed limit. Although it can't stop all accidents, PTC increases safety by preventing train-to-train collisions, unauthorized entry by trains into work zones and derailments due to speeding or moving through misaligned track switches, according to the release. The system integrates GPS, trackside sensors, onboard computers and Metra's centralized train dispatching system.

Metra urges riders to view the new schedule online at metrarail.com to determine if their train or stop is affected. No changes were made to the weekend schedule.
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