August 30, 2014

Illinois, UP announce Metra improvements

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BELLWOOD, Ill. — Governor Pat Quinn June 27 was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Union Pacific Railroad President and COO Lance Fritz to announce that the Union Pacific (UP) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are making a significant investment in Metra’s West Line. Each will invest $45 million for the [...]

Federal Metra investigation begins after complaints

CHICAGO (WLS) — A federal investigation into Metra’s operations has begun following three separate complaints that have raised red flags about safety. Those three incidents happened within days of each other, one of them occurring a little bit south of the 35th Street station. The train was apparently speeding. It happened last Monday morning on [...]

Metra members approve seven-year deal

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With 85 percent of eligible ballots returned, SMART Transportation Division conductors and assistant conductors on the Northern Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (known as Metra) have approved a seven-year mediation agreement governing wages and working conditions, through calendar year 2018. Included in the agreement are lump-sum signing bonuses, general wage increases each year of the [...]

Veteran ‘railroad guy’ takes over at Metra

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Unlike his predecessor, who ran a Los Angeles bus company, Metra’s new interim executive director is a veteran “railroad guy” who actually knows how to drive a train. Donald Orseno broke into the railroad business collecting tickets, helping set up trains and checking doors on the Rock Island Railroad. Read the complete story at the [...]

Conductor ‘makes every day a good day’

Gordon Bowe doesn’t become personal friends with all of his passengers. But after more than three decades of walking the aisles as a conductor on Metra trains to and from Chicago, Bowe, known by many as “Gordo,” has come to know those who ride the trains from Elburn through La Fox and Geneva, sometimes more [...]

Cubs not alone with problems in Chicago

CHICAGO — Newspapers and television and radio stations here June 14 were asking Union Pacific, “Is this any way to run a railroad?” after a shortage of UP engineers caused the cancellation of six morning Metra commuter trains and inconvenienced thousands of passengers trying to reach their jobs here. Metra pays UP to operate and [...]

UTU member pulls pin after 42 years

When Art Anderson started working for passenger railroads, the Beatles were still together, and everyone still dressed up for work, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Things are a lot more casual these days,” said Anderson, 59, who retires next month after 42 years, the last 20 as a Metra conductor. “You see very few people [...]