By Richard Wronski / Chicago Transportation Journal
After years of complaints about scant train service, riders on Metra’s Heritage Corridor line are finally getting a break: One new daily train.
Starting March 14, Metra will add a 2:45 pm departure train each weekday from Union Station, Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno announced Wednesday.
The additional train will boost the number of Heritage Corridor runs from six to seven: three inbound morning runs and four outbound runs each weekday. The line has no weekend service.
The Heritage Corridor is Metra’s least-used line, with only 2,400 weekday riders. By contrast, the Electric District line has 170 weekday trains carrying 33,500 riders, and the BNSF Line operates 94 weekday trains, with nearly 64,000 riders.
The new 2:45 pm train will make stops at Summit, Willow Springs, Lemont and Lockport before arriving at its final destination in Joliet at 3:50 p.m.
Orseno said the additional train will provide more convenience and options for southwest suburban customers.
The new service is the result of years of effort by Metra and elected officials along the route to bolster the Heritage Corridor, Orseno said. The new service required agreements from the Canadian National Railway Co., which owns the tracks and operates freight service on the line, and Amtrak, which owns Union Station.
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, whose district includes much of the Heritage Corridor, has pressed CN for years to allow Metra to add service. In 2013, Lipinski said he was so frustrated with CN that he considered introducing legislation to force the railroad to allow more Metra trains.
On Wednesday, Lipinski said…