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Metra increases Heritage Corridor service, gears up for 'safety blitzes'

Metra has added a new mid-afternoon departure time for its Heritage Corridor Line, effective this week.

The new service, which required agreements from CN and Amtrak, follows years of efforts by Metra, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and other elected officials, Metra officials said in a press release.

The 2:45 p.m. departure from Chicago's Union Station expands weekday service on the line from six to seven trains. The train makes stops at Summit, Willow Springs, Lemont and Lockport, Ill., before arriving at its final destination in Joliet, Ill., at 3:50 p.m.

CN owns the tracks and operates freight service on the line, while Amtrak owns Union Station.

Meanwhile, Metra announced yesterday plans to conduct "safety blitzes" at 45 train stations in conjunction with Operation Lifesaver Inc.

During the blitzes, Metra safety employees will distribute educational materials about train and grade crossing safety, answer questions and listen to safety concerns from commuters. The railroad also presents a short video about crossing safety to riders.

The initiative is part of Metra's ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior around its trains and tracks, officials from the commuter railroad said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/16/2016