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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metra dedicates one station, completes renovations on another


The Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (Metra) is keeping busy on the station renovation front.

Earlier this week, officials from Metra and the city of Elgin dedicated a new $7 million National Street station, which replaced an open-air shelter. The 1,800-square-foot depot includes two shelters on either side of the main building.

The station features new and longer platforms, more parking, lighting, landscaping and improved access. The project was funded by Metra, Elgin, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration.

Meanwhile, the agency plans to open rebuilt portions of the downtown Randolph Street Station — which was stripped down in 1996 during emergency street repairs — on Monday.

Metra will open a new waiting area and main concourse, and shift platform access from the west side to east side of the old gate area. The agency is relocating ticket windows near the waiting area.

Heated and air-conditioned, the facility will feature blue terrazzo floors, stainless steel wall coverings, floor-to-ceiling glass storefronts and up to 16 retail shops.

The remainder of the renovations — to be complete in early summer — include demolishing and rebuilding some areas.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/3/2004