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We rode Metra’s BNSF Railway line on 22 August 2011 while on our trip driving US 45. We arrived at our hotel west of Chicago in the early afternoon and decided to take a ride on the nearest Metra line, which happened to be the BNSF Railway. We drove to Belmont to begin our journey, planning to take the train out to Aurora. When we arrived at the station we found it under construction, with some confusing signage suggesting our train may be departing from the inbound track. As a train approached from Chicago we noticed it wasn’t on the inbound track and considered crossing at grade, the only crossing available at the time (they were building and underpass). Luckily we decided against it (better to miss a train than be hit by one) as this turned out to be an Amtrak train that whizzed through the station at speed. After the Amtrak train cleared the station, we decided to take a chance that our train would arrive on the outbound platform. We guessed correctly and a few minutes later our train arrived and we boarded, choosing to sit on the upper level of the car. Although the heavy tinting on the windows hampered photography, it was nice that the train wasn’t very crowded and we settled in for the ride to Aurora.
At Aurora we walked around for a bit, and then discussed where we should go for our return trip. We decided to take the train back to LaGrange Road and then return to Downers Grove. We purchased our tickets at the ticket office, grabbed a schedule, and headed out to our train. We were a bit late getting into LaGrange Road, apparently due to some switching problems, but once at the station we were amazed by the amount of rail activity. At times we could see four or five trains simultaneously, most likely because of the problems. Since all of the trains were now running late and not all of the trains stopped at Downers Grove, it was a bit confusing figuring out which train to board. Luckily we guessed correctly and made our way back to Downers Grove where we were met and taken back to the hotel.
The line east of LaGrange Road we rode on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief on 29 June 2013. We didn’t stop at any of the stations on this section, but we did get a few pictures as we rode past.
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