News & Reviews News Wire Metra brings back Saturday excursions on Heritage Corridor

Metra brings back Saturday excursions on Heritage Corridor

By | June 22, 2022

‘Rails, Trails, and Ales’ program returns for 10 weeks beginning July 2

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Commuter train rounds curve with buildings in background
Commuter train rounds curve with buildings in background
A Metra Heritage Corridor train arrives at Lemont, Ill. Metra is bringing back Saturday excursions on the Heritage Corridor for 10 weeks beginning July 2. (Trains: David Lassen)

CHICAGO — Metra is bringing back special Saturday summer service it introduced on its Heritage Corridor route last year, offering residents to explore communities and recreational opportunities along the line which normally only sees weekday service.

The “Rails, Trails, and Ales” excursions will operate on 10 consecutive Saturdays beginning July 2, with three round trips each day, departing Chicago Union Station at 10:30 a.m., 4:15 p.m., and 8 p.m., and from Joliet at 8 a.m., 1:45 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. All trains will include Metra’s bike cars.

“Summer is a great time to explore the entire Chicago region and adding this special excursion service is an affordable way for My Metra riders to explore some areas that aren’t normally served by trains on weekends,” Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a press release. “Bring your bike on board and ride a bike path. Check out a weekend festival. Ride a zip line. There are scores of possibilities along the Heritage Corridor Line.” Schedules, along with a list of some of the restaurants, breweries, biking and hiking paths, and other attractions near each station, are available here.

This year’s program significantly expands that offered in 2021, which saw two round trips on five fall Saturdays [see “Metra launches Saturday excursions …,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 17, 2021].

7 thoughts on “Metra brings back Saturday excursions on Heritage Corridor

  1. It is indeed the old Alton Route, then GM&O and ICG. Normally there are three trains, weekdays only, all inbound in the AM and outbound in the PM.

    Here’s is part of Metra’s blurb on the service:

    “The excursions, dubbed “Rails, Trails and Ales,” will provide three round-trip trains, each equipped with Metra’s new bike cars to carry extra bikes, on ten consecutive Saturdays from July 2 through Sept. 3. The trains will leave Chicago Union Station at 10:30 a.m. 4:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. and make all stops to Joliet. Inbound trips will depart Joliet at 8 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. making all stops to Union Station. The schedule also provides an opportunity for those living along the Heritage Corridor to use Metra for trips to the city on Saturdays.”

    And the all-important .pdf of the excursion schedules (they are hard to find):

  2. Hopefully a stop in Lemont as well. Lots of great beers and restaurants in Lemont. Joliet Union Station itself has a very solid microbrewery on its north side.

  3. The Metra ‘Heritage Corridor’ is the ex ICG (nee Gulf, Mobile, & Ohio) rail corridor I believe?

  4. It would be nice to see a similar attractions guide for other Metra routes. Amtrak routes too.

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