Metra announced recently that it has completed the rehabilitation of the 111th Street/Pullman Station, including painting the new warming house in the colors of an historic Pullman train car to commemorate the neighborhood’s historic significance to the railroad industry.
The $250,000 project also included the replacement of the warming house; replacement of platform deck boards; removal of an unused portion of the platform; replacement of the stairway to the platform and the structure over the stairway; new LED lights, heaters and an electronic device charging station in the warming house; and other cosmetic improvements.
As part of the project, which began in June, Metra painted the warming house to resemble a Pullman Palace Car Company railcar that was manufactured in the South Side neighborhood in 1898 for use on the Pennsylvania Limited between Chicago and New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That car began its life as “Libertas” but it was renamed “Gertrude Emma” after the wife of one of the founders of the Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire, which acquired and restored the car in 1975 and still uses it for tourist excursions.
“We like to say our stations are the gateways to the communities we serve, and we’re excited to have enhanced this gateway to the Pullman National Monument,” said Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “We hope it will help encourage tourism to this unique and historic site.”
“With the designation of the National Monument, one of the world’s greenest manufacturing plants and historically significant homes, we are delighted Metra is making Pullman a quality transit destination that everyone can reach,” said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th).
Historic Pullman Foundation President Michael Shymanski said, “The Pullman Station improvements are a significant part of welcoming visitors to the Pullman National Monument and the Historic Pullman Community. It is fresh and inviting and a critical wayfinding component. Metra is the most direct link between the loop and the Pullman National Monument with multiple museums between Millennium Station and Pullman.”
The project is part of Metra’s 2016 construction program, which includes approximately $200 million in infrastructure improvements to 27 stations, 21 bridges and 24 road crossings, as well as the replacement of 120,000 rail ties to ensure safe and reliable service and maintain a state of good repair systemwide.
Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in Northeastern Illinois. The agency provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 241 stations over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles and approximately 1,200 miles of track. Metra operates more than 700 weekday trains, providing about 300,000 passenger trips each weekday.