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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Joliet, IL Union station


Date: 06/15/19 07:44
Joliet, IL Union station
Author: superchief1944

I'd like to spend part of a day in a week or so at Joliet Union Station. I need a place like that which I can reach on Metra and that has lots of activity, plus I can go to/come from Joliet on two different lines.

1. Do both Amtrak and Metra still use Union Station?

2. Is platform access still allowed and unbothered?

All other help and advice would be appreciated. Thank you.



Date: 06/15/19 07:55
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: WLE2679

I haven't been there in quiet a few years, however the Union Station is not used for trains anymore, they built one, a transportation center, before the diamond so the Metra trains on the Rock Island didn't have to cross the diamond anymore.   I have heard that the Union Station is "unlocked" and you can shoot from the platform at times.   

The tower is being restored, so I assume you can take photos from that side.   If I remember right the sun favors from morning to afternoon on that side.   I am not sure if there is fencning on that side however and I think the platform for the Amtrak and Metra trains on the UP line is there too.   Others that have been there recenlty can fill in more.  



Date: 06/15/19 08:47
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: dt8089

If the south gate off Scott St. is unlocked or open you can go up on the old side. When there is an event at the Banquet Hall (The old waiting room) they will close and lock that gate with a sign "Private event".  The new side,  you can walk from the Metra Rock Island side to the Metra Heritage/Amtrak side through the new station or directly off the street.  The Joliet PD has an officer stationed there with video monitors so mind your p's and q's.  You are ok to shoot from the platform area for the signs are for the transients in the area.  There is a nice brewpub and resturant in the downstairs portion of the original depot.  Pic 1)  Amtrak 305 loads passengers at the new platform on 6-1-18. Shot taken from the original depot platform.  Pic 2)  Eastbound BNSF going under new signal bridge and new track spacing on 7-3-17.  One can see fencing in place to prevent little ones (And big ones) from running out into the tracks from the old platform.  Shooting from the new patform is tight for UP, Amtrak, and Metra Heritage trains although light is best in the morning for BNSF trains.  The old side is best for afternoon lighting.  All in all it is a safe area and you can park at the Metra parking lot for one dollar a day.  Dan






Date: 06/15/19 10:33
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: superchief1944

Is the new station along the ex-Santa Fe, north of the diamond or is along the ex-RI, east of the diamond?



Date: 06/15/19 11:31
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: kbmiflyer

superchief1944 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is the new station along the ex-Santa Fe, north of
> the diamond or is along the ex-RI, east of the
> diamond?

The new station is in the Northeast quadrant (the old station is in the Northwest quadrant).  The new station has platforms on the former GMO adjacent to the Sante Fe to serve Amtrak and Metra Heritage.  It also has platforms on the RI to serve the Metra Rock Island line.

The old tower is incoporated into the station, but not accessible.  There has been talk about opening up the tower to the public.

i can agree with everything else above.  There are signs in the station and on the platforms that say "ticketed passengers only", but it seems that railfans are being at least tolerated on the new platforms.

One thing to add - the RI line runs Metra trains at least hourly all day, but the Metra Heritage units only run down the old GMO are only during rush hour.  Of course, you can also take Amtrak from Union Station to Joliet (I think).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/19 12:35 by kbmiflyer.



Date: 06/15/19 13:33
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: superchief1944

Thanks to all of you who offered advice. I'm very grateful.



Date: 06/15/19 21:59
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: dt8089

A couple of views from the new platform is Amtrak 307 arriving on 4-6-19 and Pic 2 is 304 unloading also on 4-6-19.  Be aware that the UP trains run 40 through here and BNSF is 30.  Dan






Date: 06/16/19 04:58
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: WLE2679

Nice photos!  



Date: 06/16/19 04:58
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: WLE2679

Nice catch.  Is the second unit an old SD45-2? 

dt8089 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If the south gate off Scott St. is unlocked or
> open you can go up on the old side. When there is
> an event at the Banquet Hall (The old waiting
> room) they will close and lock that gate with a
> sign "Private event".  The new side,  you can
> walk from the Metra Rock Island side to the Metra
> Heritage/Amtrak side through the new station or
> directly off the street.  The Joliet PD has an
> officer stationed there with video monitors so
> mind your p's and q's.  You are ok to shoot from
> the platform area for the signs are for the
> transients in the area.  There is a nice brewpub
> and resturant in the downstairs portion of the
> original depot.  Pic 1)  Amtrak 305 loads
> passengers at the new platform on 6-1-18. Shot
> taken from the original depot platform.  Pic 2) 
> Eastbound BNSF going under new signal bridge and
> new track spacing on 7-3-17.  One can see fencing
> in place to prevent little ones (And big ones)
> from running out into the tracks from the old
> platform.  Shooting from the new patform is tight
> for UP, Amtrak, and Metra Heritage trains although
> light is best in the morning for BNSF trains. 
> The old side is best for afternoon lighting.  All
> in all it is a safe area and you can park at the
> Metra parking lot for one dollar a day.  Dan



Date: 06/16/19 10:08
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: dt8089

WLE2679 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice catch.  Is the second unit an old SD45-2? 
>

I think it was an SD40-2.  Dan



Date: 06/16/19 12:37
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: seaboardc30-7

Is this shot still possible?  It's been a while since i've railfanned Joliet.




Date: 06/16/19 18:56
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: IC1038west

When was the 5038 pig train image taken? That's a keeper.



Date: 06/16/19 19:20
Re: Joliet, IL Union station
Author: dt8089

seaboardc30-7 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is this shot still possible?  It's been a while
> since i've railfanned Joliet.
No.  Here's a shot from 6-1-18 from the westside of the tracks.  Old signal bridges are all gone now.  Dan




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