My Last Train at Joliet Union Station

Metra Rock Island District train passes the tower as it pulls into Joliet station. That signal will be replaced.

Metra Rock Island District train passes the tower as it pulls into Joliet station. That signal will be replaced.

At the tail end of a week out west I stopped in Joliet, Ill., for the last light of the day on a Sunday evening.

The new station cutover was imminent, so I stopped for one last Rock Island Line Metra train before heading on east for the night.

Some Internet reports had stated that this particular day was to be the last for the original Joliet station, but construction delays postponed it another week.

Regardless, it would be my last opportunity to photograph a Metra train on the ex-Rock Island tracks at the old station.

Those passenger trains will no longer cross the diamonds and stop at the old station. The new station was constructed so the Metra trains would stop short of the diamonds with the busy freight railroads.

Amtrak will also vacate Joliet Union Station and do its station work on the ball field side of the tracks. The old station will not be torn down, but its days as a passenger station are over.

Even though it had been overcast most of the afternoon, the sun made a late day appearance for my “last train.”

Article and Photographs by Roger Durfee

Pulling up to do its passenger work.

Pulling up to do its passenger work.

Another platform view.

Another platform view.

View of the station platform area.

View of the station platform area.

Stainless steel and station lights.

Stainless steel and station lights.

CVSR trains are not the only ones that cater to bikers.

Real life on the left, modern art reflections on the right. CVSR trains are not the only ones that cater to bikers.

Joliet station canopy reflected in the windows of a Metra coach.

Joliet station canopy reflected in the windows of a Metra coach.

These stairs no longer lead "to trains."

These stairs no longer lead “to trains.”

The conductor observes his train as departure time draws near.

The conductor observes his train as departure time draws near.

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