Chicago Metra Freqs Used At Union Station?

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KC9NCF

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The RR Freq listing shows the general frequencies used for railroads as part of the usual channelized service the railroads use, and freqs for some Metra / Amtrak operations, but I'm really wondering which Freqs does Metra use at Union Station? There is the North end and South end of the station.

Also, which frequency would be used at Tower A-12 (Fulton & Canal)?
 

FLRAILMAN

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Chicago Metra frequencies used at Union Station

According to the following databases, Metra, officially called the "Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp" or "NEIRC", has a ton of frequencies allocated to the Metro Chicago area including the adjacent counties of Cook, DuPage, kane, Lake, McHenry & will. The only frequencies I could ascertain being assigned to Union Station at: 210 & 1501 South Canal were: 160.605 MHz (AAR 33) operating under the callsigns: WNJS224 & WPOS600 & 461.7375 MHz & 464.4625 MHz operating under the callsign: WPSZ603 & 453.4875 MHz operating under the callsign: WPTW445. The databases also shows Amtrak having the frequency: 160.305 MHz (AAR 13) operating under the callsign: KNFX766 being assigned at/or near the station at: 1400 South Lumber St.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Home Page

Scanner Frequencies

Metra - Chicago's Commuter Rail System

Chicago Scanning Club Home Page

IlliniRail.com - Radio Frequencies

North American Railroad Radio Frequencies

On Track On Line - Amtrak Radio Frequencies

Skybox

Metra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Metra Home

Union Station (Chicago) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I hope this helps.

FLRAILMAN
 

KC9NCF

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Very nice links! Very helpful. I did pick up that 160.605 when last at Union Station. That would likely be Amtrak "channel 2". 160.305 is Amtrak main operations, but mostly the South boarding area. Good to have found the mechanical freq for Amtrak as a result of your reply.

I'm starting to think 160.770 is the freq I'm looking for, just needed to confirm it.

You'd love my area FLARAILMAN! On the Milwaukee West line, the engineers and dispatchers switch between the Milw West freq and the Milwaukee NW Freq, and during the evenings there are a very vested group of engineers who have this system worked out since the Elmwood Park tragedy.

It's rather very clever! I'm not sure though, if I can ethically or legally describe their method here since it was heard on the radio. Lots of rail radio - traffic pretty much around the clock! Especially when the band opens!
 

FLRAILMAN

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Chicago Metra frequencies used at Union Station

Okay, here is some more poop on 160.77 MHz (AAR 44)

Amtrak
KNFX766
1400 South Lumber St.
Chicago

Metra
KFW518
547 West Jackson Blvd.
Chicago

Soo Line
WPPA494
1800 North Hamlin (Tower A-5)
Chicago

UP
WNDL300
423 North Sacamento
Chicago

Since I'm retired, I vowed to ride every Amtrak route & every regional passenger, commuter, light rail & rapid transit system in America before I pull into that big lay-up yard in the sky, When I head to the windy city, I'll give you a heads up, I think ChiTown has more railroad action then the Big Apple. Always glad to be of help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Illinois_railroads

The only real victim of that Elmwood Park tragedy was the engineer, read this:

www.ble.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=15185

FLRAILMAN
 
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KC9NCF

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Chris Guenzler already did what you want to do. Chris Guenzler - The Million Mile Rail Man Rides Again: Rails to Recovery

Seeing the country like that is just amazing! Maybe you could travel the rails all back to back. I'm going to take a bet that Guenzler had to break his trips up into time slots. You may just want to do it all over again!

BTW, I ran across a couple of rail fans today while over at Chicago's 18th & Canal St. bridge. "Bruce" and "Mark" say they were ousted from the public sidewalk on Canal St. for rail photography by Amtrak Police who stated "Homeland Security" issues with such "undesirable activity". Thing is, I had just been over at Union Station and the guys there were more than helpful, and they did it with a very welcome attitude as well! I have yet to truly be hassled by anyone at the railroad.
 
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FLRAILMAN

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Chicago Metra frequencies used at Union Station

WOW, A million miles, he must have started working on that when he was 8. I'm 59, no way I'll break that, at least not in this lifetime, hopefully in my second life (If there is one) I'll come back as an Amtrak Acela train or at least a CSX CW-9 locomotive. About the interaction with Amtrak PD, it's all in your approach to them & your attitude, obviously it works for you, so keep on trucking. I know a few Amtrak cops in New York & I found a common complaint with most passenger railroad, commuter rail & transit system cops is the ability to start hating a large majority of the traveling public for a number of valid reasons which I won't get into here but you can pretty much figure out why. Having been a PC then CR cop working the NJ Atlantic, NY Metropolitan & CT Northeast freight regions was fun because anybody we caught on RR property who wasn't a rail photographer or buff was either going to get arrested or get their butts beat, no other options. You get this way after day after day of signal cable cutting junkies, rock throwing skunkbut kids, noncaring low life skells putting everything from refrigerators to cars on the tracks for sport or to get the train to stop while the vermin would rape the boxcars. The only thing that stopped me from locking railtrash in an empty freight car & pondering what city they would wind up in was the fact that I loved trains.

FLRAILMAN
 
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KC9NCF

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WOW, A million miles, he must have started working on that when he was 8. I'm 59, no way I'll break that, at least not in this lifetime, hopefully in my second life (If there is one) I'll come back as an Amtrak Acela train or at least a CSX CW-9 locomotive. About the interaction with Amtrak PD, it's all in your approach to them & your attitude, obviously it works for you, so keep on trucking. I know a few Amtrak cops in New York & I found a common complaint with most passenger railroad, commuter rail & transit system cops is the ability to start hating a large majority of the traveling public for a number of valid reasons which I won't get into here but you can pretty much figure out why. Having been a PC then CR cop working the NJ Atlantic, NY Metropolitan & CT Northeast freight regions was fun because anybody we caught on RR property who wasn't a rail photographer or buff was either going to get arrested or get their butts beat, no other options. You get this way after day after day of signal cable cutting junkies, rock throwing skunkbut kids, noncaring low life skells putting everything from refrigerators to cars on the tracks for sport or to get the train to stop while the vermin would rape the boxcars. The only thing that stopped me from locking railtrash in an empty freight car & pondering what city they would wind up in was the fact that I loved trains.

FLRAILMAN
You know, you're absolutely right! Today, I took my Daughter to Union Station and the first person we met up with was an Amtrak Policeman who said he had been at Union Station for 6 years. He knew everyone and where they could be found!

We went there to work on figuring out the Track circuit for the crossing gates. It's a science project she's doing, and I had to find a way to bring it down to a 7th grade level. Well, he introduced us to a Metra Conductor who really knew his stuff, and then we were introduced to one of the Amtrak Engineers who told us the little he knew about it because his main focus is operating the engine. In any case, he showed us what the inside of the rail looks like with the electrical sensor and wires attached, and explained a bit about the signal box at or near the gate.

We went to the 18th street bridge by Canal St. and then to Fulton & Canal. No joy at 18th street, but lots at Fulton & Canal! We must have walked over 3 miles or around 3 miles! I left the car at home for this project since the downtown and outskirt areas aren't too friendly about parking.

Cutting the signal cables? Raping boxcars while disrupting train operations? Tsk, tsk! I see why you guys sometimes get all nervy because it's a real safety hazard! As a kid, I once saw someone put a pile of plastic milk crates used for carrying milk gallons on the Milwaukee Road tracks near Elmwood Park. I stuck around until the police got there to ask who did it. Copper bought me lunch for it!

A million miles is a lot. According to the article, he was using it as a part of his alcohol rehabilitation.
 
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FLRAILMAN

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Chicago Metra frequencies used at Union Station

You're a good dad, your daughter must have been in 7th heaven with her project. Rail guys are truly a friendly bunch, pre 9/11 just about anyone would get the red carpet treatment if they showed even the slightest interest in anything that had anything to do with trains. Even we would overlook certain department rules to accomodate a railfan, especially one with a child. I got bitten by the RR love bug at a very young age when my mom & I were late for a Long Island railroad tour of the Jamaica Station complex. by the time we arrived, everybody was gone, while I was bawling, a friendly platform conductor thought that we had missed our train & when my mom explained our dilemma, he literally opened up the world for me with one phone call, guys came out of the woodwork & gave me a truly wonderous experience of how the Long Island Railroad worked, they took us everywhere in, at or near jamaica Station, I even got to vist the 204 room which was probably & still is LIRRs communications center (That's if it wasn't relocated to PSCC in Manhattan) Then they took us to LIRRPD HQ about three blocks away & the desk sergeant advised me that at that time, they were the only railroad police department in New york State that were considered "real police officers 24 hours a day" He placed a great emphesis on that which being that young didn't matter to me until I joined the Penn-Central RR PD & learned the real world pecking order of police departments, you know, who has more power, jurisdictional responsibilty, which means more power, who is real & not real, my older brother (Who had a serious tight-ass LAPD officer Malloy complex) would lord it over me every chance he got by reminding me that he was NYPD & real & that I was PCPD & was basicaly just a glorified RR guard, by then I was so much in love with trains I didn't care about anything but going to work & playing with my trains. Sorry, I'm going down memory lane here & rambling. We will talk later my friend.

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FLRAILMAN

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Chicago Metra frequencies used at Union Station

Is your daughter into railroading or is this project a one shot deal? If she is a junior Casey or should I say Cassie Jones? if she is, have her check the Wikipedia & WWW sites I put in the "Railroading/Railscanning/Railfanning" section of the railroad Wiki. They are just jumbled in there with no apparent order, however sometime in the very near future I have to organize them & I'm just trying to figure out how to do this. Lot's of good stuff in it though. Actually, we used to call female railfans "Susie Qs". Here is why.

Unofficial NYS&W Web Page

FLRAILMAN
 

KC9NCF

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She's mostly an aviation person, but chose this project because she wanted to learn something new. Because of all the security surrounding aviation, she would have never gotten anywhere. After 9/11 access to the immediate family members to include infants of employees was completely cut off at ORD and everywhere else. I've seen employees come out there when off-duty for business reasons and they have been told to go home because they had their unbadged child with them.

I have access to the concourses but wouldn't be able to take her in with me. This is a one time shot unless she wants to take it up as another hobby, so we'll have to see where her interest goes on it's own.
 
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