Metra Rehabilitates Pullman Station

Metra, the operator of the Northeast Illinois commuter rail system, has completed the $250,000 rehabilitation of the 111th Street/Pullman Station. The project included the replacement and painting of the new warming house in the colors of an historic Pullman train car to commemorate the neighborhood’s historic significance to the railroad industry.

Also included in the rehabilitation project ,which started in June, was the 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.

“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 Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “We hope it will help encourage tourism to this unique and historic site.”

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.

Alderman Anthony Beale of the 9th ward stated, “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.”

“The Pullman Station improvements are a significant part of welcoming visitors to the Pullman National Monument and the Historic Pullman Community,” remarked Historic Pullman Foundation President Michael Shymanski. “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.