Metra’s Heritage Corridor line offers special fall service

Commuter exit the 405 from Chicago at the Joliet Gateway Center station on Monday, May 15, 2023 in Joliet.

Metra will be offering special service on the Heritage Corridor Line on six Saturdays this fall, giving residents opportunities to explore the bike and running paths, festivals, craft breweries, restaurants and vibrant communities along the historic route.

The Heritage Corridor line runs from Joliet to Chicago, with stops in Lockport, Romeoville, Lemont, Willow Springs and Summit before ending at Union Station.

The excursions, dubbed “Rails, Trails and Ales,” will provide three round-trip trains, each equipped with Metra’s new bike cars to carry extra bikes, on six consecutive Saturdays from Sept. 9 through Oct. 14.

The trains will leave Chicago Union Station at 10:30 a.m., 4:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. and make all stops to Joliet. Inbound trips will depart Joliet at 8 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., making all stops to Union Station.

The village of Lemont is celebrating its 150th anniversary this week, with the culmination of the celebration on Friday and Saturday. Pictured is the I&M Canal in Lemont.

The schedule also provides an opportunity for those living along the Heritage Corridor to use Metra for trips to the city on Saturdays. Full schedules can be viewed at metra.com.

Metra’s Heritage Corridor Line was named after the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal Heritage Corridor, which the rail line parallels.

Many of the towns that are now stops on the line are closely linked to the canal’s creation, with historic downtowns along with bike paths that use the canal’s former towpath or connect with it.