Metra (reporting mark METX) is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane, and McHenry counties in northeastern Illinois. The agency provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 242 stations over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles and approximately 1,200 miles of track. Metra operates nearly 700-weekday trains, providing nearly 290,000 passenger trips each weekday. It is the fourth busiest commuter rail system in the United States by ridership and the largest and busiest commuter rail system outside the New York City metropolitan area. The Metra service area encompasses more than 3,700 square miles. Metra owns and operates four rail lines (Rock Island, Metra Electric, Milwaukee District North and Milwaukee District West). Three Metra lines are operated by Metra employees over freight railroad-owned track through trackage rights or lease agreements (Heritage Corridor, North Central Service, and SouthWest Service). Four additional Metra lines are operated directly by freight railroads through purchase-of-service agreements (BNSF, Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest, and Union Pacific West). Since inception, Metra has operated 183 EMD-built locomotives.
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