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Metra To Open 35th Street Station In Time For Sox Opener

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Metra locomotive (CBS File Photo)

Metra locomotive (CBS File Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago White Sox fans will have a new option for getting to and from games at U.S. Cellular Field this season: Metra trains.

Next month, Metra will open a new station at 35th Street on the Rock Island Line, just across the Dan Ryan Expressway from U.S. Cellular Field, the commuter rail agency announced on its website Friday.

Rock Island trains will begin using the station on Sunday, April 3, four days ahead of the White Sox’s home opener on Thursday, April 7.

Metra will add extra trains on game days before and after Sox games to accommodate fans. The normal Rock Island schedule also will be altered to accommodate stops at 35th Street.

Rock Island commuters can view the revised schedule here. The new schedule goes into effect on April 3.

Sox fans won’t be the only ones to benefit from the new station, which is located just blocks from the Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as the CTA’s Red and Green Lines. The station sits along the border of the Bronzeville and Bridgeport neighborhoods.

On weekdays, 26 inbound trains and 21 outbound trains will stop at the new station. On weekends, all inbound and outbound trains will stop there.

The new station is fully accessible for disabled passengers and features heated ramps, stairways, eight-car platforms, heated platform shelters, bicycle racks, benches, an audio-visual information system, lighting and landscaping.

Metra’s Board of Directors has voted to name the new stop after Lovana S. “Lou” Jones, a state lawmaker who represented the area for nearly 20 years until she died in 2006.

Construction was paid for with $4.9 million in federal funding secured by Congressman Bobby Rush and $6.8 million in funding from the 2009 federal stimulus bill.

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