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Quiet Cars Coming To All Metra Lines

Metra Train

A Metra train pulls into the Lombard station. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Starting Monday, all the lines in the Metra commuter rail system will introduce “quiet cars” on their trains.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, the quiet cars were first tested on the Rock Island District line to Joliet, and worked out well enough that Metra decided to press them into use on all 11 lines. Two cars per train during rush hour will be quiet cars.

This means cell phone use, music playing, and loud music will be prohibited. Habermehl says the cars will be better suited for those more inclined toward pondering, a la Henry David Thoreau – or those who simply want peace or sleep.

A recent survey showed 84 percent of Metra riders favored quiet cars.

On all the lines except the Electric District, the quiet cars will be the second from each end. On the Electric District line, which has no engines, the quiet car will be the third car.

Quiet cars will be in use during rush-hour only, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekdays. Metra Chief Transportation Officer George Hardwidge has not ruled out extending the program to off-peak and weekend trains in the future, but said that could depend on the number of cars that are opened.

Conductors are charged with enforcing the rules on the quiet cars, and Hardwidge said compliance during the Rock Island District test was good, with only “isolated” problems.