Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (NICTD)


Millennium Station (Randolph St, Chicago) (Metra/NICTD)


Deep in the heart of Chicago, between Michigan Ave and Lakeshore Drive, lies the west end of the South Shore Line. Between 1999 and 2002 the station at Randolph St was rebuilt with Grant Park extended over the tracks placing the South Shore platforms in an underground cavern. Millenium Park is the only station in Chicago where NICTD has it's own boarding platforms. The track arrangement for Millenium Park south to Roosevelt Rd is shown above. NICTD's platforms are on the higher level south of Randolph St under the park while Metra's platforms are north of Randolph St on a lower level.

Prior to reconstruction in 1999 the current Track 8 did not exist. Track 14 (a storage track) is also new. The tracks labeled 9 through 13 were renumbered with the addition of Track 8. There is a low level boarding platform between tracks 9 and 10. This is the second reconstruction under NICTD. The first was in 1985 when wooden platforms were replaced with concrete platforms.

The retail portion of Millenium Station is managed by Beitler Real Estate. A station map and more information is available on their website. Metra's has a page for Millennium Station on their website.

The South Shore Line ticket window inside the brightly lit retail portion of the station. Ticket sales at the ticket windows are cash only. Tickets may be purchased using a credit or debit card at machines located on the platform. To the left is the doors leading to the retail portion of the station.
At the north end of the platforms is a large waiting area and the offices for the carmen and train crews. A ramp down in the back of this picture leads to Millennium Park's garage and the performing arts center. The platforms serve six tracks. The hallway to the right leads to the Grant Park North parking garage and the pedway. The pedway can also be reached through Millenium Station.
New signs installed February 3rd, 2012, indicate the train, departure time and stops the train will be making.

When not in use the signs are blank (below).
Passengers board train 507 on a Saturday afternoon, headed toward Indiana. South Shore trains do not carry passengers within Chicago. The other Chicago stations are not listed on the list of stations served.
Millenium station has three high level platforms serving six tracks as shown below. (Photos below taken from the south ends of the platforms.)
Tracks 8 and 9 Tracks 10 and 11 Tracks 12 and 13
Lead from Metra - Looking south from the center platform. Track 10 is the closest in the picture. Lead from Metra - Looking south from the west platform. Track 9 is to the left and Track 8 is to the right. The two square lights on the right mark an emergency exit that leads up to the park (emergency use only).
The low level platform between tracks 9 and 10. This platform is not currently in use but is ready for future low level boarding trains. The diesel tie up cabinet last used in 1993 remains at the north end of Track 9. This unit could provide power to a diesel train parked at the platform.
The north end of the McCormick Busway ends next to the NICTD station. The storage track east of Track 13.
The cars parked here belong to Metra and NICTD employees.
Metra tracks continue north of Millennium Station to South Water Street. The entrance to Millenium Station as seen from Van Buren St.
The train in the picture is entering the station from a storage track.

Randolph Street Station - 2000-2002

Passengers board an Eastbound train leaving Millenium Station on a Monday evening in 2002. The train is waiting on Track 11. Track 10 is vacant with the low level boarding platform between Track 10 and Track 9 on the right of the picture In November of 2000 construction crews work to cover the station to extend Grant Park over the rails. The railing in the center of the picture was the edge of the park overlooking the South Shore platforms. The rails in the center of the picture decend down to the Metra platforms.

Randolph Street Station - 1998


In 1998 there were three platforms serving five tracks at the South Shore station. Track 8 was low level only and the platform between tracks 9 and 10 was longer than the one between tracks 11 and 12. The entire station and platforms are now under Millenium Park. A fourth platform (the third high level platform) and a sixth track were added. (This photo was taken from the overlook shown in the construction photo in the previous paragraph.)
Left to right - 1998 Track 12, Track 11, and Track 10 (at other platform). These tracks have been renumbered 13, 12 and 11 (respectively) and an additional track for car storage (no passenger loading) was built to the left (east) of this photo. Left to right - 1998 Track 9 and Track 8 - Track 9 was potentially served by two platforms. These tracks have been renumbered 10 and 9 (respectively) and a new high level platform has been built to the right (west) of this photograph. A new platform track was built on the far side of the newest high level platform (Track 8).

In 1989 NICTD leased a Metra low floor diesel double decker train set and ran one trip per day each way on the South Shore as an express. Track 8 was its home during the day. The Metra train was replaced with standard South Shore cars when the trailers were added to the rolling stock in 1992. Metra Electric double deckers could not be used, as they are high floor and at the time there were no high level platforms east of Kensington.
In 1998 South Shore train crews used this small building at the end of Track 8 for their breaks. The building is now gone, with the new high level platform for (new numbering) Tracks 8 and 9 in it's place. The low level platform that this picture was taken from still exists but is not used for passenger service. During Millenium Park construction a temporary building for train crews was built to the east of the platforms. The current crew office is located on the north end of the platform (as shown at the top of this page). As they appeared in 1998, the tracks going down into the Randolph Street Metra Station - designed to avoid conflicts during the rush hours when trains are scheduled to arrive or depart the six Metra platforms nearly every minute. (In 1998 there were 32 arrivals in 2 hrs plus trains leaving to make room for new arrivals.)

These signs are located at every South Shore station - they have raised features to help the sight impared. This is how the sign appeared in 1998, with a stop at 59th St instead of 57th St and the 1998 station names. Museum Campus/11th St (Roosevelt Rd), McCormick Place (23rd St), 57th St and Portage/Ogden Dunes are now accessible stations. NICTD trains no longer stop at Kensington (effective February 15th, 2012).

The current line map sign with the removal of Kensington.

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