Union Pacific Railroad hopes to sell more than 40 suburban stations and associated lots in Chicagoland, including three stations in Evanston, for possible development.
While the Metra rail system pays for the service on the UP routes including the North Line through Evanston, the Union Pacific owns the property and provides the train crew.
In an email statement to Evanston Now, UP spokeswoman Robynn Tysver said the railroad is a freight company and is trying to “streamline our operations to align with our core business.”
This covers UP’s ongoing efforts to get out of the S-Bahn business, “which includes converting UP-operated commuter services to Metra”.
As part of the exit from the commuter route, Tysver says, UP is selling “properties associated with the commuter businesses along our line, including in Evanston,” with interest from third parties.
Tysver adds, “We believe this is a great opportunity to attract investment and development to the inner city.”
City spokesman Patrick Deignan says Evanston is now aware of UP’s interest in real estate sales.
Deignan says the railroad is “at the very early stage” of this process and “the city has made itself available to the UPRR to answer questions”.
UP’s three Evanston stations on the Metra system are on Main Street, Davis Street and Central Street.