Did you know that passenger train service used to be a reality in DeKalb, up until 1970? There is a revived grassroots effort to bring it back to the Barb City after 47 years.

It's a long shot, but worth a try. DeKalb already has train stop, but passenger service hasn't existed since Richard Nixon was President. The historic 1891 CNW depot in downtown has been a part of the community since 1891. The closest Metra train station is 18 miles away in Elburn, Illinois. and the Metra railroad track heads west to DeKalb.

DeKalb is home to nearly 20,000 NIU students, many of whom travel from the suburbs or the city to attend classes.

Jane Rogers started a petition to bring back the commuter rail service to DeKalb. Among the reasons it is needed is that:

  • NIU students don't have enough parking.
  • There are very limited transportation options to Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, O’ Hare and Midway International Airports.
  • The buses that are currently available to take people to the Elburn Train Station only run two days a week and tickets sell out fast
  • Riding the train offers a safer, cheaper and a much cleaner commute


NIU is supportive of the idea, as well. J. V. Heckmann, PE
Associate Vice President for Facilities VP said

Having this direct connection to the greater Chicagoland area would facilitate greater accessibility for both students and faculty/staff desiring to commute/visit from other communities to the east.

The major problem of course is cost. It is estimated the cost to extend Metra Train service would cost upwards of $400 million.

The petition has been signed by over 900 people, 300 in the last week alone.

You can sign the petition HERE

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