Chicago Train Tracker

A real-time map of trains, light rail, and streetcars in Chicago that updates every minute. Click the train icon for more information.

Live Chicago Train Map

Chicago Transit Networks

The following are the transit networks associated with Toronto monitored by trains.fyi.

South Shore Line

The South Shore Line is an electrically powered interurban commuter rail line connecting Chicago and South Bend, Indiana.

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Metra Metropolitan Rail

Metra is the commuter rail system serving Chicago and its suburbs.

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Chicago Transit Authority

The CTA is the operator of the extensive rapid transit system in Chicago, Illinois, known for its "L" (elevated) trains.

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Chicago Train History

Trains have played a pivotal role in the development and evolution of Chicago, a city renowned for its rich transit history. The genesis of Chicago's railway story can be traced back to the mid-19th century, with the establishment of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad in 1848. This marked the beginning of the city's transformation into a major rail hub, attracting a network of lines that connected it to the rest of the country. The expansion of railroads played a crucial role in Chicago's economic growth, particularly in the meatpacking and grain industries, which relied heavily on rail transportation. The famous Union Stock Yards, established in 1865, further cemented the city's status as a railroad center, as livestock was brought in from all corners of the United States. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, devastating as it was, gave the city an opportunity to rebuild and modernize its rail infrastructure, leading to more efficient and extensive rail services.

The advent of the 20th century saw a shift in focus from freight to passenger transportation, giving rise to the iconic Chicago streetcar. Streetcars became an integral part of city life, providing affordable and convenient transportation for Chicagoans. The extensive streetcar network reached its peak in the 1930s, covering hundreds of miles and shaping the urban landscape. However, the post-World War II era brought significant changes, as the rise of automobile ownership led to a decline in streetcar usage. By the 1950s, buses had replaced many streetcar routes, and the last Chicago streetcar ran in 1958. Despite this, the streetcar era left an indelible mark on the city's culture and urban development.

In recent decades, light rail has emerged as a modern successor to the streetcars, with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) playing a key role in this transition. The CTA, formed in 1947, has been instrumental in developing and maintaining Chicago's light rail system, known as the 'L' (short for "elevated"). The 'L' is a symbol of Chicago, providing efficient and eco-friendly transit solutions while connecting diverse neighborhoods and reducing traffic congestion. The system has undergone significant expansions and upgrades, including the addition of new lines and stations, making it a vital component of the city's public transportation network. Today, the 'L' stands as a testament to Chicago's commitment to sustainable urban transit, continuing the legacy of the city's long-standing relationship with rail-based transportation.