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Metra To Ban Food, Drink, Backpacks During NATO Summit

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 11, 2012 8:20PM

Photo Credit: Mark Sliozis

Metra announced their security plan for the NATO summit today and they're promising little in the way of service disruptions, but riders accustomed to having a beer on their rides home are going to be sorely disappointed.

Metra is banning all food from their trains during the summit. Here's what else they'll be doing:

  • Riders may be subject to search and/or screening before boarding or while en route.
  • Riders may carry only one bag not exceeding 15 inches square and 4 inches deep. Boxes, parcels, luggage, backpacks and bicycles will not be allowed on trains. Banned items cannot be stored at Metra stations. They must be removed or they will be disposed of.
  • Liquids and personal effects must be less than three ounces in size. This includes coffee and other beverages. Breast milk can be carried but is subject to inspection and should be declared during any screening.
  • Riders may not carry any type of tools, pipes, stakes, wood or weapons, including pocket knives and pepper spray, on the trains.
  • Law enforcement personnel must identify themselves and present their credentials and any weapons. Security guards will not be allowed to carry any weapons onboard.

Here is a passenger checklist of what is and isn't allowed on the trains during the summit.

The one line that will be affected the most by the summit is the Electric Line that runs from Millennium Park south, and passes McCormick Place. The line will still run, but the fillowing stations will be closed during the summit:

May 19 and 20: 47th Street (Kenwood), 27th Street, McCormick Place, 18th Street and 11th Street/Museum Campus. (The Blue Island branch does not operate on Sundays)

Monday, May 21

Inbound trains (except Blue Island trains) are scheduled to arrive downtown until noon, with the following stations closed: On the main line, trains will not stop at 111th Street (Pullman), 107th Street, 103rd Street (Rosemoor), 95th Street (Chicago State University), 91st Street (Chesterfield), 87th Street (Woodruff), 83rd Street (Avalon Park), 79th Street (Chatham), 75th Street (Grand Crossing), 63rd Street, 47th Street (Kenwood), 27th Street, McCormick Place, 18th Street and Museum Campus/11th Street.

On the South Chicago branch, trains will not stop at 87th Street, Cheltenham (79th Street), Windsor Park and Bryn Mawr.

Trains will not operate on the Blue Island branch.

(Here are two versions of maps showing the Electric Line stations affected during the summit.)

Metra is recommending that passengers on all lines arrive at their stations 15 minutes before their trains are scheduled to arrive. Seeing as how Metra may as well have shut down the electric Line during the summit, given all the closings, riders reliant on the line to get to and from downtown should start planning their alternative routes now.