Thank you for the detailed response! I'll try to figure out the Metra schedule. Thanks for telling me about the Hiawatha, I'll skip it. Would probably do it if the fares were cheaper, that's unfortunate. Price/mile is high.I ride Metra so little and it’s been a long time since I’ve done a “joyride” that I really can’t remember what’s at the terminals. It might be interesting to take the Heritage Corridor out to Joliet and then return on the Rock Island. Heritage Corridor is weekdays only, and with the limited COVID schedule, there’s only one outbound that would offer a decent (20-minute) connection to the return RI train. I was going to suggest Heritage to Joliet, RI to Blue Island, then Metra Electric back downtown, but it looks like there are no Electric District trains that return from Blue Island late enough for such a loop trip to work.
As for the Hiawatha, there’s nothing particularly special or scenic about it. Just a bunch of Horizon cars, and occasionally an out-of-service cafe car that is closed off to passengers (it’s the WiFi “brain car” for when the consist doesn’t have a cabbage car). If the weather is decent, you might want to walk over to the Milwaukee Public Market, walk along the river, or ride the Milwaukee streetcar. I’ll let you decide if that’s worth $50 and most of a day.
Thank you very much for both of those resources!Here's a map with all the Chicago area stations, pick a walkable station so you don't have to spend the layover in a park and ride lot.
Also, the PBS station has a great video tour for whole city via the L, at
Thanks!I agree that the Hiawatha isnt Worth a $50 ride, just do Chicago, plenty to see there!