My first South Shore Line bike trip after I moved to South Bend back in June of 2016 consisted of me taking (with someone who had a gas powered bicycle that stank and shouldn’t have been allowed in the bike car) the weekend Inbound Express train at Hammond (still need up to write that station), followed by getting the Hammond-Whiting Amtrak Station, and then biking into Chicago and doing Metra Electric’s South Chicago branch.
After finishing the Metra electric South Chicago branch, I boarded a Metra Electric train at 63 Street, purchasing a weekend pass, and getting off at Van Buren Street. From there I rode across the loop, passing a closed entrance to Adams/Wabash–(1 photo) since trains are only running via the other half of the loop, there I catch one of just 3 Saturday round-trip trains on the SouthWest Service to it’s terminus at Manhattan.
The SouthWest Service ride was largely uneventful, the train felt nice and empty, and got even less croweded after the Orland Park stops, and the line became fully single-tracked on the Manhattan extension. I remember most (writing this nearly two years later) that it was neat going over the Rock Island Line (which I would ride back into Chicago) heading south.
I get off at the last stop of Manhattan–(32 Photos) and get a “Have a good bike ride” from the friendly conductors. I enjoy getting a picture of my bicycle in front of the Manhattan sign.
The little station (with just 3 Saturday and 2 weekday round-trips as of this writing) has a nice little station house and even it’s own bike path too it.
I start riding north from the Manhattan Station, and stop at the grade-crossing of Smith Road on the northern edge of town. There I photograph the last northbound train until Monday heading over the grade-crossing, in view of the water tower.
I’m then stranded in Manhattan until Monday.
Instead, I get back on my bike and ride the 4.5 miles to Laraway Road–(34 Photos), which has maybe one car in the parking lot for the infrequent Saturday Southwest Service.
I continue north, another 3 miles into downtown New Lenox–(34 Photos), which is a busy Metra Station on a Saturday afternoon.
I take the next train, which arrives on the outbound track due to a freight passing on the scheduled Inbound track just before (an announcement was made in the station). This train runs express via the Rock Island Main Line, and not longer suburban loop, (connecting with a local train at Blue Island) into La Salle Street Station. I remember getting into an argument with another bicyclist because I put my bike over someone else’s bike who’s getting off before me (standard Metra bike etiquette).
At this point I’ve had enough and decided to call it day on 6:12pm South Shore Line train (the next train isn’t until 9:15pm), walking over to Museum Campus. The ride home to South Bend has the same person with his gas-powered bike in the bike car, an NICTD police offer who’s walking through the train I try to say something to, but this goes nowhere.
After arriving in South Bend, I ride my bike home still in the light.