PULLMAN — Metra announced Wednesday that an added twist to the rehabilitation of the 111th Street/Pullman Station will include the painting of the warming house in Pullman's green, white and red colors to commemorate the neighborhood’s historic significance to the railroad industry.
Metra will paint the warming house to resemble the Gertrude Emma, a Pullman Palace Car Co. railcar that was manufactured in the neighborhood for use on the Pennsylvania Limited between Chicago and New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“The updated improvement plan will mean the 111th Street Station not only will receive the much-needed repairs residents deserve, it also will become another important asset that will help bring more people to Pullman to go to work, to live and to play,” said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th).
The project is part of Metra’s 2016 construction program, which includes $200 million in improvements to 27 stations, 21 bridges and 24 road crossings, as well as the replacement of 120,000 rail ties to ensure safe and reliable service and maintain a state of good repair system-wide, Metra officials said.
Historic Pullman Foundation President Michael Shymanksi echoed Beale's sentiments regarding the improvements to the neighborhood.
“Metra’s improvements at the 111th Street/Pullman Station are a compliment to the Pullman National Monument District,” Shymanski said. “The extra effort in planning the painting of the station warming house reflects the heritage of rail passenger cars constructed and operated by The Pullman Company.”
Station improvements include replacement of the warming house, platform deck boards and removal of the unused portion of the platform, replacement of the stairway to the platform and repair or replacement of the roof over the stairway, Metra officials said.
Painting is expected to start in early September before the project is finished, Metra officials said.
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