F.H Paschen builds $28.5 million addition to Metra Rock Island diesel shop

metra shop groundbeaking
The Metra shop groundbreaking on May 1 (Fritz-Photography - F.H. Paschen)

F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen Associates LLC has started work on a $28.5 million renovation project at Metra’s Rock Island train rehabilitation yard.

The Chicago building permit says the contractor will build a one-story (42 ft.) addition to the existing diesel shop on pile foundations.

Key subtrades include: ElectricalLive Wire Electrical Systems; masonryOliver Construction Services; plumbing –  Robert R. Fox dba Omega Plumbing; and refrigerationAir Design Services.

Metra says the contractor has committed to awarding 25 percent of the subcontracting work to Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms, Metra said in an earlier news release.

The project, which is expected to take nearly two years to complete, will expand the 49th Street Coach Shop, including an upgrade of the facility’s loading dock, storage and railcar wheel truck rebuild area and the addition of training facilities.

The project also includes improvements to the 47th Street Diesel Shop, which maintains locomotives used on the Rock Island and is the facility where Metra’s MP36 locomotive rehabilitation program is housed. Work at the 47th Street facility will include a reconfiguration of the loading dock area, adding an enclosed crane to it and rebuilding the materials storage area. The project further includes improvements to the rail yard’s parking, drainage and utilities, Metra says in a May 1 groundbreaking announcement.

“By the time these facilities are expanded and modernized, we will be able to rehab 60 railcars a year, a 40 percent increase from what we are able to produce today,” Metra CEO/executive director Jim Derwinski said in a statement. “That is a significant step toward reaching a state of good repair, and improving our service and reliability for our customers.”


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