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McCormick Place
Location23rd Street, between
King Drive & Lake Shore Drive
Near South Side, Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates41°51′06″N 87°36′58″W / 41.851598°N 87.616160°W / 41.851598; -87.616160Coordinates: 41°51′06″N 87°36′58″W / 41.851598°N 87.616160°W / 41.851598; -87.616160
Owned byMetra
Line(s)University Park Sub District
Platforms1 island platform
Structure typeUnderground
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Fare zoneA (Metra)
1 (South Shore)
Previous names23rd Street
2018124 (average weekday)[1]Increase 14.8% (Metra)
Rank179 out of 236[1]
Preceding station
Following station
27th Street Metra Electric 18th Street
Preceding station NICTD Following station
55th–56th–57th Street South Shore Line Museum Campus/11th Street
Former services
Preceding station Illinois Central Railroad Following station
27th Street Electric Suburban 18th Street
Preceding station Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad Following station
Roosevelt Road South Shore Line 53rd Street
toward South Bend

McCormick Place station is a commuter rail station in Chicago underneath McCormick Place, Chicago's main convention center, that serves the Metra Electric Line north to the Millennium Station and south to University Park, Blue Island, and South Chicago; and the South Shore Line to Gary and South Bend, Indiana.


The main entrance to the station is from the Grand Concourse in the South Building of McCormick Place.[2] A passageway from the concourse leads to a waiting room,[3] which contains seats and displays showing upcoming arrivals.[4] The platform is accessed from the waiting room via a single staircase and elevator at the north end.[5]

Immediately north of the station, still underneath McCormick Place, the adjacent freight tracks cross over the Metra mainline, switching from running west of the Metra tracks and diverging towards Downtown Chicago to the north of the station to east of and directly adjacent to the Metra tracks for the remainder of the line to University Park.[6]


The original station in this vicinity opened in 1868 at 22nd Street, originally consisting of a wooden station building and serving both suburban trains as well as long distance passenger trains. This station served as a temporary terminal for the Illinois Central and Michigan Central railroads after the Great Chicago Fire inflicted significant damage on Great Central Station, rendering it unsuitable as the line's primary terminal. In 1880, the wooden station building was replaced with a brick building. In 1907, long-distance trains ceased stopping there, leaving only suburban trains.[7]

In 1926, the original station at 22nd Street was closed and a new station was opened as its replacement at 23rd Street in conjunction with the Illinois Central Railroad's electrification program.[7]

When McCormick Place was expanded in 1996, the South Building was built over the existing 23rd Street Station, which was then reconfigured to serve the expanded convention center. This reconfiguration was accompanied by replacing an outdated wooden platform with a newer concrete platform.[8]

In 2017, a series of upgrades were performed on the station. These upgrades included mural paintings, digital signage and audio announcements, better lighting, and better signage. Additionally, Metra is investigating the possibility of adding a crossover track to the south of the station to allow more trains to access the platform from the outer tracks.[9]


Select Metra Electric District trains stop at McCormick Place on weekdays, while most trains stop on weekends. All three branches have trains stopping at McCormick Place.[10] As of 2018, McCormick Place is the 179th busiest of Metra's 236 non-downtown stations, with an average of 124 weekday boardings.[1]

The South Shore Line stops at McCormick Place on weekends and for special events only and will not board passengers northbound or discharge passengers southbound.[11]

Bus connections

CTA bus routes


  1. ^ a b c "Commuter Rail System Station Boarding/Alighting Count: Summary Results Fall 2018" (PDF). Metra. April 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Public Transportation". McCormick Place. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  3. ^ G., Jacob (9 March 2019). "Entrance to Metra waiting room at McCormick Place". Flickr.
  4. ^ G., Jacob (9 March 2019). "Metra waiting room at McCormick Place". Flickr.
  5. ^ G., Jacob (9 March 2019). "Entrance to platform at McCormick Place". Flickr.
  6. ^ Metra Ride Along - Metra Electric District: Outbound. Metra. 17 November 2018. Event occurs at 7:55. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b Mottier, Charles H. (April 1937). "History of Illinois Central Passenger Stations on the Chicago Lake Front". The Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin (43): 69–76. JSTOR 1.
  8. ^ "ALL ABOARD! MCCORMICK PLACE GETS RAIL SERVICE". Plastics News. 18 March 1996. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  9. ^ "McCormick Place Station Upgrades Complete". Metra. 8 November 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Metra Electric: Chicago to University Park" (PDF). Metra. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  11. ^ "ADA Accessibility" (PDF). Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Stations/Parking". Metra. Retrieved 26 December 2019.