We’re from the suburbs, and for the suburbs: since 2002, The Yard Social Club serves suburban Chicago by making transit fun. Tag along on one of our Train Crawls, or dive into our resources to plan your own suburban excursion. Give your car a break this weekend and see where transit can take you!

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Train Crawl Resources

Get out and explore the suburbs on a Train Crawl: buy a Metra $10 Weekend Pass, grab a schedule, and be merry throughout the six-county region all while your car rests comfortably in your garage or on your driveway.

Getting Started

Not sure where to begin planning your day riding the rails? Check out our tips and tricks based on our years of experience planning train crawls throughout Chicagoland.

The Ultimate Train Crawl Map

Check out our interactive map detailing every commuter rail station in the Chicago area with basic schedule information, station-area amenities, and some of our favorite stops throughout the region.

Weekend Guides and Train Schedules

Basic information about each of the commuter rail lines serving the Chicago area, with direct links to official schedules by the service providers and our line-by-line guides to help you plan your trip from start to finish.  Our guides include bidirectional schedules, fare information, recommended venues, transit connections, and more.

Train Crawl Schedule Archive

Grab one of our off-the-shelf full train crawl schedules from our previous outings.

Crawl Concierge

Overwhelmed? Don’t want to deal with the nuts and bolts of planning a full afternoon and evening of bar-hopping? Let us know what you have in mind and we’ll take care of the rest.

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Maps and Schedules

The Map

Just about every bar within walking distance of a weekend Metra station. Explore the map, or open on your mobile device for an interactive guide to bars while you’re on your train crawl.

Weekend Guides

Print one of our Weekend Guides out for your next crawl. Includes weekend schedules, transfer information, fares, recommended venues, and more.

A Union Pacific North
C Union Pacific Northwest
E Union Pacific West
G Milwaukee North
J Milwaukee West
N BNSF Railway
Q SouthWest Service
R/S Rock Island
U Metra Electric – Suburban Main Line
V Metra Electric – City Main/Blue Island
W Metra Electric – South Chicago Branch

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STAR:LINE Chicago

Our mission at The Yard Social Club is to Support Sustainable Suburbia, and we primarily do that through all our train crawl resources: if we make it fun and easy to spend a day exploring the suburbs using only Metra, we’re breaking down barriers and smoothing the learning curve required for occasional riders to take transit in the hopes that they’ll choose transit more often.

But sometimes it’s the transit agencies that need a little nudge, not the potential riders. So we launched STAR:LINE Chicago, a transit advocacy group focusing on improving suburban transit and other transportation opportunities as well as advocating for other innovative changes to make the suburbs more sustainable. We advocate through direct outreach to transit and transportation providers where possible, and through our Diverging Approach blog postings.

STAR:LINE is an acronym for Supportive Transit for All Riders: Leisure, Infrequent, New, and Experienced, which represents our diverse focus on advocating for everyone who can choose to use public transit, not just regular commuters. It also intentionally refers to Metra’s once-proposed STAR Line, which promised to offer suburb-to-suburb rail transit connections but never came to pass. (The east-west portion of the STAR Line now forms the backbone of Pace’s enhanced Interstate 90 service, but north-south transit connectivity through the suburbs is still sorely lacking.)

In addition to Diverging Approach, we’re also active on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Join us as we fight to make the suburbs more livable!

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Diverging Approach

The way to really blog.

Diverging Approach: Mayday

This Saturday, the Chicago Chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation is hosting their second-annual Transportation Camp, an “unconference” where professionals, students, and anyone with a passing fancy in transportation issues can hang out and talk turkey about trains (and cars and trucks and buses). If you’re free, I highly recommend attending the camp, which this … Continue reading Diverging Approach: Mayday

Diverging Approach: The Purge

Metra’s draft Station Evaluation Policy procedures are out, and Metra’s encouraging the public to review and comment on them by April 15. From Metra: The policy establishes a plan to review existing stations at least every two years.  Metra will collaborate with community stakeholders to create plans of action for stations with low ridership, in … Continue reading Diverging Approach: The Purge