Onboard education programs return to the South Shore Line

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Uncategorized

Published on September 22, 2021 with No Comments

After a 15-month pause due to the pandemic, the Midwest Rail Rangers have resumed their popular onboard educational programs aboard the South Shore Line. The 501(c)(3) non-profit Midwest Rail Rangers has had its Interpretive Guides presenting historical talks on select South Shore Line trains between Chicago and South Bend, since July 2017. Highlights during the two-hour ride include Chicago trivia, viewing the historic steel-making area of Northwest Indiana, the scenic Indiana Dunes State and National Parks, and the breadbasket region of LaPorte and St. Joseph Counties, Indiana.

Onboard educational programs will be offered two to three times per month year-round on select Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday off-peak trains.

Thursday Programs: Eastbound Midwest Rail Rangers programs on the South Shore Line take place aboard Train #7 that departs Chicago-Millennium Station at 8:45 a.m., CT. Westbound Midwest Rail Rangers programs on the South Shore Line take place aboard Train #18 that departs South Bend-Airport Station at 12:49 p.m., ET. 

Saturday & Sunday Programs: Eastbound Midwest Rail Rangers programs on the South Shore Line take place aboard Train #503 that departs Chicago-Millennium Station at 8:40 a.m., CT. Westbound Midwest Rail Rangers programs on the South Shore Line take place aboard Train #506 that departs South Bend-Airport Station at 1:05 p.m., ET.

Upcoming dates include: 

Saturday, October 16
Chicago to South Bend to Chicago Program

Thursday, October 21 ** 
Chicago to Michigan City to Chicago Program

Thursday, November 4 **
Chicago to Michigan City to Chicago Program

Saturday, November 13
Chicago to South Bend to Chicago Program

** These program dates will feature our Junior Rail Rangers program where kids (and kids of all ages) can earn a badge by filling out a Junior Rail Rangers booklet (while supplies last). We will also have all of our Midwest Rail Rangers Passport Stamps available on these trips. For details, click on the “Jr. Ranger & Stamps” link on website. 

Important note: Advanced reservations are not needed, nor accepted, for passengers who want to attend a Midwest Rail Rangers program on the South Shore Line. Simply purchase your ticket the morning of the trip to join us. Programs are presented in one of the eight cars on each train. While we attempt to do our programs towards the middle of the train, the exact car the Rail Rangers are located in are up to each conductor and can change. Look for the yellow signs as you walk through the train cars to indicate where our Guides are located. Programs are presented free for all passengers who have a regular paid ticket or pass.

Narration provided by the Midwest Rail Rangers can be heard in one car (usually toward the center of the train; look for yellow signs posted inside). Onboard educational programs are provided at no additional cost for all passengers who purchase a valid South Shore Line ticket or pass. Advanced reservations are not needed, nor accepted. Tickets can be purchased the day-of from a South Shore Line ticket agent or vending machine. Seating in the Rail Rangers Car is provided on a first come, first serve basis. Passengers must continue to follow all current COVID-19 protocols in place (including masks), as required by federal regulations and the South Shore.

Midwest Rail Rangers programs are presented in partnership with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) and the Indiana Dunes State Park.

Additional information and dates are listed at www.railrangers.org.

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