Whenever I took the train from Chicago, I always loved hearing the announcement, “Next stop…Cary.” Admittedly, not for the reason you might think. That announcement meant just one more stop before hopping off the train at the Pingree Road stop in Crystal Lake, walking to my car, and then a quick drive home.
Cary Metra Train schedule: check the official Metra UP-NW schedule.
Cary is on the Union Pacific Northwest (UP-NW) line and is conveniently located in downtown Cary. Historically, this has been a fairly busy station and there is a ticketing agent on duty when the waiting area is open.
Address: 100 W. Main St., Cary, IL 60013
Parking is plentiful and runs parallel to the tracks. It is sectioned with permit parking closest to the station and north of Main Street, with a combined permit and daily parking at the far end of the north parking lot, and daily parking south of Main Street in the south parking lot.
Parking is actually managed by the City of Cary and features kiosks spread around the parking and at the shelter areas.
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A brand new 1,400 sqft station was completed in 2019. While the waiting room area is nicely done, including some historic memorabilia on display and some books to read while you wait, there aren’t any restrooms, and the seating is a little sparse…though perhaps it has been scaled back to aid in social distancing.
The Metra site claims it is open 5am to 1pm, though there is a sign on the door stating 4:30am to 6:30pm, Monday through Friday, and 6:00am to 6:30pm, Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps the times have been cut back due to COVID.
In addition to the station, there is also a nice 300 sqft enclosed shelter, though both are on the inbound side. There are also a number of park benches along the tracks for waiting.
On the Chicago outbound side sits the former station, in the same location as the original station, which was built in 1863. Times change and with the construction of the new station, the old one was approved this year for demolition.
Though the station doesn’t feature any vendors, Conscious Cup sits on the corner across the street and there are a number of establishments to stop in upon after your evening return commute. In fact, the station’s location in the heart of downtown Cary makes it ideal for a track-trip adventure, to pop in, spend a little time in the area, then catch a train back to your home station.
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