The Metra Central Street station in Evanston. Credit: Alex Harrison

Metra announced Wednesday that it is canceling six Thursday night train runs on the Union Pacific North line that serves Evanston in anticipation of a potential nationwide strike by freight railroad workers.

The canceled runs are inbound trains 372 and 374, which depart Waukegan at 10:05 and 11:05 p.m., and outbound trains 371, 373, 375 and 377, which depart Chicago between 9:32 p.m. and 12:32 a.m. Similar cancellations were announced for the UP-Northwest, UP-West and BSNF lines.

Tens of thousands of freight railroad workers across the country are set to go on strike if a deal is not reached by midnight Friday morning, when a 30-day moratorium on striking ends. Representatives from freight carriers and 13 unions are holding all-day, closed-door negotiations today in Washington, which U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is directly mediating.

Metra wrote in its announcement that it is communicating with the owners and operators of its other commuter rail lines as well.

“As of now, we expect to be able to operate scheduled service Friday on the Metra Electric, Rock Island, SouthWest Service, Milwaukee District North, and Milwaukee District West lines,” the announcement said. “We are continuing to communicate with our freight partners regarding our ability to run trains on the Heritage Corridor and North Central Service lines and will provide updates as soon as possible.”

Alex Harrison reports on local government, public safety, developments, town-gown relations and more for the RoundTable. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in June...