Google up the Hosteling International in CHI! Great place right downtown, includes free Breakfast and a Great Lobby Resturant with Delcious and reasonable food! Right off Michigan Avenue on Congress, you can walk or ride a Bus or cab there ! The staff is very helpful and people of all Ages and nationalities stay there! About $40 a Night, What a Deal!
I keep finding very expensive hotels around Union Station. Anybody know a good, cheap(er) hotel in/around Chicago? It's okay as long as Metra goes there, I would want to railfan it anyway.
I don't like being boxed into one option. Anything OTHER than the Hostelling International? I had a bad expierience with them.
Try using this list. All hotels are either within walking distance of a train, be it METRA or the CTA, or they offer a shuttle from a train station.