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OhioGuy Feb 10, 2008 5:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3344512)
Coupled with the expanded Brown Line trains (they could run 8-car trains by this fall if they wanted to, once Wellington and Paulina shut down)

Does the CTA have any plans to begin running 8 car trains when those two stations shut down? I was actually just thinking about this fact a couple weeks ago. Southport should be open by April 1st, allowing for Paulina to be shut down. Diversey should be open by June 30th, allowing for Wellington to be shut down. And as you noted, at that point every station that is open on the brown line would be long enough to handle an 8 car train.

Mr Downtown Feb 10, 2008 6:46 PM

Well, they'd have to get some more cars first. Oh, and a place to keep them at night.

emathias Feb 10, 2008 7:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3345065)
Well, they'd have to get some more cars first. Oh, and a place to keep them at night.

No they wouldn't. They could run 8-car trains as long as they're still only using 3-tracks between Fullerton and Belmont since at peak rush hour they still don't run as many total cars as they did before the expansion project began.

20 6-car trains (the most they ran at rush hour pre-expansion) is the same number of cars as 15 8-car trains. And they could keep doing that until they get more cars, even after they return to 4-track service, since it doesn't significantly reduce quality of service (3-minute vs. 4-minute headways is barely noticeable to most riders) and it saves them some money in operator payroll costs. As a bonus, fewer trains into the Loop means less chance of delay and less waiting, so faster rush hour operations.

Lost in most discussions about 8-car expansion is that the CTA can use the capacity to reduce train frequency instead of just increase capacity, which saves some operator labor costs at the (probably minor, at least at rush hour) expense of rider convenience.

VivaLFuego Feb 13, 2008 8:54 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,2937641.story
Quote:

the CTA announced it will add weekend service from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays on the Yellow Line/Skokie Swift on March 30.
Good news, generally.

Also, they announced that the southbound Red line schedule will be reduced to accomodate the next phase in 3-tracking at Belmont and Fullerton when there will only be 1 southbound track in operation. This should make the AM commute absolutely dreadful since south of North Avenue it's already a challenge to squeeze onto any of the Brown and Red lines or the #22 bus, but at least we're entering the home stretch of that project.

OhioGuy Feb 13, 2008 9:13 PM

Quote:

As part of the North Side renovation, the number of Brown Line trains will stay the same, but the CTA will operate eight-car Brown Line trains instead of the six-car trains currently operating. The agency is able to add the extra cars because many of the stations along the Brown Line route have had their platforms extended to accommodate the longer trains.
So are they closing down Wellington before Diversey opens up? They certainly can't operate 8 car brown line trains at Wellington right now. I guess they're going to have to close it down early, despite saying no two adjacent brown line stations would be closed during construction. The adjacent Diversey station to the south won't be opening up until the end of June. That will really suck for people near Diversey that have been walking up to Wellington to catch the train (something I've been doing since Diversey closed last summer). Now for a three month period it'll be an even further walk up to Belmont or now south to Fullerton to catch the train for those in & around Diversey. I guess the one positive is that the longer walks will occur in spring rather than winter. It's not so bad walking further distances if the weather is pleasant.

Eventually...Chicago Feb 13, 2008 9:40 PM

^^^ Diversey would be open at the end of June, Wellington would not be shutdown until diversey is open

OhioGuy Feb 13, 2008 9:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eventually...Chicago (Post 3352350)
^^^ Diversey would be open at the end of June, Wellington would not be shutdown until diversey is open

But that doesn't explain how they can run 8 car trains on the brown line after March 30th if Wellington is still open. As it stands, you'd have two cars in the train that wouldn't have any platform to stop at for passengers to get on/off at Wellington. Unless they're going to alternate between 6 & 8 car trains during rush hours, I don't see how it's possible to keep Wellington open for rush hour commuters when the trains would be too long to stop there.

VivaLFuego Feb 13, 2008 11:16 PM

My guess is that they either have or will rework the construction schedule of Diversey to allow the station to open in April, even if it's not yet substantially complete (e.g. no elevators, temporary railings and light fixtures, etc.). Not sure what the extra cost of that would be, though.

2PRUROCKS! Feb 13, 2008 11:25 PM

According to Crain's a temporary station will open at Diversey March 30.

http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=28188

Mr. Huberman also outlined a timetable for when Brown Line stations are scheduled to either reopen or close. Those dates are:

Southport, to open March 30
Wellington, to close March 30
Paulina, to close March 30
Diversey, to open June 28 (a temporary station will open on March 30)
Damen, to open in November
Irving Park, to open in December

OhioGuy Feb 14, 2008 12:11 AM

That's great to hear a temporary Diversey station will be opened up, especially since that means the total reconstruction downtime for the residents in that area will end up being less lengthy than others have experienced at their own local brown line stops. :)

SkokieSwift Feb 14, 2008 6:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3352271)
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,2937641.story


the CTA announced it will add weekend service from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays on the Yellow Line/Skokie Swift on March 30.

Nice! Thanks for posting.

emathias Feb 14, 2008 2:46 PM

I love it when breaking news proves me right so quickly. ;-)

Seriously, though, I'm especially happy that Diversey will get an early opening, even if it is just a temporary station. I like a lot of stuff on Diversey and have missed that station.

VivaLFuego Feb 14, 2008 3:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3354013)

Seriously, though, I'm especially happy that Diversey will get an early opening, even if it is just a temporary station. I like a lot of stuff on Diversey and have missed that station.

I'm looking forward to Southport re-opening, that's a gem of a commercial street in terms of restaurants, bars, and the Music Box.

Chicago3rd Feb 14, 2008 3:33 PM

^^ Less than two more years to enjoy having stations shut down from Western to the Loop. I love not doing all the stops. (yes, a selfish Western Brownline rider).

VivaLFuego Feb 14, 2008 8:42 PM

Daley made a major announcement today on a $227 million capital program to improve "safety and reliability" on the CTA.

Press Release:
http://www.transitchicago.com/news/c...ticleid=123887

It says this is federally-funded, so I'm not sure if these are just the usual federal formula funds that are being assembled into a single/coherent program.

The big "good" news items for me:
- Overhauling the Nova LFS (6400-series) buses, which are 7 years old and otherwise would be run into the ground in a few years.
- Upgrading the signal system (not sure what they plan to do, but anything would be good, particularly on the unreliable North Main line.

the urban politician Feb 15, 2008 3:59 AM

^ I'd like to see some money put into multilingual ticket dispensors.

Seriously, though, how did Daley suddenly get this lump sum of cash?

I wonder if this has anything to do with Daley's meeting with President Bush a short while back.

"Hey George, we're trying to get the Olympics so I need some extra cash for the CTA. Oh, and can Congress hurry up and pass that anti-doping law?"

"Sure Dick. Now lets go have that pint of Guinness and some chicken fingers"

Abner Feb 15, 2008 4:19 AM

.pdf presentation of the plan: http://www.transitchicago.com/news/m...apitalplan.pdf

It says the plan will use surplus funds from the Douglas branch reconstruction and the cell phones in subways service, plus borrowing from future federal formula funds. Doesn't give the relative breakdown between those two sources.

The plan apparently also includes buying 150 new hybrid articulated buses and reducing slow zones by over 100,000 feet by this December.

I guess they are getting some pretty good mileage out of the Douglas reconstruction, although I can't figure out why the trains still have to go so dang slow over the whole Paulina connector.

k1052 Feb 15, 2008 3:22 PM

The rail highlights seem to be:

1) Structural work (especially on the Green Line-Englewood branch)

2) Platform lighting/signage/canopy upgrades

3) Repairs and upgrades to signal/computer systems

4) Overhauls of all Red Line and most of Blue Line rolling stock

5) Computer information system to track maintenance, slow zones, workforce, etc..

6) Slow zone work: O'Hare branch, State Street subway, Green Line-Englewood, Ravenswood Brown Line, Northside Main, and Dan Ryan.

VivaLFuego Feb 15, 2008 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3355887)
I guess they are getting some pretty good mileage out of the Douglas reconstruction, although I can't figure out why the trains still have to go so dang slow over the whole Paulina connector.

The only explanation I've ever heard for this is because the new track/structure had to follow exactly the same alignment and profile as the old in order to avoid procuring a whole new EIS; basically it would have been a whole seperate project and couldn't have been piggy-backed onto the EIS for the New Start rehab.

The money appears to just be bonding out future expected federal funds, there's no new money here. This is in addition to the future expected federal funds that were bonded out to repair the O'hare slow zones, and the future expected federal funds that were bonded out to buy more railcars. In short, this is all just borrowing against the future, which has been the recurring theme of repeatedly getting these sorts of public agencies into crisis/doomsday mode.

Abner Feb 15, 2008 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3356600)
The only explanation I've ever heard for this is because the new track/structure had to follow exactly the same alignment and profile as the old in order to avoid procuring a whole new EIS; basically it would have been a whole seperate project and couldn't have been piggy-backed onto the EIS for the New Start rehab.

What a shame that the rules prevented straightening out some of the bends in the alignment; there certainly would have been plenty of room on either side of the track to do so. That's over half a mile of permanently slow track that would be a major portion of the Circle Line.

Maybe we can hope that borrowing against future federal funding makes a little more sense now that we can potentially look forward to an administration change and an end to this funding desert.


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