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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

orulz Nov 13, 2008 1:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3908945)
The Galena & Chicago Union received no land grants. It indeed bought "continuous and straight rights-of-way extending across the amber waves of grain by tirelessly negotiating to acquire each individual parcel in a linear fashion."

One important qualifier to that statement is that railroads are granted the power of eminent domain. That make this process of negotiation So if they get to a point and there's a few property owners who absolutely refuse to sell for a reasonable amount, the railroad can either threaten to condemn their property to force the property owner to deal, or else just condemn the property outright and let the courts decide the cost. This is how the vast majority of railroads were built. I suppose that in some areas where the RRs were built across federal or state land, they may have gotten the right-of-way through a grant, but certainly in the Chicago area, railroads were built mostly across private property.


The idea that railroads should have to give away free access to their rights of way simply because they are allowed to condemn property doesn't seem right to me.

I also seem to remember that there was an act passed, I think in the early 20th century, that absolved railroads of "owing" anything to the governments for allowing them to be built. Maybe it was part of the de-nationalization after world war 1, I'm not a history expert though so my memory could be off.

electricron Nov 13, 2008 3:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3908697)
Yes, but this pithy remark doesn't do justice to the railroads being given land grants by the government in the first place. It's not like the railroad operators meticulously assembled continuous and straight rights-of-way extending across the amber waves of grain by tirelessly negotiating to acquire each individual parcel in a linear fashion. The railroads were and are quasi-regulated privately-owned utilities vital for interstate commerce. I think it's fair to say that it's a bit more complicated than "oh yeah well obviously the government should pay rent to use a privately-owned utility that only exists because of government intervention and protection in the first place."

But yes, the ROW is owned by UP (formerly CNW), so CTA pays rent on it. I brought up the Green Line to illustrate that railroads will try to obtain compensation even when the public transit service utilizing their ROW has no impact on their ability to move freight. This has ramifications both in terms of law and cost for any sort of HSR system.


Amtrak pays no rent what-so-ever to the Freight RR corporations for using their RR ROW. That's apart of the legislation creating Amtrak many years ago, when Amtrak took over the intercity passenger train services from the regulated private RR corporations.

If Amtrak owns, leases, or operates the HSR trains, they would not be charged trackage rights or rent.

Of course, Amtrak doesn't have the financial resources to buy the HSR trains, nor upgrade the existing tracks, or lay new tracks in new RR ROWs.

BVictor1 Nov 13, 2008 5:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3908647)
Before 1962, the Lake Street L line ran at grade level in Oak Park. In 1962 it was moved to the Chicago & North Western Ry. embankment by removing (I think) one railroad track and shifting the others northward. In the Anglo-American legal system, it is customary to pay rent for the use of another's property.

So is the government still paying the Native Americans? :shrug:

arenn Nov 13, 2008 6:22 PM

Conventional rail technology peaks out at 79MPH due to FRA signalling requirements, though trains routinely ran faster in a previous era. Getting to 79MPH operation is pretty straightforward.

The Midwest HSR plan only called for increasing speeds to 110MPH. Not actually true high speed rail. They also had a ludicrously low cost estimate of $1 million per mile.

Chicago is motivated to build the St. Louis line first because it serves a long stretch of Illinois. But is that the most logical place? Milwaukee makes more sense perhaps, but it is quasi-suburban and the rail line is a busy commuter route today.

Indianapolis is much closer to Chicago than St. Louis, and isn't ridiculously smaller. It should be possible to create a 90 minute journey time. There's a potential excellent routing into downtown via the Illinois Central to Van Buren or Millennium Station. The existing freight routing of Amtrak is circuitous, but with lots of flat, open land, I think it's ideal for a new terrain route.

There are a lot of assumptions here, but if you assume you can convert part of the CSX Crawfordsville Sub to high speed only out of downtown, you then construct a short parallel segment to get you out of the metro area where you are free and clear to a new terrain route that links to the IC, where you leverage the very wide ROW to allow at least one dedicated HSR track. This could give you a high speed only route to Chicago that could operate at real high speeds - 150+ MPH. I put a price tag of around $3 billion on this. Probably a pipe dream, but one is entitled to dream.

Dr. Taco Nov 13, 2008 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BVictor1 (Post 3909665)
So is the government still paying the Native Americans? :shrug:

O/T :shrug:

VivaLFuego Nov 13, 2008 6:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 3909403)
Amtrak pays no rent what-so-ever to the Freight RR corporations for using their RR ROW. That's apart of the legislation creating Amtrak many years ago, when Amtrak took over the intercity passenger train services from the regulated private RR corporations.

If Amtrak owns, leases, or operates the HSR trains, they would not be charged trackage rights or rent.

I have a feeling the railroads would expect some form of compensation if the frequency of Amtrak service increases to the point that it restricts their ability to schedule and operate freight trains over the same tracks. The railroads can deal with a couple Amtrak trains per day. Make it 8 or 9 on a ROW that is predominantly single-track with periodic sidings, and it becomes a much different arrangement operationally. A major HSR initiative is a game-changer from the perspective of the railroads. If Amtrak started running 10 trains each direction every day between Chicago and St. Louis (as opposed to the current 3-4), in addition to the few Metra HC trains wedged in north of Joliet, you better believe the various railroads involved (I think including UP, KCS, and CN) would have something to say about it.

Quote:

Of course, Amtrak doesn't have the financial resources to buy the HSR trains, nor upgrade the existing tracks, or lay new tracks in new RR ROWs.
Well yeah, for now this is all just a hypothetical discussion because it appears there is some legislative movement at the federal level to actually provide some measure of HSR funding to Amtrak.

BVictor1 Nov 13, 2008 7:46 PM

http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/theskyline/

Chicago Architectural Club announces winners of high-speed rail station design competition

http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune....erspective.jpg

If the dream of turning Chicago into a high-speed rail hub ever came true, would the station be an anonymous piece of infrastructure or would it give something back to the city?

Inspired by next year’s centennial of the Burnham Plan, which created such iconic features as the city’s lakefront, the Chicago Architectural Club on Sunday announced the winner of an ideas competition, slyly called “Burnham 2.0,” that took up that question. The winner should generate healthy discussion even if it won’t get built.

The plan, by four little-known Chicago architects, calls for a mostly underground station, just east of Union Station on a site now occupied by the Union Station Multiplex (the former Chicago Mercantile Exchange Building) at 444 W. Jackson Blvd. and the 222 S. Riverside Plaza office building. The station would be topped by a combination of flat and undulating roofs, as well as large triangular panels of glass. You could walk on those roofs. The station, which would have the feel of a sleek airport terminal, would lead to high-speed train platforms as well as water taxis on the Chicago River.

The winners—Michael Cady, Elba Gil, David Lillie and Andres Montana--emerged from a field of 75 qualified entries and will receive a $10,000 prize. Second prize and $3,000 goes to Cheyne Owens of Cambridge, Mass. Third prize winner Lindsay Grote of Chicago gets $1,000.

At the announcement, held at the Chicago History Museum as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival, jurors praised the winning plan for making an aesthetic statement without overwhelming the Beaux-Arts grandeur of the existing Union Station.

And like all architecture competitions, this one offered a snapshot of its era and its most influential architects. The folded roof looks as “if the surface of the Earth was re-designed by Zaha Hadid,” quipped juror Geoff Manaugh, referring to the Pritzker Prize-winning London architect.

denizen467 Nov 14, 2008 6:50 AM

Well hot damn!

But how come not on the block SE of Union Station - it's bigger, and I presume more ripe for major development.

orulz Nov 14, 2008 3:52 PM

That's a very unusual design... I don't like it. It tears down a densely built lot and replaces it with, essentially, a deconstructivist plaza that is inhospitable, unusable, and pointless. The plaza on top of this station design is the most street-unfriendly plaza I have ever seen. I saw this on another forum and I agree with what they said - whenever there is an architectural design competition, you frequently get these completely off-the-wall, impractical, "revolutionary" designs that scream "Look at me, I'm unusual!!!" that do not concern themselves with workability in the real world.

This is not to mention the economic impracticality of building the station there without some sort of air rights development above it, whether it involves the existing building / buildings, or new construction, or perhaps a combination of the two.

honte Nov 14, 2008 4:38 PM

It's just a fantasy designed to get people thinking... no need to take it very seriously.

Kngkyle Nov 14, 2008 5:53 PM

Put a green roof and park on the roof and it could be alright.

denizen467 Nov 17, 2008 8:48 AM

Hey peeps, what happened to the OMP/ORD thread? I can't find it; does someone have the link (if it still exists)?

nomarandlee Nov 17, 2008 9:46 AM

:previous: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=87889&page=29

Skylineguy Nov 17, 2008 7:45 PM

Has anyone talked to the workers at the Fullerton station? They look like they could open the other southbound track any time now.

OhioGuy Nov 17, 2008 9:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylineguy (Post 3917679)
Has anyone talked to the workers at the Fullerton station? They look like they could open the other southbound track any time now.

I haven't heard anything yet, but I agree with you that it looks like they should be able to open the southbound outer track very soon. On top of that, the Damen station on the brown line should be reopening by next Wednesday if they've been able to stick to the one year closure plan. The following week Irving Park should reopen as well. And despite the fact Paulina didn't close until March, they look like they're ahead of schedule on that station. My guess is that it will reopen before the full 12 months are up.

denizen467 Nov 18, 2008 2:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 3916892)

:worship:
The darned thing had fallen off the page of Transportation threads, probably due to inactivity. I think this must be an error in the SSP system. I was looking for it forever.

Now I've got it bumped back up for this week's festivities.

ChicagoChicago Nov 18, 2008 5:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3917862)
I haven't heard anything yet, but I agree with you that it looks like they should be able to open the southbound outer track very soon. On top of that, the Damen station on the brown line should be reopening by next Wednesday if they've been able to stick to the one year closure plan. The following week Irving Park should reopen as well. And despite the fact Paulina didn't close until March, they look like they're ahead of schedule on that station. My guess is that it will reopen before the full 12 months are up.

Per the Redeye, "riders should not go by the dates posted on transitchicago.com for firm reopenings." Irving Park and Damen should be finished some time in December.

http://redeye.chicagotribune.com/new...5183359.column

OhioGuy Nov 18, 2008 6:02 PM

^^^ If Damen isn't opened up until December, they will have failed their pledge to have stations down for only 1 year.

ardecila Nov 19, 2008 6:59 AM

honte - I believe you live near IIT, correct? Do you know if any progress has been made on the 35th Street Metra station? I know you're opposed to it, but it definitely has worth as a transit improvement for the city...

In related news, I found a plan of the station design, which shows access on both the east AND west sides of the embankment. I suppose this is to avoid a pedestrian crossing of the tracks. In this plan, north is to the left.
http://www.infrastructure-eng.com/si...g_2_1814_3.jpg

honte Nov 19, 2008 8:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3921327)
honte - I believe you live near IIT, correct? Do you know if any progress has been made on the 35th Street Metra station? I know you're opposed to it, but it definitely has worth as a transit improvement for the city...

My understanding through the grapevine (not official) is that the station is being redesigned to protect or incorporate the Mies van der Rohe structure on the site. :tup:

The plan always called for access from east and west.


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