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left of center Jan 16, 2023 7:02 PM

Why couldn't DeKalb County join the 6 county members as the 7th member and fund Metra as they do with a quarter percentage sales tax? Granted, it would only be 1 station to service the county, but it would be a start. Perhaps compromise and add 1 station between Elburn and DeKalb, at Maple Park perhaps?

If that is unpalatable to voters in DeKalb County, then I'm sure something could be worked out ala Kenosha County as some posters have mentioned.

I also agree with above posts that the station should be located in the center of DeKalb. Repurposing the old train station should be a priority. If that's not possible, a new station with an emphasis on an urban format should be built.

Tom In Chicago Jan 17, 2023 3:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9840050)
. . . and we instead end up with a new stop in a cornfield on the edge of dekalb surrounded by a 10 acre park n' ride lot (a la manhattan and elburn), then this whole idea is stupid.

As far as political boondoggles go, I don't have a problem with ones that involve rail. . . even if it means a depot in a cornfield at the edge of DeKalb. . . I mean, sure, it should be avoided at all cost, but if the momentum is there to get rail out to a park and ride to kick things off, I'm just fine with it. . .

. . .

Randomguy34 Jan 19, 2023 4:39 PM

Ridership numbers from the recent Metra board meeting. MED and UP-N's numbers look incredible! Wouldn't be surprised if they're one of the best performing commuter rail line's in the country.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FmzUNgiX...pg&name=medium
https://docs.google.com/gview?url=ht...&embedded=true

twister244 Jan 19, 2023 5:56 PM

Weekend numbers look pretty good too on most lines. It's probably going to be a while before we get back to 2019 numbers. I suspect most people will commute a couple days a week moving forward as opposed to 4/5 days to the office in the city.

twister244 Jan 21, 2023 1:28 AM

So.... I was lucky enough to get to ride these bad boys on my way home tonight on the Blue Line....

https://www.transitchicago.com/cta-i...duled-service/

And Wow...... For a few minutes, I almost felt like I was on a train in a different city. They are amazingly bright inside, video screens, much better use of space, and smoother on the rails.

There really isn't anything newsworthy to my post... Other than if you see one amongst older cars - Go take that one. I wish every CTA rail car was like this!

MayorOfChicago Jan 26, 2023 8:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twister244 (Post 9845027)
So.... I was lucky enough to get to ride these bad boys on my way home tonight on the Blue Line....

https://www.transitchicago.com/cta-i...duled-service/

And Wow...... For a few minutes, I almost felt like I was on a train in a different city. They are amazingly bright inside, video screens, much better use of space, and smoother on the rails.

There really isn't anything newsworthy to my post... Other than if you see one amongst older cars - Go take that one. I wish every CTA rail car was like this!

I got one on the blue line both yesterday morning and this morning. Not sure if they're putting them out quietly for normal service?

That said both times I took it we stopped and had long delays at stations and in the tunnel and also moved much slower than normal. The next train in front of us was 17-20 minutes ahead both times (because the Blue Line is a DISASTER these days) so it wasn't signal related.

Mr Downtown Jan 30, 2023 5:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twister244 (Post 9845027)
if you see one amongst older cars - Go take that one

Not something you'll ever see, as they can't be trainlined with CTA's older cars.

Mister Uptempo Jan 31, 2023 9:30 PM

The US Department of Transportation announced the MEGA Grant awards for FY 2023, and $117,000,000 was awarded for the Metra-UP North rebuild between Fullerton and Addison.

The CTA Blue Line Forest Park Branch rebuild and the Chicago Gateway Project (which included the St. Charles Air Line Connector) were shut out.

In downstate Illinois, a request for the 10th Street Rail Corridor through Springfield was turned down for a MEGA Grant, but will be awarded an INFRA Grant instead. Award amount has yet to be disclosed but $78 million was the initial ask.

Link to the 2023 MEGA Grant Award Fact Sheet.

Klippenstein Feb 1, 2023 4:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 9853911)
The US Department of Transportation announced the MEGA Grant awards for FY 2023, and $117,000,000 was awarded for the Metra-UP North rebuild between Fullerton and Addison.

The CTA Blue Line Forest Park Branch rebuild and the Chicago Gateway Project (which included the St. Charles Air Line Connector) were shut out.

That’s disappointing. Is this the main grant that the Chicago Gateway Project was depending on to be a reality?

ardecila Feb 1, 2023 4:35 PM

Yes, but the MEGA was not specifically a rail program. There are several other big pots of money reserved for rail that Amtrak could go for, and there are further rounds of MEGA grant funding in FY23, FY24, FY25 so this won't be Amtrak's only bite at the apple for Chicago Gateway.

Still, I am very surprised that we didn't get a grant considering the regional support lined up behind it. It seems like most of the awards went to projects that have been in the works already for years, not to newer/more transformative ideas.

Chi-Sky21 Feb 1, 2023 8:40 PM

Wish this would include the bridges at the Clyborn station. Would be nice to fix that part over Ashland.

Randomguy34 Feb 1, 2023 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9854574)
Still, I am very surprised that we didn't get a grant considering the regional support lined up behind it. It seems like most of the awards went to projects that have been in the works already for years, not to newer/more transformative ideas.

That would explain why the NYC Gateway project received $300 million, despite it being a drop in the bucket compared to the $16 billion needed for it.

Randomguy34 Feb 19, 2023 3:56 PM

Metra and NICTD gave a presentation at Northwestern's Sandhouse Rail Group. There were a lot of interesting info, such as Metra moving to a regional rail model where there's frequent service throughout the day.

The one that caught my attention is that the CTA is exploring a combined station with Metra as a part of the Red Line Extension. Metra's CEO didn't recall where the RLE crosses over Metra and said 103rd St. He specifically said the station would be built over Metra's catenary wires, so it would HAVE to be the MED at 119th St. A transfer station between the Red Line and MED would be amazing, and one of the few direct transfers in Chicago. NICTD's CEO also hints at possible connections between the SSL and RLE at 130th St.

Metra is also looking into Proof-of-payment and fare integration with CTA & Pace, once they install their new ticket machines.

Video (1:48:35): https://metrarr.granicus.com/MediaPl...=5&clip_id=829
Fares (page 6): https://metra.com/sites/default/file...ile/index.html

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2023 4:16 PM

Good news but I'll just throw it out there how depressing it is the mention of potential interagency transfer points and integration is met with surprise at all - or that others like SSL @ 130th is still just "possible" when "of course" should by the ONLY reasonable expectation. BTW this still doesn't make RLE a good project.

*Debbie Downer horn*

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2023 11:05 PM

I'd wager a guess that a good chunk of people commenting on Chicago transit on an online forum are also familiar with the bullet point transit issues of other major cities. Yes the KOP extension is likely the worst transit project currently in the country - made more preposterous by the multitude of other more worthwhile expansion and modernization needs in the Septa network.

SIGSEGV Feb 20, 2023 4:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuliusDoaner (Post 9870590)
it's hilarious that they think all this dense housing and TOD will sprout out of the new stations. There are stations in this city in super desirable neighborhoods that are still surrounded by parking lots, strip malls, and vacant lots, yet we're suppose to believe that developers will skip all of those neighborhoods that are far denser, far more desirable, far safer, and simply a better real estate bet and instead head down to the far southside and build all this TOD? lol ok

If the RLE didn't cost a ridicoulous amount of money I wouldn't even be complaining. But it's super damn expensive for what? Couple thousand more riders? Why not reintroduce the green line back to the south lakefront area? Would garner FAR more ridership

Well the silly thing is that fare integration and higher ME frequencies would basically obviate most of it (and... you could extend the RL a little bit around the Bishop Ford for a transfer station).

Mr Downtown Feb 20, 2023 4:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9870322)
CTA is exploring a combined station with Metra as a part of the Red Line Extension

I think Derwinski was just riffing Friday, and the PR and planning guys in the room probably cringed a bit when he said that. There's no such plan.

I was surprised to hear no mention of O'Hare service, and no mention of A-2 replacement, which were the two big topics last time Sandhouse was invited by Metra.

ardecila Feb 20, 2023 4:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9870710)
I think Derwinski was just riffing Friday, and the PR and planning guys in the room probably cringed a bit when he said that. There's no such plan.

I was surprised to hear no mention of O'Hare service, and no mention of A-2 replacement, which were the two big topics last time Sandhouse was invited by Metra.

Yes, at this point the basic outlines for RLE are basically set in stone. Adding a station, etc or additional scope would set the project back significantly.

Maybe they could make provisions to add it as a future infill station, but this is all utterly insane to build a 2nd intermodal station 3 blocks south of Kensington. If they really wanted an intermodal station they should have just routed the RLE to Kensington with a short el over 115th or a short cut/cover subway.

k1052 Feb 20, 2023 10:13 PM

Metra faces delay in plan for battery conversion of F40s

Commuter operator will issue new Request for Proposals after failing to reach agreement with Progress Rail


https://www.trains.com/trn/news-revi...rsion-of-f40s/

May this search turn out like the one for gallery cars.

If they really want to do this buy Euro BEMUs.

brian_b Feb 24, 2023 6:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9840519)
The Elburn station kinda sucks, but there is at least a pedestrian connection to the town's street grid.

Yeah, I don't think it's fair to complain about Elburn. The town already passed a TOD master plan and their Strategy #1 is to "Improve pedestrian/ bicycle connectivity to the Metra station and through Elburn." with the following specific goals:
  • Complete the sidewalk network throughout Elburn, particularly in and around downtown and the Metra Station.
  • Construct pedestrian rail crossing at First Street.
  • Improve bike/pedestrian connection to the Metra Station at Kansas Street.
  • Build out network of bike routes.

What more could you want from them? The town is so tiny that everything is a 15 minute walk or less from the station.

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/m...compressed.pdf


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