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

orulz May 17, 2011 8:19 PM

I note that the high ridership estimates are IF the line went direct to downtown Chicago.

Couldn't CTA extend the red line to Skokie pretty easily? Ten million or so to extend the existing platforms? Add maybe 20 more cars onto their next rolling stock order? They probably wouldn't want to run every train out to Skokie; every other train, or every third train, might be more appropriate.

That, plus a station at Asbury, and another one at Crawford, would IMO complete the line. The convenience of riding direct to downtown would probably more than offset the slower speeds from Skokie's perspective.

Nowhereman1280 May 17, 2011 8:45 PM

^^^ It would more than offset the slower speeds simply by eliminating the transfer time. I know it might be difficult to do that not only because of the platform size, but also because the Skokie tracks dead end and there is no staging area. This could lead to "bunching" in the system if just one train runs behind. If they could make it work, every third train to Skokie would be great esp if they ever extend it to Old Orchard.

k1052 May 17, 2011 9:03 PM

The Yellow Line extension is dead meat since Skokie residents said they don't want it or any further future service on old North Shore ROW. Any proposal to realign the Yellow Line as part of the Red Line would definitely meet strenuous opposition amongst the local NIMBYs and would doom the project.

The CTA should not be wasting it's time and money trying to give people something they don't want.

Rizzo May 18, 2011 2:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5276283)
I'd rather that the signs display only train arrival times. I don't need reminders to replace my Chicago Card... I was at Cermak yesterday and had to wait through nearly a minute of useless bullshit messages before it got to the arrival times.


THANK YOU!!!! I was just about to complain about this. Though I'll still probably forget to replace my Chicago Card anyway.....

OhioGuy May 18, 2011 12:49 PM

Good to see a few photos of the station construction! I'd been wondering about it a few weeks ago. Nice to get an idea of where they're at in the construction process.

jpIllInoIs May 18, 2011 1:49 PM

Ike EXPWY
 
Tribune story
By Jon Hilkevitch, TRIBUNE REPORTER
6:38 p.m. CDT, May 17, 2011


IDOT is evaluating the Ike again. Eisenhower Xpwy Redo

..."The possible solutions being examined include widening the Eisenhower to four lanes in each direction for the entire length of the highway. The expansion would make room for "managed lanes'' handling car-poolers, express buses or drivers willing to pay tolls to commute more quickly during rush hours, according to IDOT planners.

But so far, money is available only for the ongoing review of ideas. "Part of our analysis is to examine the financing options,'' said Pete Harmet, IDOT bureau chief of programming for the Chicago region. "We are a ways away from construction."

An expansion of the CTA's Blue Line rail service, from its current terminus in Forest Park to DuPage County, and other new transit services are among the possibilities, officials said. They include a proposed light-rail line and a designated bus-rapid transit corridor that would be open to express buses traveling between the suburbs and downtown at least part of the day.

Improvements at existing Blue Line stations are in the plans, too, to improve transit connections for commuters who drive, bike or walk during part of their trips, officials said.

One of the 170 suggestions received involves making the CTA Blue Line station at Harlem Avenue easier for pedestrians to use, officials said. A better design involving the CTA bus stop at Harlem is being examined. Buses currently stop in an active traffic lane on Harlem, leading to conflicts between drivers and pedestrians.

On the expressway, up to three general-use lanes in each direction would be maintained, officials said. IDOT is working with the Illinois Tollway to develop concepts for possible toll lanes that would be priced with a sliding scale of fees based on the time of day and traffic loads, the officials added."

Why is the Pink Line never involved in these discussions? Extending the Pink to Loyola/VA - Maywood Campus and even into Westchester should be considered.

Beta_Magellan May 18, 2011 4:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 5281081)
I note that the high ridership estimates are IF the line went direct to downtown Chicago.

Not quite—since they were using comparisons with existing Chicago-area stations to make their estmates, all ridership estimates were dropped down forty percent to account for the need for a transfer. From the report:

Quote:

Finally, an adjustment to all three ridership forecast ranges was made to account for the fact that that the peer stations all offer a one-seat ride downtown and have a greater downtown orientation, versus a two-seat ride to downtown Chicago for the potential Yellow Line stations. Ridership estimates were reduced an additional 40 percent. If direct Yellow Line service to downtown Chicago were ever introduced, ridership could exceed the ranges shown.
So the numbers I posted on the last page would all be higher if the Yellow Line ran downtown. I think the main reason it doesn’t is an equipment utilization issue—no sense running eight cars all the way up to Oakton and Dempster (especially since the Red Line seems to run eight-car trains off-peak as well). In addition lengthening Dempster and spending more on the infill stops, you’d probably have to renovate Oakton Station—even though the station itself is long, the only elevation I’ve been able to find shows a platform that only looks capable of berthing four-car trains at the moment (those pylons may be a limiting factor in the long-term, too—from Patrick Pryor of McDonough Associates):

http://pryorcraftsmen.com/wp-content...over-Sheet.jpg

I’m not sure if there would be NIMBY issues with through-routing (one-seat ride via transit might trump any concerns, and I’d expect Skokie transit users to be familiar with how easy it is to transfer anyway), but k1052’s right—the Yellow Line extension’s fairly dead at this point. The community hates it (for your typical suburban reasons, plus the added hilarity of them thinking it will serve as paddy wagon for pedophiles to the Cook County court) and CMAP doesn’t care for it much either (it has the highest cost per passenger of the three CTA extension projects in the works, and doesn’t solve any pressing capacity issue like the Orange and Red Line extensions do).

Skokie seems weirdly bipolar about transit, though—on the one hand they pay for a new station at Oakton on their own and plan to concentrate development in the Oakton and Old Orchard areas, but on the other they’re completely against a Yellow Line extension on your typical suburban NIMBY grounds (cost didn’t seem to be a huge factor in the Yellow Line opposition).

ardecila May 18, 2011 5:49 PM

I dunno if it's bipolar about transit exactly. Many Skokie residents support the revitalization of downtown, and the new Oakton station is part of that. (Speaking of which, Skokie just put Oakton on a trial-period road diet)

I think the north Skokie residents against the project might actually be okay with an at-grade option or a subway, but neither of those really work for CTA obviously.

jc5680 May 22, 2011 8:32 PM

New Morgan Street Station














spyguy May 31, 2011 6:21 PM

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/05/...union-station/

Architect Wants To Expand Union Station
May 30, 2011 10:30 AM


...Wolf said that his proposal would create six new through tracks for high-speed trains, while retaining ample space for Metra and existing Amtrak service.

He said he has not consulted either with Amtrak, which owns Union Station, or Metra, which is its biggest tenant. He estimates the cost of his proposal in the range of $700 million. But he said everyday service would be able to continue uninterrupted through the demolition and construction phases.

A new, semi-enclosed concourse area would take the office tower’s place, with escalators descending to track level. Clearance would be left to accommodate electrification of commuter and intercity trains.

Beta_Magellan May 31, 2011 7:00 PM

Glad to see someone's looking into an alternative to the West Loop Transportation Center--even though this isn't associated with CDOT, Metra or Amtrak in any way, a quick search for Solomon Cordwell Buenz showed that they do have ties to the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, so maybe some of these ideas will filter down.

One question I've always had about WLTC is whether through-routing between the BNSF and Union Pacific lines (particularly UP-North) would really be made possible--I often see it discussed as a perk of the WLTC, but I don't think I've ever really seen it explicitly mentioned in any documents, and most of the diagrams either were ambiguous or looked like they were only connecting to the Milwaukee District, probably as a means of getting rid of the grade crossings at Canal and Clinton. If we don't build a new tunnel under Clinton and just get rid of 222 S. Riverside, would there be any easy way of rerouting trains from the UP-North and Northwest lines to Union Station, or would through-routing the BNSF line with the Milwaukee District be our only option?

(I'm assuming that going from a BNSF to UP or Metra-driven train wouldn't be a problem--IIRC, there's an RER line that is half RTAP, half-SNCF, with a driver change in the middle.)

Mr Downtown Jun 2, 2011 2:06 AM

http://i53.tinypic.com/f2tw5j.jpg
Midwest High Speed Rail Association

Midwest HSR Association hired SCB to do a couple of drawings of what Union Station could look like if 222 Riverside were removed. Not a serious drawing in terms of structure, but enough to pass the giggle test. As part of that, they show the Union Station tracks through-routed (with a little curve in the middle, as they don't line up).

As for WLTC, the tie-in to BNSF would be way south of CUS and the tie-in to UP would have to be a couple blocks north of Ogilvie.

CTA Gray Line Jun 3, 2011 6:35 AM

Illinois to study 220 mph bullet trains
 
http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/n...,7683349.story


Illinois to study 220mph bullet trains

By Jon Hilkevitch

Tribune reporter

4:32 p.m. CDT, June 2, 2011

The University of Illinois will lead a study examining the options to build tracks exclusively for 220 mph bullet trains operating initially between Chicago and Urbana-Champaign and eventually carrying passengers the length of the state in about two hours.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the $1.25 million state-funded study today at a meeting in Chicago of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, whose leaders have questioned the benefits of the federal government and numerous states, including Illinois, investing in train service that tops out at 110 mph.


Quinn acknowledged that building a 220 mph network will be costly and likely take up to 50 years. He compared the rail project to the construction of the nation’s interstate highway system, which kicked off in 1956.

Still, Quinn said he expected to see the first bullet trains operating during his lifetime, joking that he planned to live to 102.

“The way to prosper is to have a big vision,’’ Quinn told the rail conference, adding that building a 220 mph passenger rail network will “make Champaign a suburb of Chicago. … We cannot miss the boat here, or miss the train.”

But the obstacles to creating bullet train service are formidable.

Construction would cost tens of billions of dollars, according to earlier studies conducted for the Midwest High Speed Rail Association. The project also would require the state and private investment partners to acquire huge amounts of land, including by using eminent-domain laws, to build dedicated tracks for 220 mph service that involve no railroad crossings or interference from slower-moving freight and commuter trains.

In addition, the debut of bullet train service could happen only after an exhaustive environmental review, and likely, costly litigation between the state and landowners and other opponents of the project.

The governor said he envisioned the bullet train route would extend from O'Hare International Airport to downtown Chicago, McCormick Place, then on through the south suburbs to near Peotone, which the state has selected as the future site of the Chicago region’s next major airport, and continue on to Kankakee en route to Urbana-Champaign.

From Urbana-Champaign, home to the U. of I.’s main campus, the route would extend to either St. Louis or Indianapolis, or both cities, Quinn said.

The goals of the feasibility study include identifying possible routes, estimating construction and operating costs and evaluating potential ridership, said state Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig.

The study, led by U. of I. railroad engineering professor Christopher Barkan with help from Steve Schlickman, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the U. of I. at Chicago, is expected to be completed in late 2012, officials said.

The $1.25 million study, which will be paid for using funds in the state’s capital improvement program, is being launched after efforts by the state to receive an $8 million federal grant to pay for the bullet train feasibility study were rejected last year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which instead awarded funds to other projects.

Quinn's new study on bullet trains is partially aimed at quelling criticism that Illinois' passenger rail focus so far -- an ongoing multi-billion-dollar project to increase the top speed of Amtrak trains from 79 mph currently to 110 mph on the Chicago-to-St. Louis route -- amounts to relatively minor improvements in travel time.

The current 5 1/2-hour Amtrak trip between Chicago and St. Louis would be trimmed by only 45 minutes with trains traveling 110 mph on part of the route, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The same trip using 220 mph trains would take a shade under two hours, according to a recent study conducted for the Midwest High Speed Rail Association.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

denizen467 Jun 3, 2011 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5300717)
Midwest HSR Association hired SCB to do a couple of drawings of what Union Station could look like if 222 Riverside were removed. Not a serious drawing in terms of structure, but enough to pass the giggle test.

The larger giggle test, though, is whether it is realistic to expect someone to pay for removing 222 Riverside. Is the idea (which I assume is offered up only by Midwest HSRA / SCB; I am not aware of any other organization at this point that has come forward with this as a realistic idea) that the feds/city/state would pay to buy the building? I guess if there's funding for $ billions in rail infrastructure, buying an aging mid-rise (that doesn't even include its own ground) is actually just a drop in the bucket. Although it probably is worth decidedly north of the Old Post Office's $20 million (or was that $40m?). But you can predict anti-HSR people clamoring that it's wasteful for taxpayer money to be used to destroy a perfectly good office building.

k1052 Jun 3, 2011 1:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5302486)
The larger giggle test, though, is whether it is realistic to expect someone to pay for removing 222 Riverside. Is the idea (which I assume is offered up only by Midwest HSRA / SCB; I am not aware of any other organization at this point that has come forward with this as a realistic idea) that the feds/city/state would pay to buy the building? I guess if there's funding for $ billions in rail infrastructure, buying an aging mid-rise (that doesn't even include its own ground) is actually just a drop in the bucket. Although it probably is worth decidedly north of the Old Post Office's $20 million (or was that $40m?). But you can predict anti-HSR people clamoring that it's wasteful for taxpayer money to be used to destroy a perfectly good office building.

It's the only way to route HSR through Union Station without doing the WLTC (1-2 billion depending who you ask). Buying and tearing down 222 for a hundred mil+ would be a relative bargain.

ardecila Jun 4, 2011 7:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5298824)
If we don't build a new tunnel under Clinton and just get rid of 222 S. Riverside, would there be any easy way of rerouting trains from the UP-North and Northwest lines to Union Station, or would through-routing the BNSF line with the Milwaukee District be our only option?

Sort of... The UP trains could be routed along the spur that serves the Tribune printing plant (it has a wide ROW and no grade crossings, save one at Peoria). The UP-North trains already run on the easternmost tracks, so the interlocking would be fairly simple where the Union-bound trains and Ogilvie-bound trains meet.

The spur already runs as far south as Kinzie, and there seems to be just enough room to add a second track underneath the UP viaduct. You'd need to tear down the Cassidy Tire building, though. (it's a personal favorite of mine) It would also create very busy grade crossings at Grand and Kinzie, if the through-routed Metra trains have decent frequency - although there is enough room at Grand to build an overpass.

There's also a convenient tunnel built through the Residences at Riverbend that can accommodate a fourth track into the north side of Union Station. I believe the tunnel was built to preserve vehicular access to the interlocking tower and the switches along the river, but you could just as easily build a ramp down from Lake to achieve this function.

denizen467 Jun 4, 2011 6:53 PM

= grade rail-rail crossing with the Carroll Street transitway ?

emathias Jun 4, 2011 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5303928)
= grade rail-rail crossing with the Carroll Street transitway ?

I doubt Carroll Street will have rail in my lifetime. I think it works better as a bus transitway.

ardecila Jun 5, 2011 4:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5304115)
I doubt Carroll Street will have rail in my lifetime. I think it works better as a bus transitway.

I was just gonna say that.

The whole area around Kinzie and Clinton will be a real rats-nest of transit lines if any of the plans ever get built.

denizen467 Jun 5, 2011 9:38 PM

Okay, but not so much doubt that planners can completely ignore the possibility of Carroll rail as they consider the other rail and road options for the area. Unless you guys mean you are expecting to kick the bucket in the next decade or two. ;)


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