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

k1052 Oct 14, 2014 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 6767652)
God I hope there is at least SOME conversation about electrification. If precedence is any indication theyre discussing purchasing diesel hauled coaches that may be around for 40+ years. Does anyone else think it sounds crazy to be running diesel commuter trains in 2050? 2060?

I doubt there will be. It's very unpopular with the freight railroads and expensive to build out. Without access to some other huge pot of cash (like Caltrain is getting) I don't see it as realistic.

Hopefully Metra can at least get the whole locomotive fleet up to Tier III/IV standards between new purchases and rebuilds. AESS on everything would be great too.

LouisVanDerWright Oct 14, 2014 5:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6767686)
No, fixed-plant electrification is an enormous cost for the tiniest of increments in greenhouse gases (that electricity has to be generated somewhere, somehow). In fact, when you consider transmission loss from distant power plants, it's doubtful there's any improvement at all. Lots of other things—natural gas or turbine prime movers, regenerative braking—could be done for a fraction of the cost, if emissions is your worry.

I don't if it's emissions, but the fact that electric is just a better technology. Faster acceleration/deceleration, lower pollution, quieter, less archaic all around.

Also, the point everyone makes about "that electricity has to be generated somewhere" is essentially moot in Chicago since we have the highest percentage of our electricity generated by non-fossil sources out of any city of this size on earth due to our Nuclear fleet.

Steely Dan Oct 14, 2014 5:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6767927)
since we have the highest percentage of our electricity generated by non-fossil sources out of any city of this size on earth due to our Nuclear fleet.

source?

ardecila Oct 14, 2014 7:27 PM

I've heard that too.

Nuclear power does not fall under the category of "renewable energy" because it does deplete the fuel rods and produce waste - for better or worse, many energy activists are leery or downright opposed to nuclear power, so Chicago's huge investment in nuclear power plants is often forgotten in today's debates.

At least in the short-medium term, though, it is far more environmentally-friendly than continuing to burn fossil fuels. It is arguably the best energy source for the Midwest, where sunshine and high winds are very inconsistent (unlike, say, the Southwest or certain coastal locations).

It's pretty clear that electrification is a more environmentally-friendly way to power trains. Honestly the easier thing is to get more people on the trains and fewer in cars, though - the emissions per capita of train travel is far lower than car travel (and the trains just get more efficient the more people are riding).

Busy Bee Oct 14, 2014 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6767686)
No, fixed-plant electrification is an enormous cost for the tiniest of increments in greenhouse gases (that electricity has to be generated somewhere, somehow). In fact, when you consider transmission loss from distant power plants, it's doubtful there's any improvement at all. Lots of other things—natural gas or turbine prime movers, regenerative braking—could be done for a fraction of the cost, if emissions is your worry.

I think it will be an interesting discussion when the time comes—soon—to reconstruct the Metra Electric overhead.

Emissions is not my primary worry.

Mr Downtown Oct 15, 2014 3:09 AM

^Then what is?

LouisVanDerWright Oct 15, 2014 6:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6768195)
It's pretty clear that electrification is a more environmentally-friendly way to power trains. Honestly the easier thing is to get more people on the trains and fewer in cars, though - the emissions per capita of train travel is far lower than car travel (and the trains just get more efficient the more people are riding).

And a good way to do this is to electrify rail transit so it is more competitive with other forms of transit. Electric means better acceleration/deceleration, smother, quieter ride, no loud locomotive belching diesel smoke, just better all around.

LouisVanDerWright Oct 15, 2014 6:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 6767936)
source?

More electricity in Illinois is generated by Nuclear plants than by all fossil sources combined:

http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=IL#tabs-4

And that's not even counting the small, but fast growing renewable sector. The numbers are a little less favorable with Nuclear and fossil fuels neck and neck, but we also don't have new, post-Fisk/Crawford, numbers either which will likely show a rise in the percent of energy coming from nuclear reactors. In reality, the electricity in Northern Illinois is basically just being shifted around the grid as needed anyhow so estimates that try to tease out Chicago's energy consumption from the rest of the state are a bit silly to begin with.

There are very few places on earth where more energy is produced by non-fossil fuels than fossil sources and Illinois is one of them. Paris France might beat us, but I don't know if anyone else does. Illinois ranks below France in % nuclear power, but just above every other country with Nuclear power.

CTA Gray Line Oct 15, 2014 8:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6769046)
And a good way to do this is to electrify rail transit so it is more competitive with other forms of transit. Electric means better acceleration/deceleration, smother, quieter ride, no loud locomotive belching diesel smoke, just better all around.

Check out the fast acceleration on these big new AC Metra Electric Highliner II's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqFr...eature=related

denizen467 Oct 15, 2014 10:29 AM

It's kind of hard to see further electrification of lines happening not just because of the capital investment but also because it would make the railroad (the catenary maintenance, etc.) a more labor-intensive operation to some degree.

But technology marches on, and it's not hard to conceive -- especially in the intraurban context -- an electric train powered by a battery that the train hauls along with it. You could even have a dedicated battery car, just like coal cars could be hauled by the steam locomotives of yesteryear. If battery technology was only good for 1 run out to the suburbs, you could swap out the battery car or just its battery cells at the terminus (hopefully as simply as possible, a la Better Place, the defunct electric car company), or better yet, quick-charge technology seems to be advancing by leaps and bounds, so batteries could be fully recharged during the turnback wait. Or, some combination of traditional electric and hauled battery -- you could build catenaries solely along a few easy-to-maintain stretches and stations along the route, and boost the battery levels when passing those sections.

orulz Oct 15, 2014 4:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6768878)
^Then what is?

Probably operational aspects: electric trains accelerate much faster than those powered by fossil fuels.

ardecila Oct 15, 2014 9:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6769046)
And a good way to do this is to electrify rail transit so it is more competitive with other forms of transit. Electric means better acceleration/deceleration, smother, quieter ride, no loud locomotive belching diesel smoke, just better all around.

Of course, I wrote a whole article on this topic! But now I think the better and cheaper way to increase ridership is to change Metra's focus. Run trains more frequently outside of rush hours, and put an end to Metra's war on inner-city neighborhoods.

Why do express trains on the NW line not stop at Jefferson Park, where the Blue Line connection allows access to O'Hare and tons of popular city neighborhoods? Why do stations like Clybourn, Grand/Western, and Halsted (BNSF) suck so hard? Why is there still no transfer fare between Metra and CTA? Metra's gotta be a regional transit system, not a suburban commuter rush hour railroad.

Electrification would be a worthy investment but first we need a mentality change. SEPTA in Philly tried to do this for decades and ran into opposition from unions, wealthy suburbs, and the whole gamut of people in the railroad industry who benefit way too much from the current, dysfunctional system.

CTA Gray Line Oct 16, 2014 4:55 AM

Will the proposed Ventra app improve commutes?
 
http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/ct...,4262002.story

By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz | RedEye
12:11 p.m. CDT, October 15, 2014

In an act of unprecedented cooperation between Chicago's transit agencies, the CTA, Metra and Pace suburban bus system Wednesday unveiled their plan to create an app that can be used to pay for rides on all three transit systems......

CTA Gray Line Oct 16, 2014 4:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6770455)
http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/ct...,4262002.story

By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz | RedEye
12:11 p.m. CDT, October 15, 2014

In an act of unprecedented cooperation between Chicago's transit agencies, the CTA, Metra and Pace suburban bus system Wednesday unveiled their plan to create an app that can be used to pay for rides on all three transit systems......

A GOOD START -- The next step is to find away to coordinate fares so you get a discount on rides using multiple Agencies, instead of being able to pay a separate full fare for each, just using the same fare instrument.

CTA Gray Line Oct 16, 2014 9:09 AM

Leanne Redden named executive director of RTA
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...015-story.html

By Richard Wronski,
Tribune reporter

Leanne Redden, at a February RTA board meeting, was named executive director of the RTA on Wednesday, taking over for Joe Costello, who resigned the post earlier this year......

Mr Downtown Oct 16, 2014 6:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 6769386)
electric trains accelerate much faster than those powered by fossil fuels.

That's a theoretical aspect, much beloved by juicefans, that doesn't much affect actual operations. Metra Electric takes 21 minutes to serve 10 stations (Ivanhoe to Matteson) over 10 miles. UP-North takes 23 minutes to serve 10 stations (Davis to Ravinia) over 10 miles. How much of that small difference is acceleration and how much is high platforms/lower boarding volumes or absence of grade crossings on Metra Electric?

Even if you want the acceleration possible with big electric traction motors, it's not especially important whether you're carrying the generator around with you or leaving it miles away in Dresden. Onboard batteries and regenerative braking—or even just a higher idle rate for the prime mover— can give you more tractive effort to the motors without the expense of stringing and maintaining miles of catenary.

It's particularly strange to fixate on electrification when talking about the Rock Island Suburban line, which is all still dark (unsignaled) territory with a grade crossing every 660 feet.

MultiModal Oct 17, 2014 4:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6771136)
That's a theoretical aspect, much beloved by juicefans, that doesn't much affect actual operations. Metra Electric takes 21 minutes to serve 10 stations (Ivanhoe to Matteson) over 10 miles. UP-North takes 23 minutes to serve 10 stations (Davis to Ravinia) over 10 miles. How much of that small difference is acceleration and how much is high platforms/lower boarding volumes or absence of grade crossings on Metra Electric?

Even if you want the acceleration possible with big electric traction motors, it's not especially important whether you're carrying the generator around with you or leaving it miles away in Dresden. Onboard batteries and regenerative braking—or even just a higher idle rate for the prime mover— can give you more tractive effort to the motors without the expense of stringing and maintaining miles of catenary.

It's particularly strange to fixate on electrification when talking about the Rock Island Suburban line, which is all still dark (unsignaled) territory with a grade crossing every 660 feet.


I think we all agree that electrification does provide a better ride but as of now I don't see any line where it would make financial sense. I think a better short term solution would be to put in longer switches, continue replacing track to cut out slow zones and make the long slow transition to lighter trains that comply with the new standards.


*All my knowledge is DIY, so take everything I say with a grain of salt and feel free to ridicule my ignorance!

N830MH Oct 18, 2014 2:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6770458)
A GOOD START -- The next step is to find away to coordinate fares so you get a discount on rides using multiple Agencies, instead of being able to pay a separate full fare for each, just using the same fare instrument.

If you have reduce ID fare, but you don't have one. You have to go to transit center to get your reduce ID fare.

CTA Gray Line Oct 18, 2014 2:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N830MH (Post 6773024)
If you have reduce ID fare, but you don't have one. You have to go to transit center to get your reduce ID fare.

I don't mean like a senior or student discount card; in some other cities in the world if your ride is over more than one Agency (like starting on a CTA "L", then transfering to a Metra commuter train, then transfering to a Pace suburban bus); you don't pay full fare on each, you get a combo deal and overall discount on those three rides. (like an all-inclusive vacation)

Understand?

le_brew Oct 18, 2014 3:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6770458)
A GOOD START -- The next step is to find away to coordinate fares so you get a discount on rides using multiple Agencies, instead of being able to pay a separate full fare for each, just using the same fare instrument.

true b/c I neither have, desire to have, or ever plan on having a smartphone.


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