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

bnk Aug 20, 2010 6:23 AM

:previous:

I like it. I was going to mention a tunnel but thought that tunneling all the way through would be too cost prohibitive. But I like your idea [from DT to O'hare at least] and wonder if this has ever been thrown out there as a real option.

Baronvonellis Aug 21, 2010 10:24 PM

Looks like the new metra station at Ravenswood is already under construction. A wooden staircase and platform is built north of the station. It looks like they are building a temporary station to the north first, and then building the new station where the current one is.

lawfin Aug 24, 2010 3:54 AM

Not sure of this was posted:

SNCF Midwest Bullet Train Proposal
http://www.midwesthsr.org/sncf-midwe...train-proposal

French National Railways (SNCF), a world leader in high-speed rail (HSR), responded to a request for information from the US Department of Transportation with a proposal to develop, construct and operate a Midwest bullet train network.

The first phase of the system includes the Milwaukee – Chicago – Detroit route, serving Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports, and will account for 15.8 billion passengers in 2022. The full high-speed rail network is estimated to serve 42.3 billion passengers in 2038.

They are proposing 28 stations conveniently located close to medium and large city centers and airports.

Construction alone will create more than 316,000 new jobs, and 677,000 long-term operations and maintenance jobs will attract workers from all socio-economic segments.

Speeds up to 220 mph will be competitive with both regional auto and air travel and are expected to generate a significant number of new trips.

The trains will have 500 to 550 seats, with a wide variety of on-board amenities and price options.

Once the system is fully established, revenue will exceed operations and maintenance costs and cover a portion of capital costs. Public funding will only be required for 54% of the initial capital investment. Capital costs for the entire system are roughly estimated at $68.5 billion.

http://www.midwesthsr.org/sites/defa...dwest_sncf.gif

BorisMolotov Aug 24, 2010 7:26 AM

Chicago to Milwaukee in a little over a half hour? That cuts down the time by car by almost an hour

Nexis4Jersey Aug 24, 2010 7:36 AM

So they will use there $$$ to construct and build half the system?

Busy Bee Aug 24, 2010 3:03 PM

The SNCF plan was developed nearly 2 years ago and is on the IDOT website. It was also presented in person through an SNCF official at the annual MHSRA meeting in March. From what I gather, the proposal is really just an excercise in possibilites and potential. SNCF clearly stated that a massive PPP would have to be instated to warrent actual involvement from the quasi-private french railroad company. In reality SNCF along with any other hypothetical international partner (DB, JR, Renfe), regardless of this 54% number, would require federal backing funding in the 75% + range to give SNCF or others actual profit sensing goosebumps.

So its probably very unlikely SNCF is serious about such a venture being spearheaded by them. They want to see massive fed involvement and funding before they see a way to get involved and make money, and that may be limited to a consultancy, let alone operating such a system.

What the plan does do, much like the MHSRA 220 proposal, is stir interest and excitement over such possibilites, and seeing real engineering and planning in these proposals makes them feel even more possible and exciting. But again my opinion is SNCF developed these plans to show the "slow witted" Americans how to build HSR and in the very least get there foot in the door for future engineering/consultation fees and to sell us Alstom trains as SNCF and Alstom might as well be bedfellows.

DCCliff Aug 26, 2010 10:32 PM

Re: a non-stop express seat to O'Hare. Some kind of direct service will soon become critical to Chicago's position as a national and world business center. The Kennedy corridor is nearly impossible much of the time. A European associate recently complained bitterly to me of the over-one-hour time from ORD to the Loop (non-peak time). I myself just experienced it both ways, at non-peak times, and in good weather.

The Heathrow Express, though pricey, would seem a good model - - non-stop, with direct, relatively short walking access to all terminals. In other words, the O'Hare transfer station is NOT an option, if Chicago is to remain competitive. This, of course, would probably require tunneling at ORD. The provision of direct rail access to other cities from O'Hare would trump the Heathrow train and work more in line with Charles deGaulle and Schiphol.

I believe the frustration factor in getting to and from Chicago's center is a threat to business.

Busy Bee Aug 27, 2010 12:12 AM

^Agreed. But I think most here already know that. After all the concept is over a decade, probably two decades old. It's just the form that's still up for debate and finding the political will and capital to actually get it built.

nomarandlee Aug 27, 2010 1:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCCliff (Post 4961180)
The Heathrow Express, though pricey, would seem a good model - - non-stop, with direct, relatively short walking access to all terminals. In other words, the O'Hare transfer station is NOT an option, if Chicago is to remain competitive. This, of course, would probably require tunneling at ORD. The provision of direct rail access to other cities from O'Hare would trump the Heathrow train and work more in line with Charles deGaulle and Schiphol.

I believe the frustration factor in getting to and from Chicago's center is a threat to business.

The ideal would be for express service to lead right to the terminals but I think it could still work be a success even if it just led to the ATS/O'Hare transfer station.

It would be wise and very convenient to lead to the ATS to the O'Hare metra anyhow given the plans are to extend to its remote parking lot (F?) right now. All it would take is a few hundred more yards.

Tunneling and direct terminal access could be a long term plan though to cut down several minutes for some travelers in instances. Still for those going to some of the other terminals it would only be minimally faster then an express/O'Hare metra transfer.

spyguy Aug 27, 2010 10:53 PM

Morgan station
 
http://www.nbcchicago.com/traffic/tr...101507439.html

Work Underway on New CTA 'El Station
Updated 5:42 PM CDT, Wed, Aug 25, 2010


Work has begun on the first new Chicago Transit Authority elevated station to be built in roughly 10 years.

The new station -- located on the Green and Pink lines at Lake and Morgan -- will serve the growing West Loop area, situated between the existing Ashland and Clinton stations.
http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/2599/cta3.jpg
http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/7909/cta1.jpg
http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/406/cta2g.jpg

denizen467 Aug 28, 2010 10:07 AM

^ How much of those screens are actually occupied by stairs or other functions in addition to the elevators?

Mr Downtown Aug 28, 2010 1:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCCliff (Post 4961180)
A European associate recently complained bitterly to me of the over-one-hour time from ORD to the Loop

Why did the existing Blue Line (43 minutes) not meet his needs? That's pretty comparable to what he would have faced at any European airport.

emathias Aug 28, 2010 5:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4962935)
Why did the existing Blue Line (43 minutes) not meet his needs? That's pretty comparable to what he would have faced at any European airport.

Getting from either of Paris airports to La Defense isn't exactly quick and easy via transit. It's not torture, but it's not a marked improvement over Chicago's options. Getting to central Paris is a little faster, but still not hugely so.

The biggest advantage either has over Chicago is that RER trains are nicer than the CTA trains.

Getting from Madrid's airport to central Madrid isn't too bad using the Metro - once you get to the train. Line 8 is only 12-15 minutes to the airport from sort of the edge of the central city where you can transfer to the Metro system. MAD is a similar distance from central Madrid as Midway Airport is in Chicago - about half the distance of O'Hare.

Barcelona has a pretty good setup, with the Renfe train into the city center taking about 25 minutes, although it doesn't run very frequently, so if you just miss one, it about doubles your total time to downtown. But the trains are quite nice and very reasonably priced.

Vienna's S-Bahn rail service downtown takes about 25 minutes, but only runs every 30 minutes or so.

Oslo is small, but may have the best airport rail option. High-speed rail leaving the central station every 10-20 minutes 24 hours a day, with a travel time of 22 minutes.

It really isn't as though every other city except Chicago has super-slick excellent, speedy, frequent and cheap rail service between the business district and their aiport(s)' terminals. Most cities (including Chicago) have services that meet some of those criteria, but how many actually have service that meets all those criteria?

If Chicago's considering high-speed rail and an airport express, I think my idea of tunnelling is a good one. I also think that if it will cost a billion or more to do an O'Hare express, we should also consider options like biting the bullet and expanding Midway to become a full-fledged International airport serving European airlines. After all, the Orange Line is already pretty quick, and a reconfig could make transfers to it from the airport easier (remove the long walk, or even just move the station to the west side of the rail yard instead of the east). If further express was needed, an express from Midway to downtown would not only be easier, but could probably be done with a trip-time of 10 minutes.

All of this, though, really does play back into Chicago's lack of a long-range, coordinated, development plan with dedicated funding. Without that, Chicago could be throwing good money after bad, or building infrastructure without the proper supporting development.

In other words, petty politics are a far bigger threat to Chicago's future than the current lack of an airport express.

J_M_Tungsten Aug 28, 2010 7:00 PM

Please tell me they are not going to advertise the CTA with that giant logo?

Haworthia Aug 28, 2010 8:46 PM

I hope they do. It's part of the city's branding. I think logos like that help sell the city. I would prefer signage like on the rail cars, though.
http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...ogoontrain.jpg
Picture from CTA's website.

Ch.G, Ch.G Aug 28, 2010 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 4963173)
Please tell me they are not going to advertise the CTA with that giant logo?

It's not really the logo-- it's just the text from the log. How can anyone dislike Helvetica?

Thanks for the find, spyguy. I'm stoked for this one... it could turn out really nice.

ardecila Aug 28, 2010 11:49 PM

Well, Helvetica IS a bit overused these days. Spare me Adrian's bullshit about modernity being a "universal solution". Successful brands are always unique.

The towers on the Morgan station are probably a little oversized, but they give the station a substantial presence in the neighborhood. Other than the questionable use of galvanized steel, what's not to like?

Nowhereman1280 Aug 29, 2010 5:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4963359)
Well, Helvetica IS a bit overused these days. Spare me Adrian's bullshit about modernity being a "universal solution". Successful brands are always unique.

I dunno, I wouldn't say Helvetica (and Helvetica knockoffs like Arial) is overused these days. Its just coming back into style. Hell, remember the 1990s and early 2000's when Times New Roman and Comic Sans were all the rage. If anything lets rejoice in the fact that people are into serious fonts now and now "oh cool look at what my computer can do" or "oh cool we can print any shape graphic onto a sign we want, lets make one with cursive writing even though its illegible from a distance"...

HowardL Aug 29, 2010 1:51 PM

Does anyone know why they chose Morgan for a station? There used to be a Halsted station if I remember correctly. That would have allowed easier connections to the Halsted bus ... did they just think that was too close to Clinton??

Mr Downtown Aug 29, 2010 2:56 PM

I'm no fan of Helvetica, but there's something to be said for systemwide consistency—and for CTA that means Helvetica. In the late 90s, a consultant recommended switching to Frutiger Condensed systemwide for publications, but although the system map and some other things were changed, it never spread to signage and the rest of the program is now pretty much forgotten. That's probably just as well, for it takes decades for system signage to be changed out; in 2000 there was still Futura from the mid-1960s on station platforms. Unfortunately, the logo keeps getting "freshened up" every few years, sometimes by amateurs, so I think it's a mistake to memorialize it in architecture. I might feel differently if it were more glyph-like, such as Boston's circled T or London's Roundel.

As for the station location, Morgan is closer to the center of walk-in patronage. Connections to the Halsted bus can already be made via the Blue Line about five blocks to the north and also about five blocks to the south.


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