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

Klippenstein Oct 7, 2023 6:05 PM

^He mentioned how the High Speed rail corridor was not able to be protected on Green St because there isn’t an official plan. Interesting.

ardecila Oct 8, 2023 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 10054781)
The "who" is Rick Harnish from HSRA, mentioning it in passing on this YouTube video at about 24:35. He suggests that some agency should be talking to CPKC, CSX, and CN about getting CPKC freights off the MD-W east of O'Hare so it can be used as a dedicated passenger line.

While he does not specifically mention the lines that might be utilized to accomplish this, he does trace a path that clearly suggests the CN Waukesha Sub south of the MD-W, which connects to CSX's Altenheim Sub and then CSX's Blue Island Sub, which is currently getting a flyover at 75th Street.

Any freight on the MD-W is exiting at Cragin Jct onto the Belt Rwy, so I assume this would just be a different routing between Franklin Park and 46th Ave Jct.

This woudl also conflict with the city's plan to turn the Altenheim into a trail in North Lawndale/Homan Square. I think the trail plan assumed that one track would remain for local switching, but if a reroute means they need two tracks with a lot of traffic, that's not great for the trail plan...

https://i.ibb.co/tHGbbkP/Screenshot-...-08-121734.png

Mister Uptempo Oct 19, 2023 3:07 AM

Metra Receives CMAQ Grant To Purchase BEMUs
 
Metra to receive $169.3m grant for zero-emission trainsets
Quote:

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Metra will receive the largest discretionary grant in its history – a $169.3 million federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant – to buy battery-powered, zero-emission trainsets. Metra will be among the first in the nation to operate the innovative green technology.

The CMAQ funding was approved last week by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee.

A trainset is a group of permanently or semi-permanently coupled railcars powered by a propulsion system without a separate locomotive, with operator controls at either end so they can quickly change directions. Trainsets powered by batteries are currently in use in Germany, France and Australia, and Metra wants to explore whether they could work here. It issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for battery-powered trainsets in September 2022 and is currently reviewing proposals it received in response.

“We think zero-emission trainsets could be an exciting and positive addition to Metra’s fleet for a variety of reasons,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “Beyond the environmental and noise reduction benefits, they also offer savings in energy consumption as well as better efficiency, flexibility, and reliability. Along with our other initiatives, they would continue to make Metra a responsible and effective leader in green energy technology.”

CMAQ funding will support the purchase of up to 16 trainsets, adding a new type of propulsion to Metra’s fleet that could accelerate and brake faster than its traditional trains. The lower-capacity trainsets could be a more economical and environmentally friendly way to provide the same level of service or better, particularly during off-peak times, and could play a significant role in helping Metra achieve its vision to provide more frequent all-day service – so-called regional rail service.

Buying the trainsets would allow Metra to retire some of its oldest, most polluting diesel locomotives, which are well beyond their useful life, and eliminate tons of carbon emissions. It would also allow Metra to retire some of its oldest railcars.

Metra likely would introduce the trainsets on its Rock Island Line. That would directly benefit the air quality in several economically disadvantaged neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago and in the south suburbs.

The largest discretionary award comes after Metra’s record-breaking haul in 2022, when it secured $204.1 million in competitive federal grants for Metra projects. The amount included the previous record for a discretionary award – $117 million for the next phase of the UP North Line bridge replacement program.
This report from CBS2 largely echoes the Metra press release, but does mention that Metra is planning to introduce the new trainsets on the Beverly Branch.

CMAP, as an element of PART (Plan of Action for Regional Transit), suggests breaking Metra service into Inner Suburban Service and Outer Suburban Service. One of those ISS corridors would see multiple units running, ideally, every 15-20 minutes on the Beverly Branch to LaSalle St. Station.

Video Link

Randomguy34 Nov 12, 2023 7:16 PM

Was watching the recent Metra board meeting, apparently they're upgrading the MED to increase the speeds from 65 Mph to 79 Mph, and eventually to 90 Mph. Roseland to Millennium Station is already ~30 minutes, so if that dropped to almost 20 minutes that'd be incredible. It would also greatly improve SSL's travel time

Here are also some renderings of what the new BEMUs could look like
https://i.imgur.com/nnezq8zl.png

Busy Bee Nov 12, 2023 7:58 PM

Absolutely. Excellent news.

ithakas Dec 6, 2023 4:10 PM

Looks like Chicago is getting some raised crossswalks:

https://blockclubchicago.org/2023/12...-conservatory/

I can think of a few intersections near me where this is badly needed (as I'm sure anyone who regularly walks around the city can).

Is the best way to get these installed to lobby your local alder/request menu funds, to contact CDOT, or some combination of the two?

Randomguy34 Dec 6, 2023 9:09 PM

Welp, we got screwed over in this Amtrak FSP funding round. We only got $93 million to fund the Chicago Hub Improvement Program. It's enough to expand the existing platforms and reactive the mail platforms. It's not enough to build the grander parts of the program, like the SCAL connection to Union Station. This would have allowed trains on MED or RID tracks to travel to Union Station, and potentially O'Hare.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-revi...-for-upgrades/

Bonsai Tree Dec 6, 2023 9:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 10096094)
Welp, we got screwed over in this Amtrak FSP funding round. We only got $93 million to fund the Chicago Hub Improvement Program. It's enough to expand the existing platforms and reactive the mail platforms. It's not enough to build the grander parts of the program, like the SCAL connection to Union Station. This would have allowed trains on MED or RID tracks to travel to Union Station, and potentially O'Hare.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-revi...-for-upgrades/

Feels a bit premature to say that- we don't know if they'll give out more funding later (more announcements are coming on Friday too)

Randomguy34 Dec 8, 2023 6:12 PM

DPD's Central Area analysis is out, look at this nugget I found in the transportation section

CTA Infill Stations
Division - Brown/Purple

Quote:

CDOT will begin a feasibility study to assess the viability of a Division Street station to serve Brown and Purple Line trains, having received CTA agreement for planning and design activities in fall 2022.
https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/...120523-web.pdf

nomarandlee Dec 8, 2023 6:33 PM

Though not nearly the nugget that was hoped for, it is good to note the long-planned retrofits coming to Union Station that could help increase capacity.

Quote:

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...rades/3297329/

Chicago's Union Station to get $93 million for upgrades
By Sun-Times/ NBC Chicago • Published December 7, 2023 • Updated on December 7, 2023 at 6:50 am

Chicago Union Station will get $93 million in federal funding for upgrades, but the grant total is far less than what officials had sought and doesn’t address Amtrak’s wish list of track improvements outside the station.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, who had pushed for the Chicago Hub Improvement Project funding, announced the grant Wednesday.

The funding will expand platforms and make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as upgrade ventilation systems, Durbin and Duckworth said in a news release.

The station’s post office platforms, unused since 2005, will be repurposed for intercity travel for the station’s 120,000 weekly passengers......
..

Klippenstein Dec 8, 2023 8:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 10097870)
DPD's Central Area analysis is out, look at this nugget I found in the transportation section

CTA Infill Stations
Division - Brown/Purple


https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/...120523-web.pdf

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this.

I'm a little concerned that I don't see anything about the North Branch Transitway in that document...

SIGSEGV Dec 9, 2023 5:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 10097870)
DPD's Central Area analysis is out, look at this nugget I found in the transportation section

CTA Infill Stations
Division - Brown/Purple


https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/...120523-web.pdf

I think a station at Halsted would make a lot of sense too, especially since North/Cybourn isn't accessible...

Randomguy34 Dec 14, 2023 12:15 AM

Looks like the FSP grant will allow for a dozen new entrances to Union Station, from Madison St all the way to Harrison St. That's a 12 minute walk from one side of the station to the other

https://i.imgur.com/g4GPkhAh.png
https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra....s_final_r2.pdf

ardecila Dec 14, 2023 5:39 AM

So... the FRA document also mentioned that the "platform capacity expansion" grant only funds project development, not construction. Somehow they're gonna blow $55M doing 30% design? At least the mail platform grant is supposed to fund construction, although they have no schedule for completion.

I'm not sure if those green dots mean anything at this point, but it looks as if they may build a separate concourse building between Jackson and Van Buren to serve BNSF and HC trains on tracks 2/4/6/8/10/12. I have no idea why they are adding stairs every ~100 feet along Canal, especially when those stairs only serve one platform.

It's frustrating that Amtrak seems to have nothing shovel-ready, even though the need for these improvements was identified over 10 years ago. Amtrak got a big chunk of change from selling their parking garage to Riverside for BMO Tower, it should have been more than enough to pay for all the engineering and design work but I fear it was all spent on behind-the-scenes stuff like restoring the Great Hall skylight, renovating the Fred Harvey space which no restaurant operator wants to rent, etc.

Tcmetro Dec 14, 2023 11:12 AM

I wonder if some of those stairs along Canal would be emergency exits. I'm not sure why there would be so many for one track otherwise.

IMHO, it would be better to orient the stairs towards Jackson Blvd if possible. If people have to walk around the corner on Canal to access the platforms they may just end up continuing to use the current path from street to train.

Busy Bee Dec 16, 2023 5:33 PM

:facepalm: So the answer is just to make the service worse in the name of "safety"... There goes the Swift from the name. I sure as hell hope this is temporary. :facepalm:


CTA To Cut Yellow Line Speeds From 55 To 35 MPH After Crash

The Yellow Line remains closed nearly a month after a train slammed into a snow machine on the tracks, injuring 16 people. No reopening date is set.

https://i0.wp.com/bcc-newspack.s3.am...00%2C675&ssl=1
source

By Mack Liederman
December 13, 2023 Updated December 14, 2023


CHICAGO — The CTA will reduce speeds and promises to communicate faster on the Yellow Line after one of its trains crashed into a snow removal machine last month, agency President Dorval Carter told his board Wednesday.

Sixteen people were hurt, three critically, in the Nov. 16 crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report on the incident. Officials initially said 23 people were hospitalized.

Carter, speaking publicly for the first time since the independent agency released its report, said CTA is fully cooperating with the investigation and has conducted its own safety review of rail lines since the crash.

Carter assured the board the train system is safe.

“We have analyzed our entire system, and there are no other locations equivalent to this section of the Yellow Line,” Carter said in prepared remarks at the monthly board meeting Wednesday. “We work quickly to confirm that no other areas of the CTA rail system have the same design features that are indicated on the Yellow Line itself.”

Rest of story @ Block Club

ardecila Dec 17, 2023 3:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tcmetro (Post 10102419)
I wonder if some of those stairs along Canal would be emergency exits. I'm not sure why there would be so many for one track otherwise.

IMHO, it would be better to orient the stairs towards Jackson Blvd if possible. If people have to walk around the corner on Canal to access the platforms they may just end up continuing to use the current path from street to train.

There is already a mid-block pedestrian plaza spanning between Jackson and Van Buren, so I assume you could enter the Metra concourse from either the east or the west.

The (10 years old) Union Station Master Plan showed the concourse at the base of a new highrise. Office development is not great right now, but it will probably get better in a few years. If Metra/Amtrak want to move faster, they can put in caissons and build the concourse as part of a standalone podium stub for a future tower.

ardecila Dec 17, 2023 3:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 10104151)
:facepalm: So the answer is just to make the service worse in the name of "safety"... There goes the Swift from the name. I sure as hell hope this is temporary. :facepalm:

It makes perfect sense to add an eastbound slow zone in the "trench" area from Asbury to Chicago Ave, where the trains are vulnerable to slippery rail from falling leaves, and there is a blind curve into Howard. I don't think they will cap the entire Yellow Line at 35mph.

I expect CTA will also make the case for drastically cutting back the trees along the trench, although they're probably worried about the Greenpeace types in Evanston chaining themselves to trees...

VKChaz Dec 17, 2023 4:02 PM

I came across a CNN article about Greyhound stations being sold off and was reminded of the Chicago location. Does anyone know if there was resolution on a bus terminal plan?

https://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...ijm-story.html

ithakas Dec 17, 2023 4:32 PM

CDOT released an updated Complete Streets website: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/site...cago/home.html

The new pedestrian infrastructure toolkit now includes raised crosswalks:https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/site...eld-guide.html

I'm contacting my alderman about a few notably bad intersections in my ward, and encourage anyone who's been similarly frustrated by spots in their neighborhoods to do the same (thanks to Ardecila for the suggestion).

From what I can tell, some alders take rolling requests via email, some have forms to submit suggestions ahead of menu fund allocations, and some have participatory budgeting processes (ie. voting for upgrade priorities). If you contact the ward's email address you should figure out the best route for your ward.


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