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

Halsted & Villagio Jun 18, 2018 7:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Khantilever (Post 8224731)
A few points:

1) I don’t believe Musk actually intends to make an economic profit on the project alone. This project is more or less a proof of concept; he practically said so in his press conference with Rahm, stating that covering operating costs will be easy but capital not so much.

2) The pie isn’t fixed. How often is the concept of induced or latent demand brought up in this thread? Not to mention the massive expansion of O’Hare to come and continued employment growth in the CBD.

3) There are likely to be revenue sources associated with the project other than fare collection.

This. It is so obvious. This is what visionaries do. They see the bigger picture. He is looking 3, 4 and 5 moves ahead -- playing chess; not checkers.

C. Jun 18, 2018 7:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Halsted & Villagio (Post 8224784)
This. It is so obvious. This is what visionaries do. They see the bigger picture. He is looking 3, 4 and 5 moves ahead -- playing chess; not checkers.

Anyone can have a vision. But can he turn that vision into reality before Tesla/Boring Company/Space X goes bankrupt?

It's a win-win for Chicago either way, because they'll have the money being spent in the city and some infrastructure in place.

I just want someone to bump this thread and point out the blind followers of Elon Musk if he can't come close to delivering what he promised. Contrarily, if Elon Musk does delivery, I will gladly print out and eat every last one of my words in this thread.

aaron38 Jun 18, 2018 7:51 PM

I see a lot of odd ideas in this thread.

Monopolies - If there are 4 ways to get to the airport and someone comes along and creates a 5th way that some people like better, that isn't a monopoly on travel to the airport. There don't need to be two competing tunnels, just alternates.

Existing public transit will shutdown - Loop to O'Hare is a niche market. Even at 15 minutes, is someone in Wicker Park going to go into the loop to catch this tunnel rather than head directly to O'Hare? No one in the Loop will ever want to go to Logan Square?

Eminent Domain - Strange to be concerned about private companies when government has been the biggest abuser. I fail to see how Musk could do more damage to the urban fabric than the interstates did as they bulldozed their way through the city.

Tunneling under the "undesirables" - Is this an argument that transit needs to be more egalitarian. Is it wrong to get on the interstate and speed past all the little farm towns instead of driving through each? Is it wrong to get in an airplane and fly over whole states rather than drive through? Maybe some businesses would feel they lose a potential sale, but most people either shop close to home or seek out a retail destination. Most people don't wander the city hoping to just run into a store. They use their phone and seek it out.

Mr Downtown Jun 18, 2018 9:16 PM

I'm no cheerleader for this scheme, but I think folks comparing it to conventional subway transit tunnels and sneering at the $1 billion total are simply looking at the wrong set of numbers. With no surface or immediate subsurface (utility relocation) construction issues, the X tunnel seems much more like a sewer interceptor or water supply tunnel, dozens of which have been built quite economically under Chicago, whether through blue clay at -30 or through dolomite at -100. Kenny Construction has a couple of used boring machines that they keep fairly busy for the city or MWRDGC, and Deep Tunnel sections of roughly similar length seem to come in at $150-$250 million including drop shafts. The big question is what sort of life-safety measures and evacuation shafts will be required to allow passenger transport through such tunnels.

jmecklenborg Jun 18, 2018 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8224978)
I'm no cheerleader for this scheme, but I think folks comparing it to conventional subway transit tunnels and sneering at the $1 billion total are simply looking at the wrong set of numbers. With no surface or immediate subsurface (utility relocation) construction issues, the X tunnel seems much more like a sewer interceptor or water supply tunnel, dozens of which have been built quite economically under Chicago, whether through blue clay at -30 or through dolomite at -100. Kenny Construction has a couple of used boring machines that they keep fairly busy for the city or MWRDGC, and Deep Tunnel sections of roughly similar length seem to come in at $150-$250 million including drop shafts. The big question is what sort of life-safety measures and evacuation shafts will be required to allow passenger transport through such tunnels.

It's basically just a narrow loading gauge subway tunnel like the old London and Glasgow subways. There are many reasons why all subsequent subway lines have been built to handle larger trains and to permit service walkways and emergency exits. The 11-foot diameter Glasgow Tunnel was built back in the 1890s to...save money. What's old is new again in Musk's future.

Granted, the 14-foot diameter of Musk's sewer pipe (incidentally, dug with a TBM built by another company for that exact purpose) is a whole lot roomier than Glasgow's, but there a bunch of really good reasons why all modern systems are much larger. For example, the LA Regional Connector subway is 21 feet as is the new Seattle University Link tunnel.

I believe that 21 feet is the exterior diameter, so the interior diameter is more like 19 feet. How do people escape from Muskrail in the event of a breakdown if there is no room for a side walkway like the new Seattle tunnel?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy5tS0uhQVM

As has already been mentioned, an escape from a train in Glasgow means walking out of the end of the train onto the tracks, then walking to the next station. There, the stations are very close. In Chicago they will be miles and miles and miles away. Each emergency exist is very expensive to build. Like tens of millions per exit.

aaron38 Jun 18, 2018 11:52 PM

Thinking as an engineer on safety, what can go wrong? Traffic will be computer controlled, one way. Makes it hard to crash into anything. No rails, so it can’t derail. No real signaling issues. Battery power so that there can’t be a system outage and stalled cars. Pretty easy to make sure a car (skate?) has enough charge to make the run before launching it.

Main concern is a Li-ion battery fire. So I’d design it with two separate traction motors and batteries. In the event of a battery failure, a smoking battery could be dropped, and the trip completed on the spare. The spare also protects against a car stalling out and blocking the track.

Maybe the tunnel could have a vault in the floor every mile or so that a smoking battery could be dropped into?

Mr Downtown Jun 19, 2018 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8225098)
there [are] a bunch of really good reasons why all modern systems are much larger

The only reason I know is to use larger vehicles, either for capacity or comfort. But frequency is much more important to passenger convenience than vehicle capacity, and can often substitute for it. That's why we keep inventing the 8-20 passenger omnibus over and over again in a dizzying variety of gadgetbahnen, whether it's called SkyBus, ALRT, H-Bahn, ICTS, Astram, AGT, DLR, VAL, Crystal Mover, or Innovia.

As for safety, I'd expect an onboard foam fire suppression system for the Li-ion batteries, and oxygen masks and tanks under the seats for evacuation through smoke. A 30-inch catwalk just below sill level. An escape hatch, possibly with a hoistway (for the disabled) next to switchback stairs, every 3000 feet or so. Doesn't seem that daunting.

bnk Jun 19, 2018 1:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8225223)
The only reason I know is to use larger vehicles, either for capacity or comfort. But frequency is much more important to passenger convenience than vehicle capacity, and can often substitute for it. That's why we keep inventing the 8-20 passenger omnibus over and over again in a dizzying variety of gadgetbahnen, whether it's called SkyBus, ALRT, H-Bahn, ICTS, Astram, AGT, DLR, VAL, Crystal Mover, or Innovia.

As for safety, I'd expect an onboard foam fire suppression system for the Li-ion batteries, and oxygen masks and tanks under the seats for evacuation through smoke. A 30-inch catwalk just below sill level. An escape hatch, possibly with a hoistway (for the disabled) next to switchback stairs, every 3000 feet or so. Doesn't seem that daunting.

Did Mr. D really say something positive or am I not reading his post right or is it just a sarcastic post?


I'm not used to seeing anything positive posted by him so perhaps I am the sucker for not reading into it fully.

The quote " every 3000 feet or so" sounds rather demanding kind of like how shadows are oppressive to parking lots and all future buildings must come before the board of the Friends of the Parking lots. I don't get it? What am I missing here. Is Mr. D a pseudonym for Juanita Irizarry?

the urban politician Jun 19, 2018 1:32 AM

^ Lol. So true. Mr D is a walking Chicagopedia, but he is almost unilaterally opposed to every single thing that most forumers here get excited about

the urban politician Jun 19, 2018 1:35 AM

I thought this is neat. A Wall St analyst predicts that, with completing the OHare-Downtown link, the Boring Company would be worth $16 billion. It would also provide a significant boost to Tesla:

https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-...-ohare-tunnel/

I kind of think Rahm should use some leverage here. He is really giving this company a vote of confidence here. Maybe he should bargain for a HQ, or at least a major office...

PKDickman Jun 19, 2018 2:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8225223)
As for safety, I'd expect an onboard foam fire suppression system for the Li-ion batteries, and oxygen masks and tanks under the seats for evacuation through smoke. A 30-inch catwalk just below sill level. An escape hatch, possibly with a hoistway (for the disabled) next to switchback stairs, every 3000 feet or so. Doesn't seem that daunting.

Foam won't do it, neither will dropping the battery into a pickle barrel at 125 mph.
Here's what Tesla manual says about battery fires;

FIREFIGHTING
USE WATER TO FIGHT A HIGH VOLTAGE BATTERY FIRE. If the battery catches fire, is exposed to high heat, or is generating heat or gases, use large amounts of water to cool the battery. It can take approximately 3,000 gallons of water, applied directly to the battery,to fully extinguish and cool down a battery fire; always establish or request an additional water supply. If water is not immediately available, use dry chemicals, CO2, foam, or another typical fire-extinguishing agent to fight the fire until water is available.
Extinguish small fires that do not involve the high voltage battery using typical vehicle firefighting procedures.
During overhaul, do not make contact with any high voltage components. Always use insulated tools for overhaul.
Heat and flames can compromise airbag inflators, stored gas inflation cylinders, gas struts, and other components which can result inan unexpected explosion. Perform an adequate knock down before entering a hot zone.
Battery fires can take up to 24 hours to extinguish. Consider allowing the battery to burn while protecting exposures.
After all fire and smoke has visibly subsided, a thermal imaging camera can be used to actively measure the temperature of the high voltage battery and monitor the trend of heating or cooling. There must not be fire, smoke, or heating present in the high voltage battery for at least one hour before the vehicle can be released to second responders (such as law enforcement, vehicle transporters,etc.). The battery must be completely cooled before releasing the vehicle to second responders or otherwise leaving the incident.
Always advise second responders that there is a risk of battery re-ignition.
Due to potential re-ignition, a Model 3 that has been involved in a submersion, fire, or a collision that has compromised the high voltage battery should be stored in an open area at least 50 ft (15 m) from any exposure.
Warning: When fire is involved, consider the entire vehicle energized. Always wear full PPE, including a SCBA.
HIGH VOLTAGE BATTERY - FIRE DAMAGE
A burning or heated battery releases toxic vapors. These vapors may include volatile organic compounds, hydrogen gas, carbon dioxide , carbon monoxide, soot, particulates containing oxides of nickel, aluminum, lithium, copper, cobalt, and hydrogen fluoride.
Responders should always protect themselves with full PPE, including a SCBA, and take appropriate measures to protect civilians downwind from the incident. Use fog streams or positive-pressure ventilation fans (PPV) to direct smoke and vapors.


Frankly, this shit is scary enough in the open air. Inside a tunnel, it gives me the screamin' heebie-jeebies.

orulz Jun 19, 2018 2:03 AM

I predict that the Boring Company will indeed complete this project.

-Tunneling will proceed approximately as suggested by Musk. Mr Downtown is right, this is much more like a water tunnel than a traditional subway. Construction of water tunnels is very predictable.

-They will get somewhat bogged down in the question of surface construction for escape hatches and ventilation, since they are probably underestimating the life safety systems that regulators will require.

-Everything Elon Musk has ever done has been an iterative process, so systems will take time to mature. In the press conference he mentioned that they will be giving some rides prior to revenue service, probably while they iterate on pod designs and control software. This will be a fairly long period.

-The O'Hare station will be expensive but only requires coordination with one agency so will proceed mostly according to plan.

-Completing the station at Block 37 will be expensive and will be a major pain point, perhaps the biggest, because it will involve the largest number of stakeholders. This will eventually become the long pole in the tent. Perhaps they will consider alternate locations (Union Station? Grant Park?) because of this.

-As a result they will blow the schedule by a wide margin, like nearly all of Musk's projects, and get to full revenue operation as much as two years later than planned.


-The budget will also be blown, mostly because they are trying to experiment and figure out how to make the construction process repeatable.

glowrock Jun 19, 2018 2:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 8225309)
I thought this is neat. A Wall St analyst predicts that, with completing the OHare-Downtown link, the Boring Company would be worth $16 billion. It would also provide a significant boost to Tesla:

https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-...-ohare-tunnel/

I kind of think Rahm should use some leverage here. He is really giving this company a vote of confidence here. Maybe he should bargain for a HQ, or at least a major office...

"Chicago is Boring. Boring is Chicago."

:haha:

Aaron (Glowrock)

left of center Jun 19, 2018 2:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CIA (Post 8224747)
I want this tunnel to succeed! I just don't see how it's possible for Elon Musk's Boring Co. to do this project at the stated goals of:

*Breaking ground in 2019 and finish on time
*Coming in at under $1 billion for the stations, tunnel, and pods
*Construction being 100% entirely privately funded
*Having a positive ROI with passenger revenue being sufficient to recapture the initial capital outlays as well as operating, maintenance, and profit or any other strategy that would keep the managing company out of bankruptcy.

If Elon Musk gets just one of the above four, color me impressed! Elon Musk has an opportunity to prove the haters wrong, but it's hard to take seriously when this is the same company that sells flamethrowers.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/i...eMhqUUoPJPf7qX

Those flamethrowers were only $500! I really considered making it a late Xmas present for myself, but thank god they sold out in two or three days and I didn't even get the option to make such a financially dumb decision :)

Honestly, Musk is indeed probably somewhat over optimistic, and I am sure its going to take a hell of a lot more time to build than he is saying, as most things do. The cost will probably exceed his estimations as well. I feel that he and his organization already know about both of those factors however, and is merely announcing faster completion/cheaper construction in order to make this project seem more realistic to the outside world.

Regardless of what the tunnel costs in the end, or how long of a time period it will take to get it paid off from fare revenue, I believe Musk is more interested in just getting a working example of his idea out there. The cost is an afterthought at this point.
The Boring Company is following the same path as his electric car, solar panel, and space launch businesses... start with an expensive initial model, and then through mass production and economies of scale, bring the costs down by several orders of magnitude. But to get there, he needs to get that very first example operational.

Once its done, you better believe every major city on the planet with traffic issues to and from their main airports (pssst... its all of them!) will be visiting Chicago for Musk and his people to showcase the ORD-Loop tunnel and start getting customers. They however, may end up having to pay some portion of their tunnel, or give Musk more flexibility in pricing or tapping other revenue streams. Chicago on the other hand gets it free because we gave him the opportunity to build the showroom model that he can then sell to the world.

In a perfect world, at least. ;)

aaron38 Jun 19, 2018 2:53 AM

I wasn’t suggesting anything as small as a pickle barrel. And an overheating battery can be detected quickly enough to come to a stop first.
3000 gallons of water is only 400 cubic feet. A hole 5 feet square and 20 feet deep holds 3700 gallons. Dump the battery fire in that and drive away to safety. Give it a separate vent and the tunnel doesn’t fill with smoke.

Not that complicated. It’s just a concrete pit and a lid.

jmecklenborg Jun 19, 2018 3:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 8225386)
I believe Musk is more interested in just getting a working example of his idea out there.

And what, again, is the idea again? What is the radical new technology that will be demonstrated?

Small tunnels to save money? Done back in the 1890s. All sorts of compromises to save money, has never been done since.

Private construction and operation? Done in New York City and elsewhere between the 1890s and 1940. One-by-one, all for-profit transit companies in the United States were taken over by subsidized public companies. Private ownership and for-profit operation ripe territory for scams.

High speed airport shuttles? Shanghai Maglev goes 300mph. Nobody cares. Proof-of-concept proved why maglevs are bad ideas and have virtually zero practical applications. Like monorails. Musk's sewer pipe don't offer a particularly impressive max speed. 125mph? Doesn't BART hit 80mph in the transbay?

The main technological innovation we're seeing here is...battery operated 1-car trains? Wow. Strike up the band.

ardecila Jun 19, 2018 3:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 8225345)
-Completing the station at Block 37 will be expensive and will be a major pain point, perhaps the biggest, because it will involve the largest number of stakeholders. This will eventually become the long pole in the tent. Perhaps they will consider alternate locations (Union Station? Grant Park?) because of this.

Yes, I agree that Block 37 poses challenges. The station cavern is only at the level of the Red/Blue Line tracks (Level -2) and it lies on an angle, so Musk will probably need to dig deeper. Based on his earlier promotional videos, he might put in elevators that bring the cars from the existing cavern down to the new tunnel level, and back up... but there will still need to be a giant pit dug inside of an existing basement, and the Blue Line tunnel will probably need to be underpinned.

left of center Jun 19, 2018 4:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8225418)
And what, again, is the idea again? What is the radical new technology that will be demonstrated?

Small tunnels to save money? Done back in the 1890s. All sorts of compromises to save money, has never been done since.

What tech does Uber or Lyft demonstrate? They are just cab companies. Those apps save only a few seconds from hailing a cab or a few minutes from calling for a cab. Clearly they are so very low tech, there is no way they can be worth billions of dollars and completely uproot the industry they are in.

Right?

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8225418)
Private construction and operation? Done in New York City and elsewhere between the 1890s and 1940. One-by-one, all for-profit transit companies in the United States were taken over by subsidized public companies. Private ownership and for-profit operation ripe territory for scams.

Space travel was also once the domain only of government, whether that is NASA, RosCosmos, ESA, etc. SpaceX and Blue Origin are clearly breaking that mold. Re-using rockets to save billions of dollars and thousands of man hours? Wow, amazing. Except private enterprise is the devil and we hates it! /Gollum

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8225418)
High speed airport shuttles? Shanghai Maglev goes 300mph. Nobody cares. Proof-of-concept proved why maglevs are bad ideas and have virtually zero practical applications. Like monorails. Musk's sewer pipe don't offer a particularly impressive max speed. 125mph? Doesn't BART hit 80mph in the transbay?

So simply because Musk's proposal isn't going to break any speed records, its an entirely worthless proposal? People should simply be content to be stuck in traffic on the Kennedy Expressway when going to/from ORD and the Loop, because its either that, or an overcrowded and slow conventional rail line. We cannot think outside the box, ever.
Except, that's what America does best. We didn't put a man on the moon by simply doing whats always been done before. You can't simply stop innovating because you run across a few bad ideas.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8225418)
The main technological innovation we're seeing here is...battery operated 1-car trains? Wow. Strike up the band.

Yeah, so?

Battery powered homes and vehicles are showing a hell of a lot of promise for the near future, with a more localized power grid from solar panels/home batteries powering homes with renewable energy and electric vehicles lessening America's dependence on foreign oil and making a huge dent in atmospheric pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

But hey, batteries have been around for like, a long time. Or something. Cant possibly be ground breaking. Excuse me while I tank up my Model T with some good ole kerosene distillate.


There are two outcomes here, either it works or it doesn't. No loss to the city of Chicago if it doesn't. But if it does, it could revolutionize tunneling and transit construction across the US, and that would be a fantastic thing. Not sure why you are so aggressively against Musk even just *attempting* to pull this off. Did he insult your girlfriend or send you a threatening email? Seriously, whats the deal?

jpIllInoIs Jun 19, 2018 1:33 PM

Argonne National - The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research
 
Bully for Chicago for being at the forefront with the practical commercial uses for battery technology. By implementing the ChiOrdIing tunnel the parties are putting high level research into high level applications. And if Musk want to use Chicago as a laboratory great.
As TUP mentioned, maybe Chicago can get a permanent Boring R&D presence here. Certainly the institutional ecoshphere already exists. Chicago is home to the Argonne Joint Center for Energy Storage which is run jointly by The University of Chicago and the Dept of Energy.
The mission is to research and facilitate the creation of new energy storage capabilities for transportation, utility grid and buildings. I see a synergy..

jmecklenborg Jun 19, 2018 1:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 8225483)
But if it does, it could revolutionize tunneling and transit construction across the US, and that would be a fantastic thing. Not sure why you are so aggressively against Musk even just *attempting* to pull this off. Did he insult your girlfriend or send you a threatening email? Seriously, whats the deal?

Your response proved my point. I have now asked the internet here and on other pages what is so "revolutionary" about this proposed project and nobody can provide an answer other than, like yourself, bringing up unrelated stuff like rideshare.

I'll repeat that Musk's various enterprises are a lot like Theranos -- a "tech" back story and the superficial veneer of "tech", but the actual activity is not tech. One of my better friends and former band mate has been the head of a blood bank and hemotology lab for more than 10 years -- he called out Theranos as a fraud the first time he heard about it.

Another friend of mine does research for venture capitalists (he's one of the people listed here...I'm going to refrain from using his name so he doesn't get harassed by Musk's bots http://www.luxresearchinc.com/about-...rch-management). He has been steering big money away from Musk for the past 5 years because he long ago left the realm of tech but is tricking speculators with the old-fashioned tech story.

There is no new tunneling technology. The Boring Company has yet to build its own machine -- it simply bought an old one from LA and leased another one. There are many companies around the world digging tunnels with a purpose. Musk is hobbyist and a huckster.


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