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

ardecila Apr 2, 2021 8:46 PM

CN's purchase of EJE resulted in deletions from CREATE rather than added projects. If the same is true for CP+KCS then we could end up spending billions adding capacity where we don't need it.

k1052 Apr 2, 2021 9:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9236995)
CN's purchase of EJE resulted in deletions from CREATE rather than added projects. If the same is true for CP+KCS then we could end up spending billions adding capacity where we don't need it.

Yes because the EJ&E let CN circumvent a lot of Chicago area congestion. I don't think CP buying the KCS solves a similar Chicago problem that would negate the need for the planned improvements.

Kngkyle Apr 2, 2021 10:56 PM

Quote:

with 42 stations still in need of the necessary elevators and escalators to come into compliance at an estimated cost of $2.1 billion
Huh? 42 elevators cost $2.1 billion?

I didn't see extending the brown line to connect to the O'Hare blue line on the list. That seems like a no brainer. :shrug:

Randomguy34 Apr 2, 2021 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 9237086)
I didn't see extending the brown line to connect to the O'Hare blue line on the list. That seems like a no brainer. :shrug:

The infrastructure bill is intended for shovel-ready projects. Hopefully the CTA will start studying a Brown Line extension once other projects are finished

Mister Uptempo Apr 3, 2021 6:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9236956)
^ Much as I hate to say it, I think CREATE might need to go back to the drawing board in some respects with CP's purchase of KCS. Now instead of being on the fringes of CP's freight network, Chicago will be the linchpin of that network. Planners should study how train traffic is likely to shift and what improvements need to be made. CP's routes through the Chicago area include both Milwaukee District Metra lines, which also host the Hiawatha/Empire Builder and the proposed Rockford service on the Amtrak side.

Also, they need to dust off the South-of-the-Lake project to build a dedicated passenger corridor between Englewood and Porter, IN through the tangle of railroads on the South Side and in NW Indiana. Huge upside for all Amtrak service to the east. Unfortunately Michigan led the charge 8 years ago under Gov and noted railfan Rick Snyder, I dunno if Gretchen "Fix the Damn Roads" Whitmer is quite so supportive of rail.

What to make of this?

Quote:

CP and KCS interchange and operate an existing shared facility in Kansas City, Mo., which is the one point where they connect. This transaction will alleviate the need for a time consuming and expensive interchange, improving efficiency and reducing transit times and costs. The combination also will allow some traffic between KCS-served points and the Upper Midwest and Western Canada to bypass Chicago via the CP route through Iowa. This will improve service and has the potential to contribute to the reduction of rail traffic, fuel burn, and emissions in Chicago, an important hub city.
This isn't the first time CP has considered bypassing Chicago. In 2016, when CP attempted to acquire Norfolk Southern, the railroad wrote this about CREATE-

Quote:

There is neither an easy nor inexpensive fix. With so many stakeholders, it is difficult to gain alignment and reach consensus on improvement initiatives, especially since most solutions are costly, complicated and impact different stakeholders in different ways. Despite best efforts to address congestion in Chicago, programs such as the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE), have fallen far short. Among other problems, CREATE lacks funding.[8] Even fully funded, CREATE on its own cannot do enough to avert future gridlock. Much more must be done.
The passage above is from a white paper written by CP entitled The Opportunity to Alleviate Congestion in Chicago, in which CP argued that combining CP's and NS's assets would allow significant freight traffic to bypass the city.

I agree with you about South of the Lake. When the Amtrak 2035 map came out a few days ago, and it referred to "enhanced" routes, my first thought was South of the Lake would enhance so many routes that reviving it seems like a no-brainer.

VKChaz Apr 3, 2021 7:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 9237086)
Huh? 42 elevators cost $2.1 billion?

I didn't see extending the brown line to connect to the O'Hare blue line on the list. That seems like a no brainer. :shrug:

Of course, even if there was money to expand the system, money is needed to then operate that system.

---

I don't know if anything can be done to speed up the Metra coaches. But that is a win in terms of maintenance cost, efficiency and experience that arguably shouldn't take so many years.

I also don't know if we are doing enough to get people to job centers like Bedford Park. It isn't flashy, but even just some kind of improved bus service and coverage for overnight shifts

Randomguy34 Apr 8, 2021 7:27 PM

From the HSR thread, the funding breakdown for rapid transit will be:
-$55b state of good repair
-$25b expansion
-$5b for ADA accessibility

with an additional:
-$25b electric transit
-$20b electric school buses
-$44b transformative projects (rail, highway, airports, etc.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by numble (Post 9242495)


Mister Uptempo Apr 26, 2021 7:34 AM

Metra issues challenge to create battery-powered, zero-emission locomotive
 
From Progressive Railroading -

Quote:

4/22/2021

Chicago's Metra is challenging the industry to create a zero-emission commuter locomotive by converting an older engine from diesel to one powered solely by batteries.

At its April meeting, Metra's board approved a request for proposals (RFP) seeking manufacturers to propose solutions to convert three of its older F40PH-3 diesel locomotives into zero-emission, battery-powered units.

The RFP will be issued in the upcoming days; the contract is expected to be awarded in the fall and the first solutions are anticipated about 30 months later, according to a news release.
https://i.imgur.com/MvuWqop.jpg

ardecila Apr 26, 2021 2:29 PM

This is a sick joke and the worst kind of greenwashing. Batteries are many times less energy dense than diesel fuel (i.e. much more mass for the same energy output) so it will actually take more energy to move the train due to the mass of batteries. And it locks Metra into the push/pull locomotive model which is also more inefficient than multiple-unit.

Metra keeps asking "the industry" to build things that don't make sense. Hopefully this turns out like the gallery car RFP and they get no responses because this is so boneheaded.

OrdoSeclorum Apr 26, 2021 3:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9260833)
This is a sick joke and the worst kind of greenwashing. Batteries are many times less energy dense than diesel fuel (i.e. much more mass for the same energy output) so it will actually take more energy to move the train due to the mass of batteries. And it locks Metra into the push/pull locomotive model which is also more inefficient than multiple-unit.

Metra keeps asking "the industry" to build things that don't make sense. Hopefully this turns out like the gallery car RFP and they get no responses because this is so boneheaded.

I don't know the details. Obviously at some point battery powered everything is going to beat liquid fuel on fixed, limited range routes. Not today, but if you also consider maintenance costs and the benefits of regenerative braking, that could be significant on a route with numerous stops.

In 10 years, it's going to be cheaper to own and operate any electric car than an ICE car even if gas was free. That is going to happen much faster if it's a car that only does stop-and-go driving on a limited route. Regional rail is probably somewhere on that path too. For example, if we could charge batteries with less voltage than was required to operate them in real time during acceleration, it's possible that electrifying old diesel lines would be simpler and cheaper than going full electric.

I have to imagine that if you replaced a diesel engine with a battery, it's a pretty short hop to have drive systems in every car rather than one big turbine up front.

However, the fact that this doesn't exist already in some other forward-thinking regional rail system leads me to believe that you're right and that it won't pencil out in the near term.

ardecila Apr 26, 2021 3:34 PM

It's just attacking the wrong end of the problem. The energy source isn't the problem, it's the (in)efficiency of how the energy is used.

Metra's trains right now are moving bank vaults. Rather than admitting that maybe they shouldn't be moving 692 bank vaults per day in and out of downtown Chicago, they're trying to claim green cred by saying "what if we moved the bank vaults with batteries"? Of course, the batteries themselves are one more bank vault to strap onto each train!

I'm not even against batteries per se, although pretty much every other developed country continues to conclude that electrification via overhead wire or third rail is superior. If you're going to deploy batteries, you should A) switch to a lightweight train design so much less energy is needed/smaller batteries, and B) use multiple-unit technology so the energy and mass is distributed more efficiently across the length of the train instead of just at the front. Both of these changes also have positive ripple effects in the form of faster travel times for riders due to better performance/acceleration.

k1052 Apr 27, 2021 4:27 AM

Looking forward to 2050 when Metra issues an RFP to retrofit fusion reactors into F40s which are somehow still the bulk of their locomotive fleet.

JFC people if you really want battery trains this bad just buy from the Europeans even though yes they'll look and function like a product actually designed within some of our lifetimes.

SIGSEGV Apr 30, 2021 6:07 AM

Metra Electric at 17% of pre-pandemic levels (seems about right... it's been getting more and more crowded over the last two months, though I also take it in the reverse commute direction which may have different behavior) and adding additional reverse commute options:
https://www.hpherald.com/evening_dig...c4c428fe6.html

I did not realize the extent of the warehouses near the University Park station, and I guess this is before the new Amazon facility
https://i.imgur.com/YKT4IE4.png

(I've taken the ME down there to see the sculpture garden at Gov State, but it's not at all apparent on the ground)

ardecila Apr 30, 2021 3:09 PM

Yeah they added that new interchange at Stuenkel Rd that kickstarted all of the growth. Virtually no friction for trucks getting from highway to dock door.

Of course there is no way to get from Metra station to the jobs, unless the warehouses run shuttles (doubt it).

I know these are enormous buildings but the employee parking areas don't look that big compared to a manufacturing facility. There may not be that many jobs here actually, I know many of these facilities are increasingly automated. The biggest warehouse in that shot is Solo Cup, they only have 60 parking spaces for an almost 3million sf building.

SIGSEGV Apr 30, 2021 5:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9265637)
Yeah they added that new interchange at Stuenkel Rd that kickstarted all of the growth. Virtually no friction for trucks getting from highway to dock door.

Of course there is no way to get from Metra station to the jobs, unless the warehouses run shuttles (doubt it).

I know these are enormous buildings but the employee parking areas don't look that big compared to a manufacturing facility. There may not be that many jobs here actually, I know many of these facilities are increasingly automated. The biggest warehouse in that shot is Solo Cup, they only have 60 parking spaces for an almost 3million sf building.

Amazon's new fullfllment center is planning shuttles, apparently!

OhioGuy Apr 30, 2021 6:03 PM

Construction delayed once again.

Metra’s New Edgewater Station Delayed Yet Again As City Nixes Transit Agency’s Green Groundwater Plan

Quote:

After nearly a decade in the works, Metra’s plans to build a new rail station in Edgewater have hit another snag, possibly causing another year in delays.

Crews for Metra were slated to break ground in May on the train station at Peterson and Ravenswood avenues. Due to a permitting issue with the city, work will be delayed by roughly three to five months, said Joe Ott, director of Metra’s construction department.

If the permits take any longer to secure, major construction on the new station could be pushed to spring 2022, he said.

Busy Bee Apr 30, 2021 6:42 PM

And during that delay China would have built another metro line.

tjp Apr 30, 2021 10:18 PM

Lol. Unbelievable.

IrishIllini May 3, 2021 4:43 PM

Wonder what the infrastructure bill would bring home transit-wise if passed.

ardecila May 5, 2021 2:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrishIllini (Post 9268214)
Wonder what the infrastructure bill would bring home transit-wise if passed.

It's unlikely we would see anything new or surprising - the region has a long to-do list and Congressmen have been required to select projects from this list for earmarks, they can't just pick any pet project.

I outlined some of the likely candidates here:
https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/sho...ostcount=15231

That post was the "big fish" but there are countless small or medium sized projects across the region that have been sitting on to-do lists for years without funding. In Chicago for example there are a lot of bridge replacements.


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