SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   Transportation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

k1052 Mar 13, 2011 4:07 PM

There were a lot of problems with the new scheduling and it wasn't running right, but that should have been expected. Metra was always going to have to adjust the plan to minimize the disruption but that couldn't happen until they saw how it would run.

That said Metra did a TERRIBLE job telling people on the line what was going to happen and urge them to find alternatives. One thing the CTA did right was scare the crap out of people when Fullerton and Belmont were being rebuilt and bluntly (and repeatedly) telling riders that they need to use alternatives.

Mr Downtown Mar 13, 2011 5:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baronvonellis (Post 5197943)
They . . . are going to keep the space for a potential third track by rebuilding a retaining wall on the west side.

Are you sure? I thought Metra was too shy to challenge UP's absurd standards for track centers. After all, you never know when two oversize nuclear containment vessels might need to pass each other at Roscoe Street while there's a full construction crew with front-end loader in between the tracks. Space on the embankment for a theoretical third track does no good if all the through-girder bridges are placed for two tracks.

Beta_Magellan Mar 13, 2011 6:20 PM

^^^I’ve also heard it’s to allow UP trains more room in case if they derail because they find allowing a certain number of derailments to be less expensive than proper track maintenance, though I’d expect Metra to shoulder a lot of that burden.

Too bad Metra wasn’t able to just buy the lines it needed from C&NW outright back when it went under.

ardecila Mar 13, 2011 7:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 5198787)
That said Metra did a TERRIBLE job telling people on the line what was going to happen and urge them to find alternatives. One thing the CTA did right was scare the crap out of people when Fullerton and Belmont were being rebuilt and bluntly (and repeatedly) telling riders that they need to use alternatives.

Bingo. If you look at recent megaprojects by IDOT or CDOT, they get the word out. They notify the newsradio stations and TV stations, post massive signs, create a dedicated website with information and suggested reroutes, etc.

The Wacker Drive project, and the recent Eisenhower rebuilding project, have gone remarkably well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5198830)
Are you sure? I thought Metra was too shy to challenge UP's absurd standards for track centers. After all, you never know when two oversize nuclear containment vessels might need to pass each other at Roscoe Street while there's a full construction crew with front-end loader in between the tracks. Space on the embankment for a theoretical third track does no good if all the through-girder bridges are placed for two tracks.

I don't understand... there's no freight service on the UP-N line (at least within Chicago). There is a small amount of freight that moves on the UP (there is that little yard at Lemoyne) but it must be a tiny amount, and I think it all comes and goes via the Northwest line.

Mr Downtown Mar 13, 2011 8:10 PM

^That's what makes it so absurd for UP to insist on the same track centers they like to have through Nebraska ranchland.

C&NW never "went under," Beta. UP simply bought it in 1995.

Baronvonellis Mar 14, 2011 12:54 AM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1072777.story

^^^ Here's the link to the story guys.

ardecila Mar 14, 2011 1:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5199022)
C&NW never "went under," Beta. UP simply bought it in 1995.

Yeah, from what I understand it was mostly motivated by C&NW restricting UP's access to the hugely lucrative Powder River Basin.

C&NW was one of the most "responsible" railroads in the country... they were perfectly fine continuing to operate commuter service - it had always been a cornerstone of their business. They built their physical plant to last, and kept it that way through pretty routine maintenance. For example, they used granite for ballast instead of limestone - kinda like paving roads with concrete instead of asphalt, it has a higher initial cost but a much longer lifespan.

They were sorta like the Midwest's version of the PRR - definitely the premier railroad in the upper Midwest (which had a very crowded field of competitor railroads).

denizen467 Mar 14, 2011 2:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baronvonellis (Post 5199368)
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1072777.story

^^^ Here's the link to the story guys.

Metra: New UP North plan won't change schedule
Rebuilding bridges will cost $40 million more than original plan

By Richard Wronski, Tribune reporter
7:51 PM CST, March 11, 2011

Metra officials Friday unveiled their new plan to replace century-old bridges on the Union Pacific North Line, avoiding the train schedule changes that stirred up a rider revolt last year.

The revised project, now pegged at $215 million, will cost $40 million more than originally estimated, however, because new retaining walls will be built along the western edge of the tracks on Chicago's North Side.

The new plan will allow Metra to keep two tracks in service while the bridges are reconstructed, unlike the single-track scheme attempted last year, which prompted an uproar among commuters.

Running 70 trains a day through a single set of tracks proved a scheduling nightmare. Commuters complained, and UP North ridership dropped 10 percent in September, forcing Metra to scrap the plan.

Metra Chairwoman Carole Doris said staffers "went back to the drawing board," and she was optimistic the new plan would succeed.

...

The bridges date as far back as 1898, with abutments built out of limestone blocks. Although the line is owned by the Union Pacific Railway, which operates the commuter trains, Metra must pick up the tab for the project, officials said.

Metra awarded the contract to Walsh Construction Co. last year.

The rail right-of-way once contained three sets of tracks, and the new plan leaves room for replacement of the third track, although there are no plans or money to do so, officials said.

UP North riders, railroad experts and at least one board member, James LaBelle, had criticized the original plan for not including room for the third track.

ardecila Mar 14, 2011 4:47 AM

I hope they can keep the limestone abutments. Those are great, and they last far longer than concrete. Look at the concrete at the Rogers underpass - it's crumbling, while the limestone at other underpasses is still going strong.

The limestone is unsightly - most of the limestone abutments were whitewashed, which then stained from runoff from the rusty bridges. But this should be fairly easy to clean with some sandblasting, and they won't re-stain since the bridges are being replaced.

Beta_Magellan Mar 14, 2011 5:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5199022)
C&NW never "went under," Beta. UP simply bought it in 1995.

Ah, didn’t realize that—whenever I hear about a defunct railroad I usually just assume it went out of business. Thanks for the correction.

ardecila Mar 19, 2011 2:16 AM

Metra 35th Station

For some reason, this shot seems very Dutch to me... looks like it could be in Rotterdam or something (if they could build sunken highways in Rotterdam). I can see why Koolhaas saw potential in the area.

http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/6358/superdutch.jpg

Courtesy of Steven Vance

bnk Mar 19, 2011 12:17 PM

http://www.suntimes.com/news/4369884...-to-ohare.html


Daley pushes plan for high-speed train to O’Hare

BY FRAN SPIELMAN

City Hall Reporter fspielman@suntimes.com


Last Modified: Mar 18, 2011 05:01AM


Chicago is taking the first concrete step toward realizing Mayor Daley’s dream of building a fast train from downtown to O’Hare Airport — privately financed and operated and priced at a premium.

...

The solicitation will be issued after Daley and a delegation of civic and business leaders return March 30 from a 12-day trip to China to market Chicago as a destination for Chinese tourists and business investment.

But Daley plans to use the trip to five Chinese cities, including Hong Kong and Beijing, to pitch a project he hopes will someday be his transportation legacy to Chicago.

“The high-speed train from O’Hare to downtown Chicago would be the first of its kind in America. That’s to rebuild our commercial and residential market downtown,” the mayor said.

“You arrive at the airport and come downtown in 20 minutes. Same thing with tourists. Instead of taking two hours, three hours to get out to the airport sometimes, you’re out in 20 minutes.”

Daley said the 17-member committee chaired by industrialist Lester Crown has “interviewed many sovereign funds” and is “moving very rapidly” to line up financing “alternatives.”

....

“We should not be worried about foreign investments. They are investing in our country. They are investing in business. They are investing in our work force. They are not buying our country. America has invested in the rest of the world. They were welcome investments. And we have to welcome investments from China.”

Citing interest already expressed by investors from China, Japan and the Middle East, Daley gave Crown a mandate that “no city money’’ be used to build or operate the “separate private system.’’

...

Is the mayor now convinced that the project will actually be built?

...

In London, air travelers pay $25 for the Heathrow Express.

Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino refused to speculate on the possible cost of a Chicago fare.

She simply called it a “better service” targeting business travelers.

Beta_Magellan Mar 19, 2011 9:28 PM

Does it really take two-three hours to get out to the airport from downtown? It’s never taken me that long from Hyde Park, though I’ve never taken transit or a flight during rush hour. Even so, way to promote the city! :rolleyes:

Also, isn’t it a little late for Daley to be pushing for a big “transportation legacy” project? Although I definitely agree that he could have done more, having accomplished the Green, Cermak/Pink, Dan Ryan, and Brown Line rebuilds isn’t too bad of a legacy either, even if it doesn’t land him a big “Daley line” on the map (and he would have been able to add some preliminary BRT, too, had he not shot himself in the foot over parking and the transit union negotiations, plus the useful-to-many X-buses, which were lost in the union pay shuffle).

Anyway, I’m of two minds about the airport express project. On the one hand, if we have a real HSR network, a link to O’Hare would probably be worthwhile: SNCF had an O’Hare link in its big midwest study (pdf), and the Midwest HSR analysis found that an O’Hare link would be a major boost to a Chicago-St. Louis 220-mph project. However, both of those would be part of a larger system—I don’t know if there’s enough demand for a separate service. It’s also worth noting that the only two airport HSR links I can think of off the top of my head are the Satolas-Saint/Lyon Saint-Exupéry station, which has disappointing ridership but notable architecture, and the Narita Shinkansen, which is the only unfinished (and now likely never to be finished) Shinkansen route. However, parts of its ROW are now used by the Keisei Sky Access Line, which is a 100-mph service—I think this is the sort of thing we’re most likely to see here, and they’re only using HSR as shorthand for “faster than your average Amtrak.”

There’s also the issue of constructing the line—if they’re not able temporally separate freight, they’ll either have to use heavy FRA equipment or build their own tracks—the first option would likely mean kissing profitability goodbye, the second would make it near-impossible to finance without public aid (they should be able to operate alongside Metra, though—Caltrain’s FRA waiver stated that the new, lighter EMUs could operate alongside diesel-powered, FRA-compliant Caltrain sets, just not freight).

So, count me as a skeptic about this line for now. Hope it’s able to be done competently and in a manner that could allow it to link up with a larger HSR network later, but if that’s not possible it shouldn’t be done at all.

emathias Mar 19, 2011 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5207465)
...
So, count me as a skeptic about this line for now. Hope it’s able to be done competently and in a manner that could allow it to link up with a larger HSR network later, but if that’s not possible it shouldn’t be done at all.

I'm a little skeptical, too, although I'd love to see it.

I think something like this would be a nice long-term place. The downtown portion would be all run in deep subways.

RED = tunnels downtown, tunnels or surface routes outside of downtown

BLUE = solid blue would be two stations, one in the West Loop to serve the central business district, one near Watertower to serve the abundance of hotels in that area, plus the businesses and high-end residences there. Dotted blue spots are potential stations for a circulator that would use the same tracks. Potentially, a third main stop could be added at Millennium Park, although I don't think it would be strictly necessary given the circulator.

GREEN = HSR station and tracks

Routing would be for every other train to run either clockwise or counter-clockwise around the underground loop. Travel time to the first stop would be about 15 minutes, to the second stop, about 20 minutes, so anyone could take either one without having to wait or take much longer, or they could wait for one that goes direct during high-frequency times. Dedicated loop shuttles would use the tracks running every 5 minutes or so as circulators between downtown stops. I show the cross-loop leg going under Adams, but it could reasonably cross under any of the streets from Monroe to Congress. if it were a deep tunnel it wouldn't need to use the ROW under Monroe if other routings were preferred. The western side of the loop could have transfer stations with a Clinton Street subway running above it, and when that's built, the western portal from the Dearborn Subway could be built out to accomodate a routing the Green Line into the subway to make use of that transfer point under Block 37 instead of being on the elevated Loop.

All together, if worked as part of an overall downtown business-oriented transportation plan, in 20 years you could end up with radically better downtown transit with high-speed links to O'Hare, interfaces with the "L" system, and interfaces with an HSR system. And the potential for a eastern side of the new Loop serving as part of a lake-front rail line to support new lakefront development on the south side. HSR couldn't use the looping portion of the tracks, but I think airport high-speed trains could be built to work with the tighter corners needed, as long as they weren't as tight as current "L" corners.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5052/...e6031838_o.gif

Jenner Mar 20, 2011 3:34 AM

I'm getting confused with a mixture of ideas coming in, that I'm not sure how they would coalesce into one plan.

The High speed rail thread has a discussion where a 220mph train would have dedicated tracks going to St Louis. This originates in Chicago somewhere, my guess would be Union Station. Assuming dedicated tracks for the whole project, these tracks would be elevated in the city and suburbs.

Ardecila mentions in that thread a possibility of adding a high speed rail station at McCormick. Why is this needed? Are the transit options lacking in any way? With HSR, I would think you would need fewer stations. Would an outer loop connecting the Union/Olgalvie stations with Navy Pier and McCormick place be better?

The western loop mega station would combine Olgalvie and Union stations with a Blue line subway stop (thus rerouting the Blue line). This massive station would also host a high speed transfer station. If everything is funneling into Union, wouldn't the station require a massive amount of reconfiguration? Is the space available to do so? Assuming HSR goes into this station, the tracks would slope from elevated to ground/below ground level into the station, then back to elevated again.

Emathius' idea for O'Hare high speed would use the current Blue line track along 90/94, whereas the O'hare thread would use the MD-W and North Central tracks. Would this high speed train use its own dedicated tracks?
The high speed idea for O'hare seems tied into other high speed train projects, where the train would then continue to Milwaukee, or General Mitchell Airport. Should the Milwaukee line continue from Union, and leave the O'Hare part separate? This option wouldn't need a massive transfer-through station at O'Hare, and O'Hare would just be an endpoint.

There's also the CTA Gray line (which might impact a HSR McCormick station), some ideas for a CTA outer loop subway, as well as the circular track.

I'm just trying to see how everything jives together. :gaah:

emathias Mar 20, 2011 4:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jenner (Post 5207675)
I'm getting confused with a mixture of ideas coming in, that I'm not sure how they would coalesce into one plan.

The High speed rail thread has a discussion where a 220mph train would have dedicated tracks going to St Louis. This originates in Chicago somewhere, my guess would be Union Station. Assuming dedicated tracks for the whole project, these tracks would be elevated in the city and suburbs.

Ardecila mentions in that thread a possibility of adding a high speed rail station at McCormick. Why is this needed? Are the transit options lacking in any way? With HSR, I would think you would need fewer stations. Would an outer loop connecting the Union/Olgalvie stations with Navy Pier and McCormick place be better?

The western loop mega station would combine Olgalvie and Union stations with a Blue line subway stop (thus rerouting the Blue line). This massive station would also host a high speed transfer station. If everything is funneling into Union, wouldn't the station require a massive amount of reconfiguration? Is the space available to do so? Assuming HSR goes into this station, the tracks would slope from elevated to ground/below ground level into the station, then back to elevated again.

Emathius' idea for O'Hare high speed would use the current Blue line track along 90/94, whereas the O'hare thread would use the MD-W and North Central tracks. Would this high speed train use its own dedicated tracks?
The high speed idea for O'hare seems tied into other high speed train projects, where the train would then continue to Milwaukee, or General Mitchell Airport. Should the Milwaukee line continue from Union, and leave the O'Hare part separate? This option wouldn't need a massive transfer-through station at O'Hare, and O'Hare would just be an endpoint.

There's also the CTA Gray line (which might impact a HSR McCormick station), some ideas for a CTA outer loop subway, as well as the circular track.

I'm just trying to see how everything jives together. :gaah:

First of all, there are almost zero official, solid plans for any of those things. All of my suggestions fall into the "if I were King, this is what I'd have done" category. I can't speak for other people's ideas.

My post immediately before yours was pretty self-contained and, I should point out, while it follows the same general route from the West Loop to O'Hare, it is NOT my suggestion to use the Blue Line tracks (neither map shows a route that is directly aligned with the Blue Line routing so I'm not sure how you could have confused that). I never said that anywhere. I merely combined a secondary suggestion into the description of the maps, describing how the airport express could interface with (which is different from "use the same tracks as") other parts of Chicago transportation both as it currently stands and how it could be reconfigured.

I don't mean any disrespect, but is English your first language?

ardecila Mar 20, 2011 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jenner (Post 5207675)
Ardecila mentions in that thread a possibility of adding a high speed rail station at McCormick. Why is this needed? Are the transit options lacking in any way? With HSR, I would think you would need fewer stations. Would an outer loop connecting the Union/Olgalvie stations with Navy Pier and McCormick place be better?

The McCormick station is just a possibility, because the Metra Electric/IC line runs along the lakefront, and it can be converted to HSR very easily - it has lots of room, wide curves, and it's already electrified. If Illinois builds a 220mph line, it will probably use the IC tracks to reach Union Station at high speed (no slowing down around commuter trains, freight, or tight curves). The IC happens to run beneath McCormick Place, where many business travelers go during conventions, so some planner decided to pitch the idea for a McCormick Place station.

Quote:

The western loop mega station would combine Olgalvie and Union stations with a Blue line subway stop (thus rerouting the Blue line). This massive station would also host a high speed transfer station. If everything is funneling into Union, wouldn't the station require a massive amount of reconfiguration? Is the space available to do so? Assuming HSR goes into this station, the tracks would slope from elevated to ground/below ground level into the station, then back to elevated again.
Yeah, cramming rapid transit, HSR, Amtrak, buses, and 8 Metra lines into the West Loop area will be very challenging. For ease of construction, the West Loop Transportation Center will probably NOT connect into the Blue Line... building the underground junctions with existing tracks is very very expensive. The current plan is to re-route the Red Line into the West Loop, which is a longer project but possibly easier to build. I've seen bits and pieces of the WLTC plans... I'm pretty confident that it can be built, but I don't think two tracks is enough for 10 million Chicagoans.

Maybe we should take a page out of the 1930s playbook and build a massive new China-style station in Riverside Park at 18th, combined with a massively dense new development.

nomarandlee Mar 20, 2011 1:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5207465)
Also, isn’t it a little late for Daley to be pushing for a big “transportation legacy” project? .

What I am wondering is if him and Quinn are passing ships in the night on this issue. It seems that rather predictably there seems to be a different vision and agenda by the two on how and who should get airport express service implemented.

Would Daleys plan, like Quinn, also involve Amtrak? Is Daley still hoping to get foreign funding and partnership for his own version of a city run airport express?
Quote:

However, both of those would be part of a larger system—I don’t know if there’s enough demand for a separate service.
If it was part of its own separate service I think it would be wise to try to get such a system to code share with Amtrak and perhaps the Airlines to include a reduced price express ride incorporated into a passengers ticket. All the southern and western HSR/Amtrak train passengers will be stopping through Union anyway so directing them to an express train that leaves say every 20 minutes wouldn't be much of a minus.

My gut is that an independent service could be successful even without such tie-ins but obviously it would be a coup to partner up.
Quote:

It’s also worth noting that the only two airport HSR links I can think of off the top of my head are the Satolas-Saint/Lyon Saint-Exupéry station, which has disappointing ridership but notable architecture, and the Narita Shinkansen, which is the only unfinished (and now likely never to be finished) Shinkansen route.
The Frankfurt Airport service has ICE service to Cologne leaving right from the airport. The Frankfurt Airport HSR station is incredible as well. I would be stoked for O'Hare to get 1/3 of an opulent inter modal station.
Quote:

There’s also the issue of constructing the line—if they’re not able temporally separate freight, they’ll either have to use heavy FRA equipment or build their own tracks—the first option would likely mean kissing profitability goodbye,
I was thinking that running the DMU cars that were going to be bought for the STAR line could perhaps suffice. I thought I read somewhere that it was the Bombardier Talent train sets that were being looked at as a possible choice for STAR.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talent_(train)

k1052 Mar 20, 2011 1:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5207850)
Yeah, cramming rapid transit, HSR, Amtrak, buses, and 8 Metra lines into the West Loop area will be very challenging. For ease of construction, the West Loop Transportation Center will probably NOT connect into the Blue Line... building the underground junctions with existing tracks is very very expensive. The current plan is to re-route the Red Line into the West Loop, which is a longer project but possibly easier to build. I've seen bits and pieces of the WLTC plans... I'm pretty confident that it can be built, but I don't think two tracks is enough for 10 million Chicagoans.

Maybe we should take a page out of the 1930s playbook and build a massive new China-style station in Riverside Park at 18th, combined with a massively dense new development.

As more of CREATE is completed Metra will be able to realign some service to LaSalle St. Station (which is already underused and has room to add at least a couple more platforms if Metra) to create some breathing room at Union.

Some sort of CTA heavy rail integration with Union and Ogilvie is a must for the future. To address the lack of HSR track and platform space I don't think anything is preventing a vertical solution or creating a 2nd set under Canal.

CTA Gray Line Mar 20, 2011 2:33 PM

Like the TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS already WASTED on Mayor Daley's Airport Express idea at Block 37
(his motivation being a Big Green Cash Cornucopia for all his connected Consultants, and Construction Companies);
it is "The Emperor's New Clothes" all over again - where nobody D A R E tell His Honor "That Won't Work" Sillyhead.

Unless it is an Air Terminal-to-Downtown Multi-Billion Dollar Mag-Lev System, it won't attract either Investors,
or very many Passengers (like this one in Shanghai doesn't): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqAJe...eature=related

Gov. Quinn had a better and cheaper idea of integrating such a service into existing Amtrak and Metra Rail Infrastructure.

denizen467 Mar 20, 2011 6:46 PM

High speed is not critical for the airport link. Reliability is what is first and foremost necessary.

If a passenger downtown can be 99% sure of arriving at ORD at a specified time -- regardless of whether it's 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or even 40 minutes away -- it makes the CTA decision more of a no-brainer.

So what is necessary to launch the service are some bypass tracks to nearly eliminate the question of delays.

The second-most important factor would be having a dedicated, clean railcar, preferably with a reconfigured interior with more comfortable seats and space for luggage. Also preferably with plenty of soundproofing (especially for the tunnels).

The mere fact that tired passengers can avoid the constant opening/closing of doors, crowding by miscellaneous commuting passengers, gushing of frigid or hot air, and also not worry about having to rush off the train carrying suitcases during the 30 seconds it is stopped at their destination stop, will make the airport link a natural choice for people.

Beyond all that, one day upgrading it to high-speed is just gravy, if it is actually financially feasible.

Jenner Mar 20, 2011 7:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5207693)
First of all, there are almost zero official, solid plans for any of those things. All of my suggestions fall into the "if I were King, this is what I'd have done" category. I can't speak for other people's ideas.

As it is, all of these projects are just ideas. However, many are being spoken with some seriousness, as there is a huge push for high speed rail as well as a proposed high speed rail going from downtown to O'Hare. Since there seem to be many proposals on the table, some appear to have conflicting resources, and I was merely suggesting that all plans need to take each other into account so that a master plan of sorts can be created.

I'm very skeptical that the ridership of any of these proposals justify the cost. However, the uninterrupted rail line from downtown to O'Hare may have enough ridership to eventually break even or produce a profit, assuming $15 a ticket. I haven't taken a taxi ride for a while, but I'm guessing that $15+ is about the price of a taxi ride going from O'Hare to downtown. I'm sure that someone here can provide a more accurate fee. Limo rides would be more expensive. And, I agree that this line wouldn't need to be tied to other HSR projects.

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5207693)
My post immediately before yours was pretty self-contained and, I should point out, while it follows the same general route from the West Loop to O'Hare, it is NOT my suggestion to use the Blue Line tracks (neither map shows a route that is directly aligned with the Blue Line routing so I'm not sure how you could have confused that). I never said that anywhere. I merely combined a secondary suggestion into the description of the maps, describing how the airport express could interface with (which is different from "use the same tracks as") other parts of Chicago transportation both as it currently stands and how it could be reconfigured.

I misspoke and assumed facts regarding your interpretation. I should have probably said "Emathius' O'Hare HSR plan appears to follow the blue line corridor going into O'Hare".

Quote:

I don't mean any disrespect, but is English your first language?
I feel slighted at the question, and yes, English is my primary language.


Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila
The current plan is to re-route the Red Line into the West Loop, which is a longer project but possibly easier to build. I've seen bits and pieces of the WLTC plans... I'm pretty confident that it can be built, but I don't think two tracks is enough for 10 million Chicagoans.

Wow. I thought the red line stops in downtown perform very well for that line. I'm not sure why they would want to re-route it if this project comes to fruition. Having Union/Ogalvie tie into the CTA would be great. Maybe an outer loop circulator would be better?

ardecila Mar 20, 2011 9:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 5207910)
As more of CREATE is completed Metra will be able to realign some service to LaSalle St. Station (which is already underused and has room to add at least a couple more platforms if Metra) to create some breathing room at Union.

Some sort of CTA heavy rail integration with Union and Ogilvie is a must for the future. To address the lack of HSR track and platform space I don't think anything is preventing a vertical solution or creating a 2nd set under Canal.

LaSalle is underused, but it doesn't have room for expansion unless they start tearing down adjacent buildings. It's also an absolutely crappy station. It has one tiny room for waiting, and the rest of the station is outdoors and unsheltered. The station really only exists at the whim of the Chicago Stock Exchange that it wraps around.

Hopefully Metra can bring in some architects and make LaSalle into a proper station. SOM did a tremendous job making Millennium Station into a dignified place.

At Union, Metra can re-arrange the layout to bring a fourth track into the north side and add a second through track along the river. The problem is that because of the station layout, the platforms will have a kink in them (or two, actually). That doesn't meet modern standards, and potential high-speed trains will be quite long.

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4707/cusdiagram.jpg

the urban politician Mar 20, 2011 9:09 PM

So when do the hoes come out?

ie, when do we get to see some action?

lawfin Mar 20, 2011 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jenner (Post 5208128)
I haven't taken a taxi ride for a while, but I'm guessing that $15+ is about the price of a taxi ride going from O'Hare to downtown. I'm sure that someone here can provide a more accurate fee. Limo rides would be more expensive. And, I agree that this line wouldn't need to be tied to other HSR projects.

Its considerably more than $15; closer to 40 or more esp in traffic.

ChiPsy Mar 20, 2011 11:35 PM

(Sorry for the double-post.)

ChiPsy Mar 20, 2011 11:48 PM

Yeah; based on recent trips, I'll second that cost estimate, with tip (at least in the traffic I experienced going there). Because of that (and because auto traffic to O'Hare varies so wildly, you have to build in a giant, time-wasting safety margin), I'd gladly pay $50 to get to O'Hare if the service was fast and reliable, and I'd pay significantly more if it was really fast.

Btw, my time is probably worth less than half of the money many Loop workers earn (and theoretically would value) on a per-hour basis. So others theoretically should be willing to pay even more.

Beta_Magellan Mar 21, 2011 12:42 AM

This discussion brings to mind something that was written at Human Transit:

Quote:

Demand for airport service is always much lower than its political popularity. Every voter can imagine that rail to the airport would be cool and that they'd use it occasionally. But strong all-day ridership comes from serving airport employees, many of whom don't work at the main terminal.
This also has the corollary that a lot of people who fly very often (i. e. upper business class) are more likely to have some pull on (or overlap with) the political class. That’s why I’d like to see a special airport train (i. e. one that doesn’t work as well with an ordinary commute) piggybacked onto another project, and if we don’t want to wait for a big HSR line than something smaller like improving the North Central Service and providing space for an airport express might do. It would also have the advantage of improving commuter rail service, so even if a private airport service folds any public money put into the infrastructure would still be put to good use (I’m surprised improving the NCS isn’t a higher priority—that corridor seems like it could sustain Milwaukee District levels of service and have a strong reverse commuter base too).

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 5207894)
What I am wondering is if him and Quinn are passing ships in the night on this issue. It seems that rather predictably there seems to be a different vision and agenda by the two on how and who should get airport express service implemented.

Would Daleys plan, like Quinn, also involve Amtrak? Is Daley still hoping to get foreign funding and partnership for his own version of a city run airport express?

I’d guess that the private project will mostly die when Daley leaves, perhaps belching out an overoptimistic report before it expires. Rahm’s stated transit preferences—the northern Red Line rebuild and southern extension—are the top two in CMAP’s list of priorities for the CTA, so it looks like he’ll have a more technocratic approach to transit with fewer vanity projects like the Circle Line or Block 37 Airport Express. This attitude would seem to lend itself more to Quinn’s Amtrak-partnering proposal, which has a clearer path towards implementation than Daley’s proposal. It’s also worth noting that in Daley’s scheme the mayor would be the brunt of all political risk, whereas bringing the state and Amtrak into the picture helps spread that risk around.

ardecila Mar 21, 2011 1:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5208410)
I’m surprised improving the NCS isn’t a higher priority—that corridor seems like it could sustain Milwaukee District levels of service and have a strong reverse commuter base too.

Well, Metra already spent upwards of $200 million to double-track the line all the way from Schiller Park to Antioch. I'd say that qualifies as a big improvement.

It's a little weird - the double-tracking was set up to allow Metra trains to use one track and CN the other, rather than using them directionally.

Still, as part of the EJ&E acquisition, CN plans to dramatically reduce freight traffic on the NCS line. They haven't done this yet because they haven't finished their mitigation on the EJ&E, so the Feds won't allow them to increase the trains on that line yet.

Beta_Magellan Mar 21, 2011 2:02 AM

:previous: In their Go To 2040 project evaluation, CMAP only listed that double tracking as a “first phase” of the project, though—they estimated another $300 million would be necessary for “full service.” Although they’ve taken down their big list of proposed projects, ones affecting the northern suburbs can still be found here:

http://www.nwmc-cog.org/Transportati...sNWMCArea.aspx

schwerve Mar 21, 2011 2:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5208220)
LaSalle is underused, but it doesn't have room for expansion unless they start tearing down adjacent buildings. It's also an absolutely crappy station. It has one tiny room for waiting, and the rest of the station is outdoors and unsheltered. The station really only exists at the whim of the Chicago Stock Exchange that it wraps around.

Hopefully Metra can bring in some architects and make LaSalle into a proper station. SOM did a tremendous job making Millennium Station into a dignified place.

At Union, Metra can re-arrange the layout to bring a fourth track into the north side and add a second through track along the river. The problem is that because of the station layout, the platforms will have a kink in them (or two, actually). That doesn't meet modern standards, and potential high-speed trains will be quite long.

I don't understand your hatred of LaSalle. It's nothing special but as a basic, clean, usable commuter station, perfectly fine. It's complete covered and only needs a small waiting room as most people walk directly onto scheduled trains. It can take Southwest and potential Southeast Metra service and do well, but shouldn't be used for much more than that. It can use some upgrades such as a direct connection to the LaSalle blue line station or more seating in the waiting room but other than that, serves its purpose effectively.

ardecila Mar 21, 2011 2:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5208491)
:previous: In their Go To 2040 project evaluation, CMAP only listed that double tracking as a “first phase” of the project, though—they estimated another $300 million would be necessary for “full service.” Although they’ve taken down their big list of proposed projects, ones affecting the northern suburbs can still be found here:

http://www.nwmc-cog.org/Transportati...sNWMCArea.aspx

AFAIK, the only capital spending required for the NCS is a reconfiguration of platforms at certain stations, a purchase of new locomotives/cars, and possibly change to the signaling system.

Those three things could easily add up to $300 million (the majority is the new rolling stock) but not a whole lot of actual construction.

EDIT: apparently Metra only double-tracked up to Mundelein. Further up to Antioch there is only one track, and the CN freight will not be moving away from this segment.

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 5208493)
I don't understand your hatred of LaSalle. It's nothing special but as a basic, clean, usable commuter station, perfectly fine. It's complete covered and only needs a small waiting room as most people walk directly onto scheduled trains. It can take Southwest and potential Southeast Metra service and do well, but shouldn't be used for much more than that. It can use some upgrades such as a direct connection to the LaSalle blue line station or more seating in the waiting room but other than that, serves its purpose effectively.

It's embarrassing. The access is fairly awkward and has no major gateway feature - if you don't know where the two entrances are, you won't find them. They're hidden inside the Stock Exchange office building. Apart from the one small cramped room, there is no place to wait for trains, and the surrounding neighborhood is dead, so it's not like there are places nearby either. In a city with bitterly cold winters, the platform area is very open and windswept. Perhaps if I remembered the shithole that LaSalle was before the early 90s, I might feel differently, but that's not an excuse. (I do remember, but only very very vaguely - as a toddler taking the Rock in from Beverly)

The new bus terminal and south entrance are great, but it's sad that it took this long.

Too bad they demolished the train shed during the Depression.

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/94/lasalle6.jpg

Godwindaniel Mar 21, 2011 7:30 AM

Hey love this megabus. It is very useful for metro area.

k1052 Mar 21, 2011 1:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5208220)
LaSalle is underused, but it doesn't have room for expansion unless they start tearing down adjacent buildings. It's also an absolutely crappy station. It has one tiny room for waiting, and the rest of the station is outdoors and unsheltered. The station really only exists at the whim of the Chicago Stock Exchange that it wraps around.

Hopefully Metra can bring in some architects and make LaSalle into a proper station. SOM did a tremendous job making Millennium Station into a dignified place.

At Union, Metra can re-arrange the layout to bring a fourth track into the north side and add a second through track along the river. The problem is that because of the station layout, the platforms will have a kink in them (or two, actually). That doesn't meet modern standards, and potential high-speed trains will be quite long.

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4707/cusdiagram.jpg

If you take a look at the the lines where they pass over Polk, specifically the bridge abutments it looks like they envisioned more track space and there is is some leftover space between the station and LaSalle St.

But yea, the station facilities are basically non-existent. Hopefully if Metra moves more service over there they will improve that situation.

To get HSR into Union Station itself 222 S Riverside would have to go so they could build the long platforms needed and reposition the concourse above platform level.

schwerve Mar 21, 2011 2:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5208528)
It's embarrassing. The access is fairly awkward and has no major gateway feature - if you don't know where the two entrances are, you won't find them. They're hidden inside the Stock Exchange office building. Apart from the one small cramped room, there is no place to wait for trains, and the surrounding neighborhood is dead, so it's not like there are places nearby either. In a city with bitterly cold winters, the platform area is very open and windswept. Perhaps if I remembered the shithole that LaSalle was before the early 90s, I might feel differently, but that's not an excuse. (I do remember, but only very very vaguely - as a toddler taking the Rock in from Beverly)

The new bus terminal and south entrance are great, but it's sad that it took this long.

Too bad they demolished the train shed during the Depression.

I simply don't get the emotional response. This is not to say the critiques are wrong, but these are design standards that aren't necessary. LaSalle is designed for its use, a pass through terminal commuter station to the loop that serves a single line. It's not Union or Ogilvie, both deal with much higher passenger loads and multiple lines with different frequencies. A full train shed and large waiting room are irrelevant to 95% of users as nobody waits for trains in the station, most walk directly onto the next scheduled train and wait there. The waiting room is sized for the people using it, riders purchasing tickets and off-peak users (I've never seen it full outside of after the occasional weekend festival in the city). Southern access will be nice, but until recently most people would never actually go south of van buren. The station is boring, innocuous, and completely competent to its task.

nomarandlee Mar 21, 2011 3:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5208220)
LaSalle is underused, but it doesn't have room for expansion unless they start tearing down adjacent buildings. It's also an absolutely crappy station. It has one tiny room for waiting, and the rest of the station is outdoors and unsheltered. The station really only exists at the whim of the Chicago Stock Exchange that it wraps around.

Are we sure LaSalle station couldn't be expanded? It seems from looking at bing maps that there is room for another platform, perhaps two, if it expanded towards S.LaSalle St. Perhaps one more track could be built towards Finacial Place.

To bad that the old train shed was knocked down years ago, it looks like in its hayday it was pretty grand.

nomarandlee Mar 21, 2011 6:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5208528)
Too bad they demolished the train shed during the Depression.

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/94/lasalle6.jpg

A bit OT....Why did the railroads have no issue having train shed even with diesel train exhaust? If we did it back then would it theoretically be any less doable to reconstruct them today to house over diesel trains or would it be deemed a health hazzard.

ardecila Mar 21, 2011 6:57 PM

The old train sheds were built in the steam era, so they got pretty smoky. From what I understand, they worked great for diesel trains. The problem was that they were difficult to maintain, so they often sprung leaks. This is why Chicago stations tore down numerous train sheds and replaced them with lower canopies.

It's perfectly possible to build a modern train shed... I'm guessing the air quality would be better than it currently is at Ogilvie or Union, since the warm exhaust would rise to the top and exit through vents. If designed properly the shed uses natural convection to refresh the air.

They've built plenty of train sheds in Europe. My favorite is in Dresden, where Norman Foster's shed ties seamlessly into the Beaux-Arts station.. There are also lots of modernist sheds that aren't barrel-vaulted, like Lisbon's Gare do Oriente.

Mr Downtown Mar 22, 2011 3:41 AM

I could be wrong, but I actually have the impression that smoke exhaust worked better (in relative terms) with steam locomotives than with diesels because the steam locomotives had taller smokestacks that were just a few inches below the smoke slots. That's one of the reasons Union Station's trainsheds were so low, requiring a novel cross-section. That could also be one reason for the demise of the high balloon trainshed at LaSalle Street. The smoke was highly corrosive and the structural members would have significant deterioration after a few years.

For the Daily News building, extensive tests were done with a mockup structure in the CB&Q yards, and Holabird & Roche eventually developed a technique of using an expansion chamber directly above the slots where the smokestacks exhausted. The air from that expansion chamber could then be drawn up and out at the roof by mechanical fans and the stack effect.

ardecila Mar 22, 2011 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5209956)
I could be wrong, but I actually have the impression that smoke exhaust worked better (in relative terms) with steam locomotives than with diesels because the steam locomotives had taller smokestacks that were just a few inches below the smoke slots. That's one of the reasons Union Station's trainsheds were so low, requiring a novel cross-section. That could also be one reason for the demise of the high balloon trainshed at LaSalle Street. The smoke was highly corrosive and the structural members would have significant deterioration after a few years.

Right, that's my point. The balloon trainshed was ill-suited to steam power and the low trainsheds were/still are ill-suited to diesel power. The Rock Island made a poor choice tearing down their balloon trainshed, because the implementation of diesel power only a few years later rendered the steam issue moot.

While we're on the subject of rail terminals, it's aggravating to me that Metra has not rebuilt the baggage platforms at Union Station for passenger use. They are wider than the passenger platforms, and more importantly, free of columns. Using both sets of platforms at the same time would greatly reduce congestion. Alternatively, the baggage platforms could be demolished and the tracks moved closer together, creating wider platforms spaced every two tracks.

Quote:

For the Daily News building, extensive tests were done with a mockup structure in the CB&Q yards, and Holabird & Roche eventually developed a technique of using an expansion chamber directly above the slots where the smokestacks exhausted. The air from that expansion chamber could then be drawn up and out at the roof by mechanical fans and the stack effect.
http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/8903/cdnk.jpg
Popular Mechanics, August 1928

Beta_Magellan Mar 23, 2011 6:32 AM

Pretty off-topic, but I was walking from Wabash and Congress to Wabash and Washington this afternoon and never had to stop walking—every light was green as I crossed each street. I’ve read about the possibility of calibrating signals so as to match pedestrian flows rather than traffic flows in downtown areas, although typically in a speculative, just-throwing-it-out-there kind of way. I doubt that the lights on Wabash were timed to accommodate walking (and my typical pace is somewhat brisker than your average Chicagoan, anyway), but is there a reason for the timing on Wabash to be so favorable to a speed that wouldn’t be so quick for car traffic, or is it just a side effect of timing of the lights on the east-west streets?

MayorOfChicago Mar 23, 2011 7:57 PM

^ I can actually almost always walk from Wacker to State Street along Randolph and hit only green lights. I have to walk at my fast speed though, if I get behind a bunch of slow moving cows it screws everything up. I think it's just the timing of lights. I randomly know when and where I'm going to hit red lights when I do my usual routine during the day.

ardecila Mar 23, 2011 8:28 PM

Yeah, same. I need to be walking briskly but it is possible to go continuously down Randolph. It's weird, because running doesn't help; you'll just hit a red light and waste time waiting.

Rizzo Mar 24, 2011 3:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5211830)
Pretty off-topic, but I was walking from Wabash and Congress to Wabash and Washington this afternoon and never had to stop walking—every light was green as I crossed each street. I’ve read about the possibility of calibrating signals so as to match pedestrian flows rather than traffic flows in downtown areas, although typically in a speculative, just-throwing-it-out-there kind of way. I doubt that the lights on Wabash were timed to accommodate walking (and my typical pace is somewhat brisker than your average Chicagoan, anyway), but is there a reason for the timing on Wabash to be so favorable to a speed that wouldn’t be so quick for car traffic, or is it just a side effect of timing of the lights on the east-west streets?

Walking at a slightly brisk and constant speed, you can get lights on Michigan Avenue to be all green when crossing from Wacker to Chicago. Chicago Avenue always ruins everything. And if you miss the signal, you wait for eternity.

Mr Downtown Mar 24, 2011 3:04 AM

For decades, CDOT has ensured that signals in the Loop were set to accommodate pedestrians.

VivaLFuego Mar 24, 2011 3:28 PM

Yeah, while the lights are synchronized for all E-W and N-S streets, I do believe the cycles are timed to basically be a multiple of average walking speeds. I forget the precise number, but if you set the right pace (somewhere around 3.5mph, I think) you should hit nothing but green.

J_M_Tungsten Mar 24, 2011 7:29 PM

Not sure of the date on this, but a pretty cool picture I found of the wacker drive project here http://wackerdrive.net/Photos/

http://i592.photobucket.com/albums/t...rogress-01.jpg

ardecila Mar 24, 2011 8:26 PM

Holy crap! These are the first photos I've seen of the river tunnels since they closed in the 1950s! The tracks and cobbles are still intact! So cool...

I wonder if they'll get into the Van Buren tunnel when they get down to that section in 2012.

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/7...progress06.jpg
http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/918...progress07.jpg

Mr Downtown Mar 25, 2011 3:45 AM

I'm not clear why the Wacker rebuild involves the streetcar tunnel at all. The roof of the tunnel should be at least 4-5 feet below the new Lower Wacker slab. I think the "Van Buren" tunnel is even deeper.

Nexis4Jersey Mar 25, 2011 8:05 AM

what are they doing to the Tunnels?


All times are GMT. The time now is 2:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.