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

Busy Bee Nov 11, 2008 6:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShawnP. (Post 3905137)
I just read that Chicago could be the hub of a high speed rail network. It would only take 3 hours to get to St. Louis. This beats the fluctuating gas prices and agony of traffic congestion. http://eastgatevillage.wordpress.com...speed-network/

http://www.midwesthsr.org/

Mr Downtown Nov 11, 2008 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3904747)
The city advertises to outsiders, "Hey, come take these perfectly reusable bridges away piece-by-piece and make us look green," but they can't figure out a way just to reuse them here?

Where in the city do we need a two-lane load-limited bridge that short? The Division Street bridge is only 92 feet long. Polk and Taylor will have to be 159 feet to match Harrison and Roosevelt. The North Branch is already spanned every four blocks. I suppose you could use one at Pratt on the North Shore Channel, or to provide park access at Berteau, Grace, or Roscoe—but that won't be popular with the neighbors on the opposite bank. Once you get onto the North Branch west of Kedzie, you only need a concrete beam to bridge the river for cyclists and peds.

honte Nov 11, 2008 9:06 PM

^ Well, you've got some good ideas. I'm still thinking there might be a way to rework them for Division Street itself. I'd rather see a new bridge created out of pieces of the old than have it disappear entirely. The probably saves resources and would retain the history, albeit in a mutilated form. Sometimes structures that get revised become historic again and are actually enriched by this process - say, Reid Murdoch building.

Mr Downtown Nov 11, 2008 9:29 PM

I like your idea of twinning the bridges side by side at Division, but I wonder if there's an overhead clearance or weight restriction that makes them a problem for truck traffic? You might have to weld the two halves together with a new structural member underneath.

So what actually became of the old North Avenue Bridge? Is it sitting in a ward yard somewhere?

honte Nov 11, 2008 10:05 PM

^ Yes, it's probable that the bridges would need to be stiffened. That's not an issue since they don't have to operate any longer. Another issue is steel fatigue - the members would need to be inspected from flange-to-flange to ensure there were no indications of fatigue, but the reality is that many engineers would rightly say that a lot of members have to be discarded anyway as they are approaching or have surpassed their useful life. In any case, where there's a will there's a way.

The coolest thing about the two-bridge proposal is that due to the fact there are two spans on Division street, Chicago could still get a glamorous new bridge on one span (probably near the Kennedy) and the adaptive reuse of both bridges on another.

I don't know what became of North Avenue, but I think it just got scrapped.

denizen467 Nov 12, 2008 3:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3905346)
Where in the city do we need a two-lane load-limited bridge that short?

For peds over Odgen Slip to DuSable Park?


But if there be no more water to span - - - then let's think outside the crick:


St. Charles Air Line?
Bloomingdale Trail/Rail?
Adaptive reuse like in a vertical mall or across 35th St in the new Comiskey escalator thingy?
Over or near a lagoon in one of the big parks?
Incorporate it somehow into the Museum of Science and Industry grounds as more of an exhibit than as a functional bridge?

I suppose it could be an expensive proposition for such non-vehicular settings, but costs could possibly be limited since the loads would be lesser and only portions need be transplanted.

10023 Nov 12, 2008 4:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShawnP. (Post 3905137)
I just read that Chicago could be the hub of a high speed rail network. It would only take 3 hours to get to St. Louis. This beats the fluctuating gas prices and agony of traffic congestion. http://eastgatevillage.wordpress.com...speed-network/

It's only 300 miles. Real high speed rail would take an hour and a half, two hours tops.

Busy Bee Nov 12, 2008 3:50 PM

Well lets figure it has say 7 stops: Joliet, Dwight, Pontiac, B/N, Lincoln, Springfield and Alton. Each stop takes 3-5 minutes, that is conservatively 25 minutes in station loading + unloading. Plus the metro area entry and exit w/ associated speed caps and switching, probably taking another 20 minutes.

300 miles in 3 hours minus 45 minutes of non at-speed berthing and slow zones = ~135 mPH


So, I would say that while this would be considered a really fast train, it fails to reach what the public considers (at least Europe and Japan) true high speed rail and what current technology makes possible, which I would define as + 170 mPH.

Thoughts?

VivaLFuego Nov 12, 2008 3:59 PM

Once you're maintaining track, rolling stock and right-of-way in excess of 90mph, things get exponentially more expensive the faster the speed, and intercity rail becomes less and less cost competitive with flying. Something in the 110-125mph range (the latter requiring grade separation) is probably a "sweet spot" wherein costs are reasonable and the mode is highly competitive in travel time for trips of 50-250 miles in length.

ChicagoChicago Nov 12, 2008 4:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3906889)
Once you're maintaining track, rolling stock and right-of-way in excess of 90mph, things get exponentially more expensive the faster the speed, and intercity rail becomes less and less cost competitive with flying. Something in the 110-125mph range (the latter requiring grade separation) is probably a "sweet spot" wherein costs are reasonable and the mode is highly competitive in travel time for trips of 50-250 miles in length.

What's the feasibility of doing this for Amtrak? It's essentially a government agency at this point.

ardecila Nov 12, 2008 8:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 3906875)
Well lets figure it has say 7 stops: Joliet, Dwight, Pontiac, B/N, Lincoln, Springfield and Alton. Each stop takes 3-5 minutes, that is conservatively 25 minutes in station loading + unloading. Plus the metro area entry and exit w/ associated speed caps and switching, probably taking another 20 minutes.

300 miles in 3 hours minus 45 minutes of non at-speed berthing and slow zones = ~135 mPH


So, I would say that while this would be considered a really fast train, it fails to reach what the public considers (at least Europe and Japan) true high speed rail and what current technology makes possible, which I would define as + 170 mPH.

Thoughts?

Why so many stops? A real HSR line would stop in Joliet, Bloomington/Normal, and Springfield only...

VivaLFuego Nov 12, 2008 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 3906907)
What's the feasibility of doing this for Amtrak? It's essentially a government agency at this point.

This gets very complicated from a legal standpoint (not even getting into the funding) because very large chunks of the trackage and right-of-way upon which Amtrak operates is owned by freight railroads. Generally freight railroads won't turn down free money to upgrade their tracks, but they'll fight tooth and nail against restrictions on the number and timing of freight trains they can operate, and expect compensation for any restrictions imposed including the use of their right-of-way. The last point can be illustrated by CTA paying Union Pacific rent to operate the Green Line on the embankment in Oak Park, despite there being no detriment to UP's operations.

honte Nov 12, 2008 11:00 PM

^ What's the history of that embankment? Was it always this kind of arrangement?

I'm sure this is on the great ChicagoL site; just don't have time to dig for it. A very brief answer would be more than enough. Thanks.

Busy Bee Nov 13, 2008 1:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3907532)
Why so many stops? A real HSR line would stop in Joliet, Bloomington/Normal, and Springfield only...

Maybe so, but the new high speed train isn't going to somehow bypass some of these smaller city stations. I can imagine politics and the "safety police" would have something to say about the future of midwest travel not stopping at their depot.

Only if bypasses are built around such communities for the high speed trains and regular slow 'local' trains making all stops will this not be an issue.

Mr Downtown Nov 13, 2008 3:44 AM

Before 1962, the Lake Street L line ran at grade level in Oak Park. In 1962 it was moved to the Chicago & North Western Ry. embankment by removing (I think) one railroad track and shifting the others northward. In the Anglo-American legal system, it is customary to pay rent for the use of another's property.

VivaLFuego Nov 13, 2008 4:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3908647)
B In the Anglo-American legal system, it is customary to pay rent for the use of another's property.

Yes, but this pithy remark doesn't do justice to the railroads being given land grants by the government in the first place. It's not like the railroad operators meticulously assembled continuous and straight rights-of-way extending across the amber waves of grain by tirelessly negotiating to acquire each individual parcel in a linear fashion. The railroads were and are quasi-regulated privately-owned utilities vital for interstate commerce. I think it's fair to say that it's a bit more complicated than "oh yeah well obviously the government should pay rent to use a privately-owned utility that only exists because of government intervention and protection in the first place."

But yes, the ROW is owned by UP (formerly CNW), so CTA pays rent on it. I brought up the Green Line to illustrate that railroads will try to obtain compensation even when the public transit service utilizing their ROW has no impact on their ability to move freight. This has ramifications both in terms of law and cost for any sort of HSR system.

honte Nov 13, 2008 4:49 AM

Thanks for the quick answer, Mr. D.

Mr Downtown Nov 13, 2008 5:52 AM

The Galena & Chicago Union received no land grants. It indeed bought "continuous and straight rights-of-way extending across the amber waves of grain by tirelessly negotiating to acquire each individual parcel in a linear fashion."

The "Basic Agreement" between NRPC and the railroads (for trackage rights) was renegotiated, presumably to the satisfaction of all parties, in 1996.

VivaLFuego Nov 13, 2008 6:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3908945)
The "Basic Agreement" between NRPC and the railroads (for trackage rights) was renegotiated, presumably to the satisfaction of all parties, in 1996.

I don't think it unreasonable to assume that any sort of significant capital construction-intensive HSR program, particularly if it includes increased operating subsidy for increased passenger service frequencies, will test the limits of the agreements in place. But I'm no railroad law guru, so I won't blow smoke about the -precise- implications.

Anyway, the broader point in response to the original question is merely that since Amtrak operates much of its service on tracks and ROW owned by others, any sort of HSR implementation on the existing network becomes legally complicated and is subject to certain additional costs (in terms of time, money, etc.) relating to the necessity to work with (or, in spite of) the railroads who own the ROW.

Nowhereman1280 Nov 13, 2008 7:57 AM

I saw something different on the 151 tonight. There was some kind of plexiglass shield/door that separated the driver from the aisle. Has anyone seen these before, it appears to be some kind of protection for the driver from rowdy passengers or maybe to keep people from falling onto the driver when the bus is packed during rush hour. Never seen this before and was just curious.


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