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denizen467 Jul 12, 2011 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5344068)

Quote:

work is to be done on the Red Line south and on the Evanston Purple Line el

Did they not mean Red Line north? The Dan Ryan branch was just redone. Unless they're referring to Congress thru the Chinatown portal or something.

k1052 Jul 12, 2011 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5344717)
Did they not mean Red Line north? The Dan Ryan branch was just redone. Unless they're referring to Congress thru the Chinatown portal or something.

Half the Dan Ryan branch is under track slow zone orders.

schwerve Jul 12, 2011 1:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5344717)
Did they not mean Red Line north? The Dan Ryan branch was just redone. Unless they're referring to Congress thru the Chinatown portal or something.

The previous Dan Ryan Red Line project did not involve any track work, just station rehabilitation and upgraded electrical systems.

ardecila Jul 12, 2011 3:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 5344804)
The previous Dan Ryan Red Line project did not involve any track work, just station rehabilitation and upgraded electrical systems.

No, it did involve track work. They just didn't rebuild track on the northern section of the line due to budget constraints. Now they have to go back in and finish the job.

The "crumbling viaducts" in Evanston are actually a sloped embankment, which doesn't need rebuilding. They simply need to replace a few of the bridges over streets (like the Metra UP-N project in Chicago) which is far, far cheaper than what is needed in Chicago, where the retaining walls holding the embankment up are failing.

CTA's already replaced quite a few bridges in Evanston already (probably 1/3 of the total). The one at Main has some really unusual brickwork.

schwerve Jul 12, 2011 3:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5344884)
No, it did involve track work. They just didn't rebuild track on the northern section of the line due to budget constraints. Now they have to go back in and finish the job.

my mistake, there was some, the most detailed description of the work done in the previous project I've found was here:

http://www.chicagonow.com/cta-tattle...-line-project/

I don't know if that's what was in the original project scope or refined scope after budget constraints.

Beta_Magellan Jul 12, 2011 4:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Haworthia (Post 5343989)
I think a smart system would work if Metra had its conductors use a handheld device which calculated the cost of the fair. It could work like a Chicago card where proximity is sufficient to read it. I could then print a receipt. UPS uses something like this right now. They might be able to re-purpose something like that.

I would find this very convenient. For instance, I have two rides left on a 10 ride Zones B-F. I would love to use that money for the CTA or to go B->A. As it is, this ticket will go to waste.

On Chinese buses there were roving fare collectors with card readers strapped around their neck, so it's not improbably.

However, this won't be any quicker than having someone check your ticket--might even be a bit slower. And having to rely on a card system means the vendor will take a nice cut of fare revenue. The only advantage would be that Metra could continue to not have vending machines at a number of their stations (which is a pet peeve of mine--I just moved from Hyde Park, where stations have machines, to just south of the Clybourn stop, which does not, meaning I have have to go through the old-timey railroad ticket buying routine whenever I ride Metra).

Mr Downtown Jul 12, 2011 6:40 PM

Hey, just count yourself lucky that Metra now takes that newfangled paper money.

Chicago Shawn Jul 13, 2011 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5343493)
Yeah... as a daily Metra commuter, I'm having difficulty envisioning how a smartcard system would work.

Unless there's also fare integration, whereby I can have a discounted transfer from Metra to CTA, it doesn't really make sense. It's really not any more convenient to carry one unified card vs. a Metra monthly pass and my Chicago Card. In fact, it's more convenient to carry both - if I misplace one, I still have the other one to get me where I'm going via a less-convenient route.


The Docklands Light Railway in London does not have turnstiles either, you just have to find the location to tap in and tap out of the stations at the entrance/exit. Took me a while to find it the first time I rode the DLR. I'd imagine Metra could do a similar set up with a tap-in attached to a vending machine that could print a validation receipt. This would work for pay-per-use, 10 ride or Monthly. This is also how all transportation in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany is set up.

BorisMolotov Jul 13, 2011 3:15 AM

Quote:

For instance, I have two rides left on a 10 ride Zones B-F
I'll take it off your hands for you

Beta_Magellan Jul 14, 2011 5:12 PM

Quote:

Metra gets $157 million. It will use some to buy 30 new cars for its south suburban Electric Line, and the rest to rehabilitate stations in Flossmoor, Hazel Crest, Cicero, Naperville, Fox River Grove, Geneva and Elmhurst and at 79th Street in the city.
Is this referring to the 79th Street infill station on the Rock Island line or rebuilding the 79th Street Metra Electric staion?

ardecila Jul 14, 2011 11:26 PM

It's the one on the Rock Island. Metra hasn't shown any signs that they want to rebuild local stations on the Metra Electric, especially if the South Lakefront Corridor Study comes back with a recommendation for a CTA-ization of the local service. In that case, complete responsibility for rebuilding of the stations would fall on CTA.

A large part of it is a lack of organization in the communities along the Electric line. Auburn-Gresham Community Development Corp has been pushing hard for the Rock Island station for nearly 10 years now.

OhioGuy Jul 15, 2011 5:48 PM

CBS Chicago: CTA Puts Yellow, Orange Extensions On Hold

Quote:

The Chicago Transit Authority is putting two proposed rapid transit extensions on hold as it tries to cope with its latest financial crisis.
Quote:

“What we need now is a state of good repair,” he [Forrest Claypool] said. “We have slow zones now on the Red Line, south side, that are 15 miles an hour. The slow zones north? You get cattle cars because of that.

CTA officials have said that they have unmet capital repair and reconstruction needs that approach $10 billion.

He said the Orange Line and Skokie Swift extensions are not dead. Rather, he said, planning will continue so they can “be taken off the shelf” if finances improve.

ardecila Jul 15, 2011 7:43 PM

Well, this just confirmed what we've all known for quite some time now... CTA will prioritize the Red Line projects over everything else.

It's a smart move, really... the Yellow Line was controversial and it's not like the residents of Ashburn and West Lawn are clamoring for more rail transit. Meanwhile, the south Red Line brings rail transit to a vast, dense, unserved swath of the city, and the north Red Line will improve conditions for hundreds of thousands of choice riders, as well as the city's densest areas.

spyguy Jul 15, 2011 10:05 PM

Rendering of the Loyola CTA station renovation
http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/6658/picture2uxz.jpg

ardecila Jul 16, 2011 1:26 AM

Is this going on the east or west side of Sheridan?

I love the bus shelter, but it doesn't fit with the red-brick Loyola-esque McDonalds.

Mr Downtown Jul 16, 2011 3:43 AM

^West side of Sheridan.

ardecila Jul 16, 2011 4:46 AM

Ah. I was hoping it might replace the service drive for Fordham.

Still, this is a huge improvement over the crappy McDonalds/Brunos building that's there right now.

denizen467 Jul 16, 2011 8:26 PM

So is this all being developed by CTA (seeing as this is the transit thread)? If so, is there any talk it will actually happen in the next decade or so, or is the plan just vaporware right now?

ardecila Jul 17, 2011 5:58 AM

^ Are you referring to the Loyola project? I believe Loyola itself is paying for that, as a component of the "Loyola Station" redevelopment. It doesn't look any more ambitious than the North/Clybourn renovation, which cost $4 million.

Presumably, the cost of station renovations will be defrayed by the rent that McDonalds is paying... a prime spot across from a college campus probably commands a high rent. Proceeds from The Morgan will probably be spent as well.

sammyg Jul 23, 2011 7:03 PM

5000 order made
 
According to Bombardier, the CTA ordered the production of the 706 5000-series cars.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...11+HUG20110720

J_M_Tungsten Jul 23, 2011 7:35 PM

^^^ I read up a bit on those new cars. Apparently aisle facing seats? Like the ones in DC? Are they going to be quieter though, or is that more of a track issue? Also what lines will these be put on? I would imagine the top 3: red, blue, and brown.

oshkeoto Jul 24, 2011 8:37 AM

^ I think they're mostly going to the Blue Line, which has the oldest cars in the system at the moment.

ardecila Jul 25, 2011 5:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 5356504)
^^^ I read up a bit on those new cars. Apparently aisle facing seats? Like the ones in DC? Are they going to be quieter though, or is that more of a track issue? Also what lines will these be put on? I would imagine the top 3: red, blue, and brown.

CTA has 1168 railcars in service. The total number of 5000s on order is 706, which means that over half of CTA's fleet will be replaced.

It's hard to say where the cars will be placed in service. The Blue Line is currently running the oldest, most failure-prone cars, so those will be taken out of service and probably replaced with 5000s. After that, the 2400s on the Purple and Green Lines need replacement, but CTA may shuffle some less-old 2600s or 3200s to those two lines, and place the new 5000s onto the Red/Brown Lines where the additional standing room is needed.

Apparently, since the new cars run with AC motors that accelerate differently than all of CTA's current DC fleet, they can't be mixed into trains with older cars. This will limit CTA's flexibility in introducing the new cars.

electricron Jul 25, 2011 5:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5357837)
CTA has 1168 railcars in service. The total number of 5000s on order is 706, which means that over half of CTA's fleet will be replaced. Cars will go to the Blue Line first, followed by the Purple and Green Lines, followed by the Red Line.

The Brown Line will probably be one of the last lines to see 5000-series railcars, if ever, since it already has relatively-new 3200-series cars that still look pretty spiffy.

Apparently, since the new cars run with AC motors that accelerate differently than all of CTA's current DC fleet, they can't be mixed into trains with older cars.

How many 3200 series railcars do they have? The break even point would be 462. If less than that, and all other older railcars are decommissioned, that would be a decrease in the total number of railcars.

ardecila Jul 25, 2011 5:46 AM

^^ The 2600s will remain in service for the forseeable future, along with the 3200s. Since that means an overall increase in CTA's fleet, it gives CTA some wiggle room to change service patterns (either by increasing the train frequency or expanding the system) if money becomes available.

ardecila Jul 25, 2011 9:28 PM

The next cycle track will go in on Jackson between Damen and Halsted, according to a CDOT press conference today. I'm assuming it will omit the block between Ashland and Laflin through the Jackson Boulevard historic district (Jackson along that block is too narrow).

I wish they would extend the cycle track to Desplaines St in order to preserve the "feeling of safety" across the Kennedy.

VivaLFuego Jul 25, 2011 10:37 PM

While I haven't heard of any final plans yet, one of the constraints with the 5000s is that apparently they're very finicky about having all their wheels balanced --- meaning that, at least in the near-term, upon delivery all the new cars should have easy access to a wheel truing machine (lathe) or operate on a line that doesn't rack up many car-miles per assigned railcar, on average. At the moment, I believe such wheel truing lathes are located only at Skokie Shops and 54th, with one being installed (or maybe recently installed, not sure) at Midway.

J_M_Tungsten Jul 25, 2011 11:40 PM

^^^ would the tracks be causing excessive wear?

ardecila Jul 26, 2011 4:50 AM

^ Interesting. That means the 5000s will probably go to Red/Yellow/Purple, Pink, or Orange. My money's on Purple and Red, then... Emanuel and Claypool seem to be really pushing this "Your Red" initiative. Placing the new railcars there seems to jive with the extensive expansion/rehab projects.

Speaking of which, I noticed this in the corner of my eye on a placard at North/Clybourn today... CTA seems to be keeping it relatively quiet.

Quote:

Open house: August 2, 2011

You’re Invited to Join the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) at an Open House on The Red Line Extension:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
St. John Missionary Baptist Church
211 E. 115th St
Chicago, IL 60628

This location is accessible to people with disabilities and is served by CTA bus routes #34, #111 and #119, and Kensington Station on the Metra Electric District.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is proposing to extend the Red Line from the 95th Street Station to the vicinity of 130th Street, subject to the availability of funding. The proposed 5.3-mile extension would include three new intermediate stops near 103rd, 111th, and 115th streets, as well as a new terminal station in the vicinity of 130th Street. Each new stop would include bus and parking facilities. This project is one part of the Your Red Program to extend and enhance the entire Red Line.
I'll be there. Can anybody else make it?

CTA Gray Line Jul 26, 2011 5:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5358996)
^ Interesting. That means the 5000s will probably go to Red/Yellow/Purple, Pink, or Orange. My money's on Purple and Red, then... Emanuel and Claypool seem to be really pushing this "Your Red" initiative. Placing the new railcars there seems to jive with the extensive expansion/rehab projects.

Speaking of which, I noticed this in the corner of my eye on a placard at North/Clybourn today... CTA seems to be keeping it relatively quiet.



I'll be there. Can anybody else make it?

I will be there, and I am trying to get Sen. Martin Sandoval and Rep. Cynthia Soto to attend also -
to point out to them exactly how the $1.4 Billion RLE would extend and entrench CTA's wasteful competition with Metra.
(Part of the reason for the newest "Fare Increases and Service Cuts" Doomsday).

I will also be at their Hearing this coming Friday, can anyone else attend:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/site/n...,3067633.story

ndrwmls10 Jul 26, 2011 5:30 AM

Has light rail ever been considered to connect neighborhoods?

the urban politician Jul 26, 2011 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ndrwmls10 (Post 5359027)
Has light rail ever been considered to connect neighborhoods?

^ Light rail?

OH MY GOD! That thought never crossed our mind!

I'm calling Mayor Emanuel right now

emathias Jul 26, 2011 3:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ndrwmls10 (Post 5359027)
Has light rail ever been considered to connect neighborhoods?

A less sarcastic answer is that Chicago used to have the largest streetcar system in the world, but tore it all out and replaced it with buses. Sometimes when they do construction on the streets, you can see the remnant rails still embedded in the streets under pavement.

In the late 1980s-early 1990s, there was a downtown lightrail Circulator proposed that would have run through and around the Loop to connect the West Loop and the Michigan Avenue area. When I first moved here in 1995, there were still posters in the Presidential Towers talking about the plan. That went nowhere for a variety of reasons, including that having light rail in one of the densest areas in North America wouldn't have really added much value.

Finally, in general light rail wouldn't add much, if any, value over either a regular bus line or a Bus Rapid Transit implementation. In the few places it would, heavy rail (like the "L") might be the better choice simply from a system integration standpoint. Grade-separated lightrail would likely cost nearly as much as new "L" service to implement and wouldn't be able to be integrated with any other existing "L" lines. Street-running lightrail would be relatively cheap to implement but would be slower than buses in nearly every case. The places where it might be most interesting to add, such as through Lincoln Park (the actual park, not just the neighborhood), or along the Boulevards system, would create safety issues or run into opposition because it would take some park land.

In general, improvements to the existing bus service would be cheaper and probably more effective than anything light rail could add. Even in the American city most famous for light-rail, Portland, it provides a mix of service that Chicago's "L" already provides, or when it runs through downtown on surface streets is often slower than buses running parallel routes.

Illithid Dude Jul 26, 2011 3:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5359285)
A less sarcastic answer is that Chicago used to have the largest streetcar system in the world

Ah-hem. Actually, L.A. had the largest rail system in the world, at over 1000 miles. But anyways, carry on.

emathias Jul 26, 2011 4:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Illithid Dude (Post 5359291)
Ah-hem. Actually, L.A. had the largest rail system in the world, at over 1000 miles. But anyways, carry on.

I said "streetcar", so I stand by my assertion.

Your claim is only really true if you include the entire SoCal area, including interurban lines. Counting only the tram-style streetcars within a defined city (or even within a contiguous collection of cities), LA proper never had that many miles of trackage comparable to Chicago's. The fact that one company ran the streetcars in all the SoCal communities doesn't mean that they were comparable to Chicago or Buenos Aires.

To be comparable to Chicago, since the 1,000 mile number for SoCal includes interurbans, and multiple towns, you'd have to include Chicago's interurban lines that went as far north as Milwaukee and as far west as South Bend. And you have to add in all suburban streetcar lines in the Chicago area. You might even want to add in the "L" routes, since early on the "L" was quite literally streetcars running on elevated tracks. And since you said "rail" you'd also have to include all the commuter rail routes in Chicago.

ardecila Jul 26, 2011 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5359285)
Grade-separated lightrail would likely cost nearly as much as new "L" service to implement and wouldn't be able to be integrated with any other existing "L" lines.

Actually, a light-rail subway is significantly cheaper than a heavy-rail subway, because the platforms are so much shorter and you usually don't need to build a mezzanine (people can cross the tracks at grade).

Using light-rail also lowers your costs overall because the trains can move to grade level once they move outside of congested areas.

This is why both LA and Toronto are pursuing light-rail, even though they both have massive congestion and existing heavy-rail systems.

Mr Downtown Jul 28, 2011 2:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5359441)
a light-rail subway is significantly cheaper [because] (people can cross the tracks at grade).

Can you name a place where that's ever actually been done? Even thinking about the pre-metro portions of Brussels or Cologne or Dallas, any time it's in subway you're not permitted to cross the tracks.

ardecila Jul 28, 2011 7:14 AM

Queens' Quay, Toronto

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2327/...d262cd10_z.jpg
flickr/sniderscion

Illithid Dude Jul 28, 2011 3:57 PM

The problem with Light Rail is that most implementations of it are nothing more then glorified buses, and when it is built grade separated then it becomes Light Metro and just as expensive as heavy rail. I never got the Light Rail boosters, Heavy Rail is always so much better.

emathias Jul 28, 2011 4:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5361306)
Can you name a place where that's ever actually been done? Even thinking about the pre-metro portions of Brussels or Cologne or Dallas, any time it's in subway you're not permitted to cross the tracks.

Is there any place in the underground portion of Boston's Green Line you can cross tracks?

nomarandlee Jul 28, 2011 5:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5359441)
Actually, a light-rail subway is significantly cheaper than a heavy-rail subway, because the platforms are so much shorter and you usually don't need to build a mezzanine (people can cross the tracks at grade)..

Also theoretically in Chicago's case the places where LRT potentially could run below or above grade (Carol St, Grant Park bus way, St. Charles Air Line, Bloomington Line) already exist and I think would be much easier to adopt to LRT lines compared to reconfiguring such lines/routes to heavy rail.

Subway cars aren't even a theoretical option to run on Carol Street or the Grant Park bus way. In the Bloomington/St.Charles such lines could be reconfigured as part of L routes I suppose but you would eventually have to hook them into expensive or logically impossible new below/above routing infrastructure anyway.

lawfin Jul 28, 2011 6:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5359381)
I said "streetcar", so I stand by my assertion.

Your claim is only really true if you include the entire SoCal area, including interurban lines. Counting only the tram-style streetcars within a defined city (or even within a contiguous collection of cities), LA proper never had that many miles of trackage comparable to Chicago's. The fact that one company ran the streetcars in all the SoCal communities doesn't mean that they were comparable to Chicago or Buenos Aires.

To be comparable to Chicago, since the 1,000 mile number for SoCal includes interurbans, and multiple towns, you'd have to include Chicago's interurban lines that went as far north as Milwaukee and as far west as South Bend. And you have to add in all suburban streetcar lines in the Chicago area. You might even want to add in the "L" routes, since early on the "L" was quite literally streetcars running on elevated tracks. And since you said "rail" you'd also have to include all the commuter rail routes in Chicago.

I really wish there was a google map overlay with the old CSL route map on it....Just to get a better idea of the coverage and the ability to zoom down to intersections would be cool.

any of the map whizzes on here interested in doing that?

emathias Jul 28, 2011 6:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5361918)
I really wish there was a google map overlay with the old CSL route map on it....Just to get a better idea of the coverage and the ability to zoom down to intersections would be cool.

any of the map whizzes on here interested in doing that?

I have a 1940s maps of it on my living room wall, and just based on that there are way too many routes for me to volunteer to do that!

sukwoo Jul 28, 2011 7:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5361817)
Is there any place in the underground portion of Boston's Green Line you can cross tracks?

Sure, at Park St station (http://www.flickr.com/photos/photos_...ce/3446652102/)

ardecila Jul 28, 2011 8:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5361928)
I have a 1940s maps of it on my living room wall, and just based on that there are way too many routes for me to volunteer to do that!

The problem is that, just like the bus routes of today, the streetcar alignments tended to be fairly complex, zigging and zagging up various different streets. Drawing a map that only showed streetcar LINES (tracks) but not actual routes, would be easier.

The routes tended to change over the years, so you'd need to pick a given year if you wanted to make a map.

ardecila Jul 28, 2011 8:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5361817)
Is there any place in the underground portion of Boston's Green Line you can cross tracks?

Actually, the first example that came to mind for me was Copley in Boston, but I must have been confusing it with Park Street.

Copley doesn't have a mezzanine, but it doesn't have a pedestrian crossing either. There's no free way to switch directions.

Park Street is a weird place... I'm surprised they allow the at-grade crossing, since the tracks are curved and the sight lines to approaching trains are very short.

emathias Jul 28, 2011 9:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5362051)
The problem is that, just like the bus routes of today, the streetcar alignments tended to be fairly complex, zigging and zagging up various different streets. Drawing a map that only showed streetcar LINES (tracks) but not actual routes, would be easier.

The routes tended to change over the years, so you'd need to pick a given year if you wanted to make a map.

This is more or less the maps I have - I think mine is a couple years different, but it's largely the same:

Chicago-L.org map

Mr Downtown Jul 28, 2011 11:26 PM

Chicago streetcar map here.

ndrwmls10 Jul 29, 2011 12:31 AM

I was thinking about something like the streetcar map. Much less, more of a circulator and connector to each neighborhood. I know that it would never happen, but would it be a good idea and would it spur economic development?

Rizzo Jul 29, 2011 3:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5362281)

Occasionally, I'll see some roadwork dig really deep and you'll see the old streetcar lines. Some were almost 10" below the surface. Currently a set of tracks are exposed on Halsted while the road substrate is rebuilt for the bridge approaches. I have some awful phone photos.


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