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Mr Downtown Jun 23, 2012 6:35 PM

I doubt there are really any reliable numbers. While outdoor lines do experience weathering, subsurface lines are constantly battling water infiltration, subsidence, and ground movement. Many railroad embankments are now 160-180 years old, and the only upkeep or repair has been routine replacement of running rails.

ardecila Jun 23, 2012 9:20 PM

That's a good point but we aren't really building earthen embankments anymore. Instead we're getting steel or concrete viaducts that probably won't last very long without ongoing and expensive maintenance or periodic replacement. Plus, even earthen embankments have steel or concrete overpasses that require periodic replacement... witness Metra's current UP-North project or the 40-year replacements on the expressway system.

J_M_Tungsten Jun 23, 2012 11:57 PM

Can someone explain why they never finished the railings and otheR detail work on 90/94 in the downtown area? It has been years and they still have concrete dividers and wood railings in many places.

untitledreality Jun 24, 2012 4:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5743300)
Say it takes 10 years until the extension is complete. Say it takes 3 years before funds are finished being sourced and the 95th station is complete. That would mean that $140 million gets 7 years of extra use. $20 million per year. 4 million riders a year. So you're spending $5 per rider for a short-term benefit.

How exactly is it a short term benefit? The added capacity wont cease to exist after the Red Extension is, or is not, completed. You could easily have another 40+ years of functionality before new work is needed (since the existing bus terminal has gone 43 years with only minor renovations)

So by your math, $140mm over 40 years, and a stagnant 4mm riders per year comes to 87.5 cents per rider... even if ridership falls off because of the Extension it would still be fairly low cost per rider.

ardecila Jun 24, 2012 2:23 PM

Because the capacity won't be used if the extension is built. Almost all the bus lines that currently terminate at 95th will be shifted to stations further south and 95th will be stuck with a ton of super-expensive bus bays that sit with nobody using them. Or, worse yet, CTA turns them over to Greyhound - a private company that is supposed to build its own terminals.

By contrast, $140 million could fund three or four infill stations on other areas of the system - Division Brown Line, Madison Pink Line, Damen Green Line, Western Green Line, etc.

Mister Uptempo Jun 24, 2012 5:41 PM

$240 million project to remake 95th Street CTA Red Line station
 
BY TINA SFONDELES Transportation Reporter tsfondeles@suntimes.com June 23, 2012 11:32PM

Terrible, cramped and decrepit.

That’s how CTA President Forrest Claypool describes the 95th Street Red Line station, one of the agency’s busiest terminals.

But under an ambitious $240 mil­lion plan to upgrade and expand the station, it will morph into a bright, airy and clean space, double in size with a sound barrier to block noise from the adjacent Dan Ryan Expy.

http://i.imgur.com/qlUV3.jpg
PHOTO CREDIT:Sun-Times

The glass-enclosed terminal will be spacious and filled with light, resembling O’Hare Airport, and its larger platforms will be able to hold more L passengers, according to conceptual designs from the CTA.

And it will have space for retail stores so riders can pick up a newspaper and a coffee for a ride into the city.

http://i.imgur.com/lPkdz.jpg
PHOTO CREDIT: Sun-Times

It’s not a pipe dream. This work is happening, the agency said, as soon as spring 2014.

More found on the Chicago Sun-Times website.

Personal Note - Funny how $140 million became $240 million all of a sudden. Leads me to believe, as others have noted, that the Red Line Extension may be a little longer in coming than originally planned.

ardecila Jun 24, 2012 6:13 PM

Woah, cool! Architecturally it doesn't seem on par with Morgan... Looks like the same galvanized-and-kalwall look of Howard.

Design concerns aside, it's really awesome to get a generous facility on CTA for a change after a century of tiny, cramped platforms with terrible sight lines. I hope Wilson is built equally spacious.

The mention of 10-car trains is also very intriguing. I know it was asked before, but are the State St subway platforms long enough to berth 10 cars? Lake, Monroe and Jackson have the continuous mega-platform but the remaining subway stations are isolated and tricky to extend.

VivaLFuego Jun 24, 2012 6:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5744237)
I doubt there are really any reliable numbers. While outdoor lines do experience weathering, subsurface lines are constantly battling water infiltration, subsidence, and ground movement.

Indeed, every right-of-way is different.

The expressway median lines, particularly those below ground level (Dan Ryan and Eisenhower), must fight a constant battle against standing water during heavy downpours when older drainage/pump systems are simply inadequate or unreliable. Aside from the obvious electrical system threats, poor drainage also causes premature degradation of ties and ballast. Trying to keep up by constantly replacing ties and ballast only treats the symptoms rather than the root cause.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5744971)
I know it was asked before, but are the State St subway platforms long enough to berth 10 cars? Lake, Monroe and Jackson have the continuous mega-platform but the remaining subway stations are isolated and tricky to extend.

Short answer is: Barely. There is an eternal debate (as yet unsettled, as far as I know) as to whether a computer-assisted berthing system would be required to reliably operate 10 car trains in the subway stations, but there is technically enough length with almost zero margin for variability.

Standpoor Jun 24, 2012 9:33 PM

^^^
I am not entirely sure I understand this project given what we have talked about with regards to the extensions/bus routes but this is clearly more than just some bus bays. Regardless of whether or not this makes sense, that is a pretty bad ass station.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5744237)
I doubt there are really any reliable numbers. While outdoor lines do experience weathering, subsurface lines are constantly battling water infiltration, subsidence, and ground movement. Many railroad embankments are now 160-180 years old, and the only upkeep or repair has been routine replacement of running rails.

Speaking of which:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7265/7...db46be66_z.jpg
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5341/7...4f0573c6_z.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8151/7...1e8e57d0_z.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8153/7...42b6e0fe_z.jpg
my photos

Beta_Magellan Jun 24, 2012 10:33 PM

^^^ Saw those on the UP-N line last Wednesday—any word on how the new Ravenswood station’s doing?

denizen467 Jun 24, 2012 10:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Standpoor (Post 5745113)

There's an image of one of those caisson-tube-or-not-a-caisson-tube tubes that we were talking about a couple months ago. Does the verdict still stand that they are indeed caisson tubes for supporting the viaducts? Is this the lowest ratio ever of above-ground structure height to caisson depth in our city...?

chicagopcclcar1 Jun 24, 2012 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5744971)
Woah, cool! Architecturally it doesn't seem on par
The mention of 10-car trains is also very intriguing. I know it was asked before, but are the State St subway platforms long enough to berth 10 cars? Lake, Monroe and Jackson have the continuous mega-platform but the remaining subway stations are isolated and tricky to extend.

The Initial System of Subways included that all stations be designed to accomodate 6 car trains of three compartment cars, each (articulated) compartment car being 88 ft in length. That works out to 528 ft, enough for 11 cars of 48 ft. length that the CTA uses.

So yes, 10 car trains will fit.

David Harrison

daperpkazoo Jun 25, 2012 5:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 5745221)
The Initial System of Subways included that all stations be designed to accomodate 6 car trains of three compartment cars, each (articulated) compartment car being 88 ft in length. That works out to 528 ft, enough for 11 cars of 48 ft. length that the CTA uses.

So yes, 10 car trains will fit.

David Harrison

I would like to add that I was told by a CTA official at one of the RPM meetings on the northside earlier this year that once RPM was complete, all Red Line platforms would be able to accommodate 10 car trains.

emathias Jun 25, 2012 6:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daperpkazoo (Post 5745423)
I would like to add that I was told by a CTA official at one of the RPM meetings on the northside earlier this year that once RPM was complete, all Red Line platforms would be able to accommodate 10 car trains.

Along those lines, what would it take to run longer *cars* on the Red Line?

ardecila Jun 25, 2012 7:26 AM

I asked that awhile ago... Depends on what you mean by "longer". Supposedly the State and Division subways were designed to accommodate 75' cars like New York's BMT, but later subways (Kimball, Howard-Dan Ryan) were designed with tighter curves and smaller clearances. I suppose after the Sheridan curve is straightened, CTA could run longer cars on a Howard-Midway route or something.

Really, I think it would be better to stick with the existing 48' car length but do articulated connections between cars. You get most of the capacity benefits of longer cars but without the expensive retrofits to tracks and tunnels. The only downside is that CTA would not get the greater stability at high speed which comes from a longer/wider wheelbase.

chicagopcclcar1 Jun 25, 2012 2:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5745461)
Along those lines, what would it take to run longer *cars* on the Red Line?

This comes up every so often, especially on railfan sites. The CTA is not going to run longer cars. Longer cars would never get around the tight curves built all over the system. The CTA can run LONGER TRAINS. All of the subway stations can accomodate a ten car TRAIN. Many of the expressway stations can accomodate ten car TRAINS. Many of the newer stations have space left to lengthen platforms so that ten car TRAINS can operate.

The reasons why the CTA will keep the 48 ft. length it uses is for compatibility. They are able to adjust their car fleet and transfer cars from one line to another without limitation. That ability is VERY desirable.

Finally, the subways were designed in the 1930s and yes, the curves were laid out to accomodate a 60 ft car. The stations were also laid out to accomodate a wider floor. The temporary extensions along the platform edges have beendestroyed, especially when they put the tactile strip in along the platform edge. Therefore today's and all future cars will have the 8 ft 8 in floor.

If CTA trackwork is ever improved, our trains can operate up to 70 MPH.

Please don't ask about running left-handed.

David Harrison

emathias Jun 25, 2012 5:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chicagopcclcar1 (Post 5745631)
...
Please don't ask about running left-handed.

David Harrison

Ok, I won't, but what about returning the Loop to running both the inner and outer track in the same direction as was once done? ;-)

chicagopcclcar1 Jun 25, 2012 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5745863)
Ok, I won't, but what about returning the Loop to running both the inner and outer track in the same direction as was once done? ;-)

That would adversely effect routes that are through-routed on the Loop like the Green line, the Brown-Orange so it ain't gonna happen.

Why would you want something like that?

David H.

chicagopcclcar1 Jun 25, 2012 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5745863)
Ok, I won't, but what about returning the Loop to running both the inner and outer track in the same direction as was once done? ;-)

I didn't see the map at first. At a time both the Oak Park 'L' (Lake Street) and the Northwestern ran left handed after they left the Loop. That's the reasons for the crossovers after Tower 18 (Lake/Wells) Good find.

David H.

Standpoor Jun 26, 2012 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5745171)
^^^ Saw those on the UP-N line last Wednesday—any word on how the new Ravenswood station’s doing?

As far as I now nothing has happened yet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5745184)
There's an image of one of those caisson-tube-or-not-a-caisson-tube tubes that we were talking about a couple months ago. Does the verdict still stand that they are indeed caisson tubes for supporting the viaducts? Is this the lowest ratio ever of above-ground structure height to caisson depth in our city...?

Yes and probably. I'll try and get a picture of one going into the ground if I can. My guess is the deep caissons will be needed when the current tracks and supports are removed. Digging out the current bridge supports would lessen the integrity of any shallow supported bridge, especially once the new western track becomes operational. Currently temporary cement supports are reinforcing the older spans.


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