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Pink Jazz Mar 1, 2016 5:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 7354350)
Maybe I'm nuts, but the 3200's can't possibly be that old, the cars on the "Charlie Line" were built in 1926, and the RTA still manages to keep them running; are these newer cars designed to be replaced (like today's bad Computer Printer), instead of maintained? 'Sup??

The 3200s will only be replaced if the options are picked up. In the meantime, CTA is currently doing a mid-life overhaul with 3200s with new color LED destination signs similar to the 5000s, rebuilt propulsion systems, door motors, and wheel/axle assemblies, as well as brand new air conditioning systems.

The reason for their planned replacement is that CTA wants to move to a 100% AC-powered fleet. The 3200s were the last cars to use the less efficient DC motors. There was an earlier proposal that would have converted the 3200s to an AC fleet, however, this proposal was deemed to not be economically feasible.

ardecila Mar 1, 2016 6:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7354127)
The real problem is FRA buff strength requirements. Anything operating on real "steam road" railroad tracks has to be big and heavy enough to survive a crash with a freight train. That means it can't be allowed to run on the same tracks as CTA trains. FRA rules have even forbidden side-by-side running at the same level of rapid transit and suburban rail lines.

If you can solve the grade crossing problems on the Milw-W, your best bet is to come in to O'Hare from the south, from Bensenville.

AirTrain in NYC was originally intended to be compatible with LIRR so that trains could run from Penn Station to JFK directly. I think that idea fell through for the reasons you mention.

CTA Gray Line Mar 1, 2016 7:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 7354514)
AirTrain in NYC was originally intended to be compatible with LIRR so that trains could run from Penn Station to JFK directly. I think that idea fell through for the reasons you mention.

That is the main reason I propose using a group of existing Class I MED Rolling Stock to provide an in-city Lakefront Rapid Transit service -- no FRA rules conflict, MED locals and expresses (and NICTD trains) presently run side-by-side all day long!

denizen467 Mar 5, 2016 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7354127)
The real problem is FRA buff strength requirements. Anything operating on real "steam road" railroad tracks has to be big and heavy enough to survive a crash with a freight train. That means it can't be allowed to run on the same tracks as CTA trains. FRA rules have even forbidden side-by-side running at the same level of rapid transit and suburban rail lines.

I vaguely remember something about FRA rules but wasn't sure they instantly foreclosed all discussion. For example, is it that the CTA trackbed has physical limitations, or is it that the CTA railcars simply are put at risk by sharing with the fortified trainset? What if the fortified trainset is beefy enough to share with Metra (via creative crumple zones or something) but not so heavy-rail-ish as to pancake the poor straphangers in a Blue Line collision?

And can the side-by-side prohibitions be escaped by erecting a concrete wall of modest height?

Quote:

If you can solve the grade crossing problems on the Milw-W, your best bet is to come in to O'Hare from the south, from Bensenville.
Not Schiller Park and Rosemont, but Bensenville? What is this secret back door route?

SolarWind Mar 6, 2016 5:58 PM

Union Station Transit Center
 
March 4, 2016


Pink Jazz Mar 7, 2016 9:10 PM

According to a post on ChiTransit.org, the award of the 7000-series contract is expected to be announced this Wednesday.

ardecila Mar 8, 2016 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 7360302)
I vaguely remember something about FRA rules but wasn't sure they instantly foreclosed all discussion. For example, is it that the CTA trackbed has physical limitations, or is it that the CTA railcars simply are put at risk by sharing with the fortified trainset? What if the fortified trainset is beefy enough to share with Metra (via creative crumple zones or something) but not so heavy-rail-ish as to pancake the poor straphangers in a Blue Line collision?

FRA-compliant railcars are like tanks. Rapid transit cars are like aluminum cans. Legally, the two cannot share the same tracks without some kind of FRA waiver.

FRA has historically not granted this type of waiver without a strict time separation that would be unworkable in the case of the Ohare Express.

An OHare Express sharing both Metra and CTA tracks with lightweight trains would require all heavyweight service, including Metra and freight, to be banished to night time which is obviously a nonstarter.

denizen467 Mar 8, 2016 1:27 PM

^ UP-NW has at least 3 tracks all the way to Jefferson Park; can't they spare one for dedicated "aluminum" heavy rail use?

Anyhow, I assume not, so convert the Blue Line to 1-track service between the airline terminus and Jefferson Park and then run the airport express (as "heavyweight" heavy rail) out on UP-NW, across a connector at Jefferson Park, and down a dedicated 1-track line all the way into the terminals. Each of the Blue Line and the airport express could have a 2-track section for opposite-direction trains to pass each other at or around the River Road yard.

It's convoluted and has issues. But you get a perfect airport express route, with no grade crossings, as close to a straight line as you could get, and as close to ideal terminals as you could reasonably ask for.

In a future phase, when the Kennedy is a parking lot and if some serious federal money materialized for this, dedicated tracks along the UP-NW alignment could be built, since there seems to be space for it. (One day UP will probably be rebuilding those viaducts anyway like it's having to do in Ravenswood now.) At that stage you could downgrade the express to a CTA-caliber trainset and revert to normal 2-way operation between Jefferson Park and the air terminals; construction of the connector would effectively have just been a first phase of this.

ardecila Mar 8, 2016 7:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 7363042)
^ UP-NW has at least 3 tracks all the way to Jefferson Park; can't they spare one for dedicated "aluminum" heavy rail use?

Yes, but you have to build a very expensive reinforced crash wall and multiple feet of separation between tracks. CTA did side-by-side tracks on the Orange Line, but such a configuration would not be allowed today following several crashes that occurred in other cities where light rail and freight shared a right-of-way.

Quote:

One day UP will probably be rebuilding those viaducts anyway like it's having to do in Ravenswood now.
Metra rebuilt all the viaducts between Montrose and Armitage back in the late 90s, so those should not need replacement for many decades.

Mr Downtown Mar 8, 2016 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 7360302)
Bensenville? What is this secret back door route?

The Milw-W runs along the south edge of the airport, easily visible across Irving Park Rd. from Runway 10R/28L. It's almost exactly the same distance from Terminal 2 as the Wisconsin Central is, and any tunneling would be on airport property.

aaron38 Mar 9, 2016 2:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 7363042)
^ UP-NW has at least 3 tracks all the way to Jefferson Park; can't they spare one for dedicated "aluminum" heavy rail use?

UP-NW is 3 tracked all the way out to McHenry County, and has one of the highest ridership of Metra's lines. The middle track is the express, morning rush inbound, evening rush outbound. No, it can't be spared.

ardecila Mar 9, 2016 4:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 7364137)
UP-NW is 3 tracked all the way out to McHenry County, and has one of the highest ridership of Metra's lines. The middle track is the express, morning rush inbound, evening rush outbound. No, it can't be spared.

The segment in question for OHare Express only includes 4 stations (Clybourn, Irving Park, Jefferson Park, Gladstone Park) and these are actually some of the most widely-spaced stations on the whole line.

Metra doesn't do a lot of passing on these tracks, and arguably even the express trains should stop at Jeff Park, like they do at Clybourn. It's possible to run a pretty busy schedule of express trains on two tracks, which Metra already does on UP-N.

Pink Jazz Mar 9, 2016 5:52 PM

Looks like CSR America has won the 7000-series contract:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...309-story.html

Now let's see if Bombardier files a protest.

ardecila Mar 9, 2016 7:41 PM

CTA Press Release with Images:
http://www.transitchicago.com/news/d...ArticleId=3524

The bid called for three alternate exteriors and three alternate interiors, I'm guessing CTA has not yet chosen which design they want from CSR but they shared the renderings below:

http://i64.tinypic.com/219yyv5.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/2v1koat.jpg

Pink Jazz Mar 9, 2016 8:05 PM

Those end caps seem to be a throwback to the now-retired 2200-series cars, except colored blue.

Busy Bee Mar 9, 2016 11:32 PM

As for the fronts, not bad actually. I was expecting something much more mundane - or understanding how adventuresome the cta is, otherwise identical to 5000s, 3200s et al.

Busy Bee Mar 9, 2016 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pink Jazz (Post 7365042)
Those end caps seem to be a throwback to the now-retired 2200-series cars, except colored blue.

Which is a good thing, since, industrial design speaking, the Budd 2200s were IMO easily the snazziest to ever run - minus the blinker doors maybe.

ardecila Mar 10, 2016 1:16 AM

I'm not sure I like the exact hue of blue they've chosen, but in concept I like the baby blue that starting to crop up as a unifying motif for public transit in the city (Divvy, Ventra, 5000-series interiors, etc).

Busy Bee Mar 10, 2016 1:25 AM

Yeah i was just going to mention that. I'm sure the periwinkle shade shown in these renderings is for the most part meaningless. I would actually prefer a charcoal or platinum color on the noses, similar to the old Pullman 2000s cars, not a bold or bright color.

Pullman Standards with the charcoal noses:

http://www.chicago-l.org/trains/gall...0/cta2054b.jpg
Chicago-L.org

Busy Bee Mar 10, 2016 1:26 AM

Another rendering showing front view of one of the three exterior proposals:

http://www.trbimg.com/img-56e08155/t...1850/1850x1041
http://www.trbimg.com/img-56e08155/t...1850/1850x1041


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