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IrishIllini May 5, 2018 12:04 AM


Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 8177310)
People in Glenview need to be kicked in the nuts

I'd be so pissed if they wasted my tax dollars over fighting a measly 3 additional round trips. Its impact is minimal, as compared to freight trains.

The snobbery in America has reached epic levels. People need an ass whippin'


ardecila May 5, 2018 1:18 AM

^ Especially considering that Amtrak stops in Glenview! No love for a train line that directly connects them to a major airport and two different major cities. Meanwhile Lake Forest is all in a tizzy because its elected leaders dared to lobby for Amtrak stopping in their town.

At this point Amtrak should simply lay on the horn nonstop through these communities as punishment.

Honestly, the reason the plan calls for a holding track between Glenview and Northbrook is because that section of line has no grade crossings, so no roads will be blocked by an idling freight train. Also, the land around said section of track is mostly industrial or commercial, so there are very few residents who will even be affected.

trvlr70 May 7, 2018 1:24 PM

Glenview and Lake Forest are just pissed off that they weren't forward thinking like Winnetka - where the village actually lowered the train tracks so that they were below grade. It really keeps the noise levels in check (not to mention provides a measure of safely the other towns don't have).

ardecila May 7, 2018 2:40 PM

^ Has nothing to do with "foresight". Winnetka got lucky during the late years of the Great Depression, and received a huge infusion of Federal money from the PWA because Harold Ickes wanted to help out his hometown.

It's not likely that other communities could have accomplished similar projects. Even the mandatory grade separation in Chicago was done by elevating the tracks, as that would not cause drainage problems or undermine adjacent buildings. It was also done at a time when the railroads held tremendous amounts of cash (the Apple/Facebook of their day) and could simply write off the $1.6B cost (adjusted) of citywide grade separation as a rounding error.

Mr Downtown May 7, 2018 2:46 PM

^Also, the death of Ickes' niece in a grade-crossing accident made him particularly receptive to the idea. And the presence of an actual hill at Indian Hill made it easier to engineer.

Steely Dan May 7, 2018 7:37 PM

and wilmette got pinched between evanston's elevated northewestern tracks and winnetka's trenched ROW and had to make up the difference, so it got screwed with the worst of both worlds - at-grade street crossings located at the top of a berm.

ardecila May 8, 2018 3:27 AM

Ah, yes... so much cringing while driving over the tracks there. "Is this the day my car bottoms out?"

Randomguy34 May 11, 2018 9:19 PM

This is actually quite exciting

Metra to introduce new roundtrip ticket


Metra announced today it will introduce the "Round Trip Plus" pass in late summer, which will offer unlimited rides for 24 hours for the same price as a roundtrip ticket, or $7.50 for those traveling from the River Forest and Oak Park stations to Chicago. Customers will be able to purchase these tickets through the Ventra mobile application.

"A lot of people are getting more work from home options, and more working four days a week for 10 hours, so there's a lot more flexibility in the workforce and this product was introduced to meet those needs," said Meg Reile, Metra spokesperson.

Round Trip Plus was introduced for riders who travel on more than one Metra line on a given day, riders who wish to make multiple stops along a single Metra line or riders desiring a round-trip ticket.

bnk May 12, 2018 1:54 AM

Yes that's great news above thank you for posting that. We in the lowly burbs use Metra a lot, not just to commute daily to a Downtown job but the rest of us use it to get into the city without the insane car traffic and parking fees. Those that do commute Monday-Friday do get good deals when they buy monthly passes though.

It is so cheap it must be subsidized by some faction. The routine improvements in the rail line, million dollar new stations, Locomotive replacement and repairs ( their new rail cars included too), and just the diesel fuel consumption alone cannot be paid in full by the relatively paltry fares IMO unless ridership is so high it would make sense. But Metra does not compare to the number of riders on the L, Which IMO is sub superior in almost ever aspect of traveling on a heavy rail network.

We need a Senate and House to keep up the investment in Urban and Suburban Rail. I know we lost a lot from the post Obama years. Hopefully a city metro centric POTUS and congress and cycle back and help in such needed financial assistance.

I was a season ticket holder to the Cub games for almost a decade. I took the Metra 90% of the time all the way on the NW line from Crystal Lake. ( ending at Harvard) btw. I hate that place the Illinois town of (Harvard) personally for my own reasons.

I'm not a daily commuter like I know many are, friends, family and whatnot but I appreciate Metra rail more than the average born in the city, not step one foot out of it unless one goes on vacation, and will die there, more than any city resident any day of the week.

It would be very affordable for family's esp

Kind of like the 5 dollar all you can ride tickets and kids were free on the weekends not to long ago.

Alas the price went up just a little more now for the same pass that was the same price for like 20 years so I understand prices that cheep cannot last forever.

On a side note I would like to just post this general link below about future transit options out there.

I do admit that the ideas are pretty old but it would be awesome to see even a little bit of it.

It does not mention covering rail tracks in the south end of Grant Park much but the rest of it is visionary ( it appears to have been established in the great reign of the Obama/LaHood era but is still updating their website )


emathias May 12, 2018 3:46 AM

Press for the 78 references a new L station - has there been any mention on where they want it?

Via Chicago May 12, 2018 4:05 PM

Ex-Amtrak CEO Suggests Current Amtrak Management Secretly Moving to Eliminate Chicago-centered Long Distance Network

ardecila May 12, 2018 4:28 PM


Originally Posted by emathias (Post 8185559)
Press for the 78 references a new L station - has there been any mention on where they want it?

Renderings show a new underground station on the Red Line at 15th/Clark, with the main entrance taking the place of the ventilation structure on the SE corner.

Thinking about the construction staging, it definitely seems feasible to build. If the cut-and-cover method is used, it almost seems straightforward to build a station with two new side platforms.

Most of the so-called "station box" would be built off-street beneath private property, and only Clark St would need to remain open through the construction site. Red Line trains would need to flow through the zone on weekdays, but the concrete tunnel lining can be daylighted and used to protect the trains while work continues on the outside. CTA can send the Red Line trains "over the top" to the elevated tracks on weekends as necessary, and then back into the subway at 13th St.

There's obviously plenty of room for staging west of Clark, even more room after the Metra tracks get relocated. Looking at CTA cab videos, it doesn't seem like the track in this area is especially curved or sloped, so it might be possible to build a reasonably level, straight platform. Not sure if the existing tunnel is deep enough to allow a mezzanine to be constructed above, if it is too shallow then the station might have to be built with two separate and disconnected platforms for northbound vs southbound trains, potentially with a transfer tunnel beneath track level.

LaSalle.St.Station May 12, 2018 6:33 PM

I was wondering, is there any way to move the south union station staging yards farther south to open up all that close in real estate . I.e. an expanded rock island 43rd st yard or the row West of sox park?

Kngkyle May 12, 2018 8:11 PM

Good. The long distance routes make no sense and drain Amtrak's already meager funds. Those funds would be better used improving the short and medium length routes that are actually competitive with driving and flying.

nomarandlee May 12, 2018 9:38 PM


Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station (Post 8185958)
I was wondering, is there any way to move the south union station staging yards farther south to open up all that close in real estate . I.e. an expanded rock island 43rd st yard or the row West of sox park?

I think a great trade would be a new yard where Sox Whatever Park it is now is located. Put a new sports complex south (and maybe north) or Roosevelt where the current yards are. Maybe in part a new Westside park where the UC lots are.
The Sox will never draw at the Ball Mall and it is time they face that fact. The UC still holds up pretty well even if it not cutting edge or modern by any means. And the Bulls/Hawks have put a good deal of investment by the UC in recent years. But eventually, if a Sox park were a draw there then maybe an arena on whatever side of Roosevelt a new Sox park was on. That location may be the Sox last best chance to be relevant in this city long-term.

Chi-Sky21 May 13, 2018 2:25 PM

If you are moving the rail yard, move Sox park to where the rail yard was....a park on the river with home plate at the southwest corner so you have skyline views from the main seating area....have housing and entertainment area built on the rest of the site. And of course link it all to the new Clinton street subway that would now run up to Finkl steel site. Best part is you would have no NIMBYS cause nobody lives there! I got a couple hundred bucks to get it started!

Kngkyle May 13, 2018 3:40 PM


Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station (Post 8185958)
I was wondering, is there any way to move the south union station staging yards farther south to open up all that close in real estate . I.e. an expanded rock island 43rd st yard or the row West of sox park?

This will inevitably happen at some point in the future but probably not for at least 20-30 years. Once 'The 78' is finished and the South Loop is fully built out there will be enough pressure to develop that site. Riverfront land next to downtown is too valuable for it to remain a train yard for long once all other plots are developed. Although the transit connections are currently horrible... development of that site is a further reason for the Clinton street subway.

Busy Bee May 13, 2018 4:15 PM

I would be against using valuable land closer to the Loop for a new Sox Park. If anything if it ever does move from 35th it should be further out, not further in, and closer to the actual fanbase that frequents the stadium. Truth be told, if the actual center of gravity vis a vis actual game day ticket buyers was measured, you'd place the stadium way down south or southwest. A spot on Lake Calumet in Pullman comes to mind among others or if you completely disregarded transit accessibility somewhere in the SW burbs down by Chicago Ridge or something.

But I have another perfect spot. How about at the fork of the Dan Ryan and the Skyway, 63rd and State, west of the NS rail yards. It's the historic location of the Englewood station and could be revived with a development of this size. It's the perfect size for an awesome ball park "campus" with parking acreage and Metra/Cta accessibility. The enviro clean up would probably cost a few pennies, but the site is begging for a more prominent use.



Chi-Sky21 May 13, 2018 5:00 PM

Honestly i am fine with where it is, just pick it up and rotate 90 degrees west.....does not need to be banished further south....this notion that ALL sox fans are only from the south side is not true. If you were to move it out of the city i would just move it to the southwest or west burbs somewhere.

ardecila May 17, 2018 3:31 AM

With the state budget crisis, I don't know why they aren't looking to develop the parking lots around Sox Park. It would be great to push the parking into garages and build a real neighborhood around the ballpark. It's not a bad location, it just needs a different vibe.

As for the railyards - eventually, in 40-50 years' time, that parcel will be needed for downtown growth and it can be decked over. Right now, though, it's not just a Metra yard but also Amtrak's yard servicing countless regional and long-distance trains. BNSF and several Amtrak services branch off at 15th St, so the current location is, in fact, the most efficient one. A yard further south or southwest would require trains to deadhead between Union Station and the yard, tying up track space that could be used by actual trains with passengers on them.

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