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

Busy Bee Jun 17, 2024 2:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 10227188)
The BNSF is all three tracks to the end in Aurora and was optimized for high speeds during the streamliner era. There's a reason they call it the "Racetrack". A fourth track has been contemplated, but the wealthy NIMBYs in western suburbs will fight that tooth and nail, similar to LIRR's Main Line.


Not if it's seasoned with some hugely beneficial grade separations. That might get them to roll over.

Busy Bee Jun 17, 2024 2:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 10227188)
Metra is rolling out battery EMUs on Rock Island in a few years and they are open to using that rolling stock on other parts of the system if they can work the kinks out. I'm skeptical that battery technology will be reliable enough for Chicago winters, though.


Plus god knows what the affect will be with the sharks.

ardecila Jun 17, 2024 3:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 10227194)
Not if it's seasoned with some hugely beneficial grade separations. That might get them to roll over.

LOL, I doubt it. Grade separations are big, ugly and disruptive to downtowns. Caltrain has run into the NIMBY buzzsaw on plenty of grade-sep projects, I don't think Metra/BNSF is any different.

BNSF also doesn't really have an issue with blocked crossings like some other parts of the country, so keeping the status quo isn't very painful to residents/drivers. BNSF keeps freight trains moving, with colossal staging yards at Eola and Cicero and trains shuttling non-stop between them. The high train volume means a lot of overall downtime at grade crossings, but only for short periods. And the busiest roads are already grade-separated.

k1052 Jun 17, 2024 4:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 10227188)
Any "regional rail" overlay service should go to the North Shore, which historically had the interurban as well as CNW commuter service. It's low density but at least highly walkable, and there's been a trickle of new housing developments in those downtowns too. If you're just going to where the density cuts off, I would suggest Wilmette as the terminus, but you could go all the way to Lake Forest before there is any kind of freight conflict.

I'm not opposed to that but those towns would probably throw a major hissy over accommodating a layover area and charging infrastructure.

Nouvellecosse Jun 17, 2024 4:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 10227188)
Metra is rolling out battery EMUs on Rock Island in a few years and they are open to using that rolling stock on other parts of the system if they can work the kinks out. I'm skeptical that battery technology will be reliable enough for Chicago winters, though.

Fortunately I haven't heard of cold temps affecting battery reliability. Batteries have less range when cold but the reduction is quite predictable and is something that one can plan for. You just need a higher capacity to allow for the drop, and adding a battery warming system which are becoming quite common on electric cars also helps.

Busy Bee Jun 17, 2024 5:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse (Post 10227286)
...and adding a battery warming system which are becoming quite common on electric cars also helps.

Isn't that kind of like a wheel rotor turbine? The energy to warm the batteries is still coming from the batteries is it not? Or is it from solar or regenerative braking or something?

Nouvellecosse Jun 17, 2024 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 10227291)
Isn't that kind of like a wheel rotor turbine? The energy to warm the batteries is still coming from the batteries is it not? Or is it from solar or regenerative braking or something?

Yes the energy comes from the battery bus it draws less power than one gains from keeping the battery in an optimal operating range. Like if a vehicle had a 200 mile range at 70F but only a 150 mile range at 10F, the warming system might draw enough power to lower the 70F range from 200 miles to 190 miles. But the since the battery is at optimal temp, the 10F range is then also around 190 miles. And of course it takes more power to heat the interior for the passengers so you're using more total energy when it's cold, but it's something fairly easy to predict. So the fact that it comes from the battery isn't really relevant.

Bonsai Tree Jun 17, 2024 5:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 10227188)
Metra is rolling out battery EMUs on Rock Island in a few years and they are open to using that rolling stock on other parts of the system if they can work the kinks out. I'm skeptical that battery technology will be reliable enough for Chicago winters, though.


Any "regional rail" overlay service should go to the North Shore, which historically had the interurban as well as CNW commuter service. It's low density but at least highly walkable, and there's been a trickle of new housing developments in those downtowns too. If you're just going to where the density cuts off, I would suggest Wilmette as the terminus, but you could go all the way to Lake Forest before there is any kind of freight conflict.

This is already the plan- the RTA put in a grant request from the feds for more electric train sets beyond what Metra already bought

Quote:

$125 million for Metra to purchase 32 battery-powered trailer cars and 8 docking stations that will allow Metra to retire 16 of its oldest diesel locomotives and add service on three high-ridership lines: Union Pacific North, Milwaukee District West, and the Rock Island Beverly Branch. Metra plans to become the first passenger rail provider in the U.S. to introduce battery-electric trains.
https://www.rtachicago.org/blog/2024...-climate-goals

Busy Bee Jun 17, 2024 5:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse (Post 10227313)
Yes the energy comes from the battery bus it draws less power than one gains from keeping the battery in an optimal operating range. Like if a vehicle had a 200 mile range at 70F but only a 150 mile range at 10F, the warming system might draw enough power to lower the 70F range from 200 miles to 190 miles. But the since the battery is at optimal temp, the 10F range is then also around 190 miles. And of course it takes more power to heat the interior for the passengers so you're using more total energy when it's cold, but it's something fairly easy to predict. So the fact that it comes from the battery isn't really relevant.

So you're saying it's complicated? ;)

SIGSEGV Jun 17, 2024 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 10227341)
So you're saying it's complicated? ;)

I think it's both complicated and well-understood.

Randomguy34 Jul 3, 2024 1:44 AM

Something curious I came across: an article from The Guardian interviewed Andy Byford about high speed rail projects in the US. Some familiar projects like CAHSR and Brightline West were discussed. In addition, the article casually lists an Illinois High Speed Rail project from Chicago to St. Louis in 2 hours, and says it's in early stages of planning. The travel times for projects are taken from either the project websites or directly from Amtrak. There's nothing on the Illinois HSR commission page that says it will have 2 hour travel times, so this makes me wonder if Amtrak is somehow involved and provided the numbers to The Guardian.

I did find from the commission's May meeting that they are studying highway corridors, as well as the existing UP right-of-way, and will connect nearby towns/cities via branches. Interestingly, they list Metra's RID ROW and a potential route into Chicago. This would line up with Metra's plan to spend $1 billion to upgrade the RID for future Amtrak use. Hopefully we get more details soon.

https://i.imgur.com/XIckzxsh.png
Website: https://idot.illinois.gov/transporta...formation.html

Busy Bee Jul 3, 2024 2:15 AM

That's intriguing.

ardecila Jul 3, 2024 5:11 PM

2 hours is ambitious... that's a 150mph average speed end to end. Even if the train can do 220mph out in the cornfields there will inevitably be much slower sections entering/exiting Chicago and St Louis.

Certainly this kind of speed will not allow the reuse of the UP corridor - Illinois towns are much closer together than in California's Central Valley and each one will either require a bypass alignment around the town (curvy/speed penalties) or a costly viaduct thru the center of town. Really they're much better off using interstates or a true greenfield alignment.

Busy Bee Jul 3, 2024 5:50 PM

Also interesting they don't seem to be contemplating the Chicago-Champaign-Decatur-Springfield-St. Louis route long favored by the MHSRA (now HSRA). That HSR advocacy group have vision planned that route because they rightfully believe IMO that U of I would be a major ridership generator with roughly 60k students.

Randomguy34 Jul 3, 2024 7:57 PM

^ Rick Harnish, the executive director of HSRA, was appointed by the governor to be on the Illinois HSR Commission, so the governor and other members of the commission must know about the HSRA alignment. If it's not the route the commission is choosing, then it's likely they think it'll be cheaper or provide high-ridership to instead do a branch to Urbana-Champaign from a trunk line.

Fun fact, apparently Metra's CEO Jim Derwinski is the chair of the HSR Commission, so that probably is why the RID ROW is listed at the potential route into Chicago

ardecila Jul 4, 2024 12:03 AM

They have not ruled out the I-57 routing thru Champaign, as far as I can tell. They just showed the UP corridor as an example.

In addition to serving Champaign, another huge advantage of using the I-57 route is that you can use Metra Electric as the Chicago approach. It's already electrified (albeit DC), 100% grade separated and straight as an arrow... you could build a shoulder station at Calumet near the Tri-State, or Kensington with a Red Line and Metra Electric connection. It would save billions. The only downside is that it does not connect to Union Station, so they'd have to spend on that connection or use another downtown terminal.

Mr Downtown Jul 6, 2024 2:52 PM

Another factor in favor of IC via Kankakee is that, surprisingly, it gives a superior route to Indianapolis via the Big Four alignment. I'm told that's in much better shape than the ex-Monon through Rensselaer. Whether Indiana would be on board to help fund a route that skips the Region altogether is another question.

Randomguy34 Jul 9, 2024 4:13 PM

HOLY SHIT! At the Illinois Senate Transportation hearing, Metra said they'll experiment with hourly O'Hare-Union Station service for 10 days during the DNC. They eventually want 15-minute frequency. Metra also said, if they get more funding, they may consider a circumferential route like the STAR Line

I can't believe I'm saying this, but God bless Metra

twister244 Jul 9, 2024 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 10241678)
HOLY SHIT! At the Illinois Senate Transportation hearing, Metra said they'll experiment with hourly O'Hare-Union Station service for 10 days during the DNC. They eventually want 15-minute frequency. Metra also said, if they get more funding, they may consider a circumferential route like the STAR Line

I can't believe I'm saying this, but God bless Metra

Wait.... Wut??........

I really like Metra - I take it regularly out to my cousins in the burbs and it's a godsend of a service. Antecedent - I've noticed more and more people taking it too this Summer.

nomarandlee Jul 9, 2024 5:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 10241678)
HOLY SHIT! At the Illinois Senate Transportation hearing, Metra said they'll experiment with hourly O'Hare-Union Station service for 10 days during the DNC. They eventually want 15-minute frequency. Metra also said, if they get more funding, they may consider a circumferential route like the STAR Line

I can't believe I'm saying this, but God bless Metra

Not extending the ATS tracks over the NCS tracks a few hundred feet during the new car rental facility building is still one of the most shockingly idiotic planning fails I can fathom.


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