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left of center Sep 4, 2023 11:17 PM

Wish it could be used for some sort of express service, but that wide median narrows by the time you get to Sacramento, so it would be probably unrealistic to widen the rest of the Blue Line ROW. The O'Hare branch of the Blue is much busier than the Forest Park branch, and would be much more deserving of an express option, especially since it would link the airport with the Loop. That is even less likely to happen, given the limitations of the O'Hare branch ROW. (Best bet is for an airport express would probably run on the NCS ROW)

SIGSEGV Sep 5, 2023 4:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 10030968)
Wish it could be used for some sort of express service, but that wide median narrows by the time you get to Sacramento, so it would be probably unrealistic to widen the rest of the Blue Line ROW. The O'Hare branch of the Blue is much busier than the Forest Park branch, and would be much more deserving of an express option, especially since it would link the airport with the Loop. That is even less likely to happen, given the limitations of the O'Hare branch ROW. (Best bet is for an airport express would probably run on the NCS ROW)

I guess theoretically you could run an O'Hare express service down the Eisenhower and then up the Altenheim Subdivision? Not sure how in use that is or if it can be double tracked the whole way...

ardecila Sep 6, 2023 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 10031300)
I guess theoretically you could run an O'Hare express service down the Eisenhower and then up the Altenheim Subdivision? Not sure how in use that is or if it can be double tracked the whole way...

This has always been my preferred alignment to O'Hare if money was no object, but I think you'd have a huge battle with River Forest. Another advantage is that you could set up Forest Park or Harlem as an intermediate stop with a big parking garage - this is especially useful if the trains go into the terminal complex instead of O'Hare Transfer which sucks.

That said, I think NCS is not a bad alignment, it can be triple or quad tracked similar to Toronto's Pearson Express. The key to that is rebuilding A-2 with a flyover so it can handle frequent trains throughout the day, and Metra needs to do that anyway.

twister244 Sep 6, 2023 4:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 10032016)
That said, I think NCS is not a bad alignment, it can be triple or quad tracked similar to Toronto's Pearson Express. The key to that is rebuilding A-2 with a flyover so it can handle frequent trains throughout the day, and Metra needs to do that anyway.

Yeah, I feel like NCS is the better way to go. I'm not a Metra expert, but it seems like it would be easier to add express trains to a set of tracks that isn't already packed with normal routes (like the Blue line). The only caveat is the current O'Hare station is way over by the multi-modal facility, so travelers would need to walk around and get onto the people mover, where the Blue Line lets you off right in front of the terminals without any need to take a people mover, unless you are going to T5.

Mr Downtown Sep 7, 2023 3:49 AM

CP (NCS) is a Class I headache that doesn't get you where you want to go anyway.

Metra already owns the Milw-W all the way out to Bensenville Yard. Branch off from there.

https://i.imgur.com/TwTkGLb.png

left of center Sep 7, 2023 9:27 PM

^ That would be the dream. I got to imagine that tunneling over a mile under active runways would be nightmarishly expensive however. I don't see our pols having an appetite for something like that anytime soon, despite the overwhelming economic benefits it would provide.

Wish we could have saved that worthless Block 37 "super station" money and put it towards this project. Instead, all we got was a useless station platform, and the closure of the Washington Red line station and the transfer tunnel to the Blue Line. And because its not being used, the city at some point will be responsible in paying the Feds back for their portion of that transit funding IIRC.

Mister Uptempo Sep 8, 2023 3:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 10031300)
I guess theoretically you could run an O'Hare express service down the Eisenhower and then up the Altenheim Subdivision? Not sure how in use that is or if it can be double tracked the whole way...

The High Speed Rail Alliance recently suggested using the Altenheim Sub for pulling all CPKC freights off the MD-W line east of Franklin Park.

The freights would turn south onto CN's Waukesha Sub (Metra NCS runs on the Waukesha Sub north of MD-W), continue onto CSX's Altenheim Sub eastbound, then turn south onto CSX's Blue Island Sub (former B&O Chicago Terminal tracks) out of town.

If even more capacity is required, trains running south on the Blue Island Sub could connect to CSX's Elsdon Sub (former GTW) at 49th Street, which also continues south out of the city.

The Elsdon and Blue Island Subs converge in Blue Island, and can connect to the CSX Barr Sub eastbound into Indiana, CPKC already has trackage rights on the Barr Sub.

Rerouting the freights in this manner would still give CPKC full access to their Bensenville Yard just south of O'Hare.

While not as whiz-bang as turning the Altenheim into an airport express route, it might be the most practical way of separating passenger and freight traffic, opening up enough capacity to allow for an airport express on the MD-W and keep CPKC from being able to control dispatching on that line as far as O'Hare.

lakeshoredrive Sep 8, 2023 4:34 PM

I just saw the news about the funding for the red line extension.

ardecila Sep 8, 2023 5:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 10032702)
CP (NCS) is a Class I headache that doesn't get you where you want to go anyway.

Metra already owns the Milw-W all the way out to Bensenville Yard. Branch off from there.

In an ideal world, sure.

But given the cost of tunneling in this country (especially for diesel trains) I think a better move is to simply build 2 dedicated tracks along NCS. Then you can widen I-190 to create space for Metra tracks next to the Blue Line. I-190 is supposed to be rebuilt anyway...

left of center Sep 8, 2023 6:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lakeshoredrive (Post 10034139)
I just saw the news about the funding for the red line extension.

Just heard about it as well. $2 billion from the feds, half of the cost of construction.

https://abc7chicago.com/cta-chicago-...sion/13752649/

Mr Downtown Sep 9, 2023 11:52 AM

What a shame. That's a lot of money that could have been used to build something actually useful for transit instead of this performative stunt.

nomarandlee Sep 14, 2023 3:51 PM

A good write-up on the proposed RTA/CTA restricting and sales increase

Quote:

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/poli...vCVNoZ2VBt35YM

.......At the heart of the plan is what amounts to a proposed massive regional deal in which City Hall would have to give up control of the Chicago Transit Authority, but in exchange get lots more money and relief from a current funding formula that the CTA argues has particularly worked against the interests of its riders........
..

sentinel Sep 14, 2023 6:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 10034718)
What a shame. That's a lot of money that could have been used to build something actually useful for transit instead of this performative stunt.

Why do you think this is a performative stunt? You don't believe people will benefit from the extension?

In your opinion, what would the funds be better used for?

Busy Bee Sep 14, 2023 7:35 PM

Do we seriously not know what the story is here?

Lets assume there is benefit here and the RLE will add ridership, the question is does one really believe this will act as an economic generator in the depressed neighborhoods it will run through? And if not - if the extension isn't some magic bullet that suddenly makes Roseland a great place to live and brings big TOD around every stop - can the Far South Side been connected to rapid transit at a much lower cost by just a simple median running extension, interface with Metra, Metra service increases and improved bus connections? 57 and 90/94 were literally built with this in mind. I know highway median rail transit is currently unpopular in transit and urbanist circles due to its harsh rider experience and low likelihood to generate dense walkable TOD, but like I said tge question needs to be asked whether this is likely anyways and whether a median running extension would have been suffucuent all things considered especially the likely siginificant cost savibgs that could be put to use in other much needed parts of the system. There's a shitload of politics involved here selling the extension in general as a racial and economic equity project which to a certain extent I agree with, but true necessity and the decided plans are significant open questions. Its unfortunate it has to be like this at all. RPM is a needed no brainer. Forest Park necessary. But this? Well I would say a good amount of people are doubtful. A Brown Line extension to Jefferson Pk or through running to O'Hare would likely be a much better use of limited capital.

Chisouthside Sep 14, 2023 9:42 PM

All I know is that I'm already looking at houses near the proposed stops.

Mr Downtown Sep 14, 2023 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sentinel (Post 10038438)
Why do you think this is a performative stunt? You don't believe people will benefit from the extension?

Only a tiny number.

The area it will serve is both remote and empty—and very unlikely to ever redevelop. It's low-density residential, nearly all zoned SFH, and industrial brownfields interspersed with forest preserves. Fewer than 20,000 people—total—live within a quarter-mile walk of all 4 RLE stops combined; the entire last mile runs through sludge drying beds and a sewage treatment plant. For that matter, the entire Riverdale Community Area has fewer than 2500 households.

But won't it spur redevelopment? That hasn't happened along the Green or Pink Lines. This is even further from Loop jobs, and a lot of the land simply can't be redeveloped. Chicago has no shortage of vacant land much closer in.

Only 27 people per day used the Metra 107th St Station in 2018. Only 31 boarded at 111th St. Altgeld Gardens already has express bus service that zips riders to 95th in 13 minutes. Roughly two dozen riders a day use it.

The capital cost for every projected user, even using the official inflated ridership estimates (13,000 per day), is a whopping $280,000. That's enough to buy a new Maybach for every person who'll ever use it. The additional operating costs of running empty trains to the sewage treatment plant and back would pay for chauffeurs for all those Maybachs.

The *cost per new rider* is nearly $100 ($6 was historically the general FTA threshold for worthwhile projects). Transit should be put where there’s density (of residents or jobs). Not where it’s cheap; or to pay political debts; or "because it's been promised for years."

https://i.imgur.com/n9R9H6l.jpg

Quote:

In your opinion, what would the funds be better used for?
"organization before electronics before concrete"

Fare integration between Metra and CTA would be the biggest bang for the buck. Even better would be to run the inner portions of some Metra lines as through-running S-bahn type service. So a new connection from the St Charles Air Line to Union Station through tracks could be really productive. If we need to lay any new rapid transit track, the Clinton subway is probably the most pressing need.

Nouvellecosse Sep 15, 2023 1:18 AM

The city already has an extensive radial network and while I'm sure there are expansion options that could be good, perhaps the funds should go toward some type of circumferential route at this point.

Bonsai Tree Sep 15, 2023 5:56 AM

I mean honestly I've always seen this project as a way to simply increase the yard space at the end of the Red Line. The current yard isn't nearly big enough, and if the CTA wants to run longer trains as part of the RPM they need a new yard. It's a yard extension disguised as an equity project. Is it worth it? Probably not- but will it allow longer red line trains- yes.

I also think this project shows everything that's wrong with our planning. It's dragged on so long that its original usefulness has expired for the most part. But the way that the Feds work (taking the most-planned project first) means that this was the first one on the list to go. It sucks, but it's the way it works. We can complain all we want about the money going to this project, but the CTA doesn't have another project at the immediate ready to get the money. So we are getting the RLE and hoping that the next project (RPM phase II hopefully) is more worth it.

It stinks that the Feds don't allow flexibility with transit money, but that's the way it's been, and it doesn't seem like that's changing anytime soon. And since it's so difficult to get a match with our low-on-funds region, we take what we get. I really hope that aspects of PART are adopted to invest more and create an agency with vision to actually plan and get things done in a timely manner for federal matches.

twister244 Sep 15, 2023 1:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sentinel (Post 10038438)
In your opinion, what would the funds be better used for?

1 - A connector route between Red/Brown - Blue - Green - Orange - back to Red.... Or at the minimal an attempt to start building segments of that out. Chicago is a massive city from a footprint perspective. Make it even easier for people to get around.

2 - BRT

ardecila Sep 15, 2023 2:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 10038469)
can the Far South Side been connected to rapid transit at a much lower cost by just a simple median running extension, interface with Metra, Metra service increases and improved bus connections? 57 and 90/94 were literally built with this in mind. I know highway median rail transit is currently unpopular in transit and urbanist circles due to its harsh rider experience and low likelihood to generate dense walkable TOD, but like I said tge question needs to be asked whether this is likely anyways and whether a median running extension would have been suffucuent all things considered especially the likely siginificant cost savibgs that could be put to use in other much needed parts of the system.

I don't think the expressway corridors were ever evaluated beyond this lolzy chart which did not even consider cost. There is a verbal description of the comparisons here but construction cost was not a factor at that stage.

I was at the meeting way back in 2007 (as a high school student) when this was presented, and I may have, uh, submitted a public comment against the expressway alignments... At the time I did not think we would still be in the planning phase 16 years later, nor did I think the project would end up costing almost $4B, probably more than $4B when all is said and done.

That said, I do feel the UP corridor is objectively the best alignment through the neighborhood and it will set Roseland/West Pullman up for success if they ever do redevelop.

https://i.ibb.co/DkTgdz9/Screenshot-...-15-093940.png
CTA Phase 1 Screening

k1052 Sep 15, 2023 2:49 PM

What big ticket CTA items would I use RLE money for instead?

Extend Brown Line to Jefferson Park
Clinton Subway

Kngkyle Sep 15, 2023 3:06 PM

It would be hard to come up with a worse way to spend $4b in transit dollars than the RLE. An epic waste of an opportunity.

moorhosj1 Sep 15, 2023 5:34 PM

The time for complaining about the RLE is long past. It was the next project on the list for CTA, having been studied and engineered. It is a part of the larger RPM project and an important way to add train yard space which is needed for longer trains.

If people want to be useful, we should be pushing the CTA on what the "next" project should be rather than rehashing the planning done by multiple administrations spanning decades.

If we want a Circle Line, BRT, Clinton Subway, or a Brown-Blue Connector we should be starting a campaign to get those projects on the list. They need to be studied, planned, and engineered before the Feds will give us money. That way, we can be ready in 20 years when the next opportunity comes.

Busy Bee Sep 15, 2023 6:50 PM

^Whether it was your intention or not that's a pretty strong argument for why there should be significantly more centralized transit planning done at USDOT and FTA. Cash strapped agencies seemingly don't have the resources, and thus motivation for boldness, to aggressively plan for major capital programs like extensions and new lines. The myopia seen with the 20th century federal highway system planning has passed. I believe it would be a tremendous positive to form a significant planning partnership between agencies and qualified planners in Washington - with a large percentage of planning and engineering costs covered by the feds. Maybe we'd see more than 2 major expansions in a lifetime and not waste billions of dollars on consultants to tell us how to design something.

moorhosj1 Sep 15, 2023 7:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 10039393)
^Whether it was your intention or not that's a pretty strong argument for why there should be significantly more centralized transit planning done at USDOT and FTA. Cash strapped agencies seemingly don't have the resources, and thus motivation for boldness, to aggressively plan for major capital programs like extensions and new lines. The myopia seen with the 20th century federal highway system planning has passed. I believe it would be a tremendous positive to form a significant planning partnership between agencies and qualified planners in Washington - with a large percentage of planning and engineering costs covered by the feds. Maybe we'd see more than 2 major expansions in a lifetime and not waste billions of dollars on consultants to tell us how to design something.

Yes, all of that would be great. Having one regional transportation alliance would also be great, rather than Metra, Pace, and CTA fighting for power. In reality, we need to work within the system that exists or risk getting nothing.

SolarWind Oct 5, 2023 12:55 AM

Damen Green Line Station - Lake Street and Damen Avenue
 
September 25, 2023


SolarWind Oct 5, 2023 12:55 AM

Blue Line Forest Park Branch Rebuild - Phase I
 
September 28, 2023


jpIllInoIs Oct 5, 2023 4:30 PM

Clearly this would be the ideal route of the Ohare -Loop Express. I wonder if the mothballed super station on Dearborn would be useful on this route. I know the northern portion of this route has many at grade crossing but this line could be elevated with quiet concrete pillars through the neighborhoods. And it would have stops at Union Station, UIC, Med district, Forest Park, North Ave(Triton College) and Franklin park or Rosemont where it would offer direct transfer to the Metra NC line before going underground to Ohare terminal.

VivaLFuego Oct 6, 2023 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 10033733)
The High Speed Rail Alliance recently suggested using the Altenheim Sub for pulling all CPKC freights off the MD-W line east of Franklin Park.

The freights would turn south onto CN's Waukesha Sub (Metra NCS runs on the Waukesha Sub north of MD-W), continue onto CSX's Altenheim Sub eastbound, then turn south onto CSX's Blue Island Sub (former B&O Chicago Terminal tracks) out of town.

If even more capacity is required, trains running south on the Blue Island Sub could connect to CSX's Elsdon Sub (former GTW) at 49th Street, which also continues south out of the city.

The Elsdon and Blue Island Subs converge in Blue Island, and can connect to the CSX Barr Sub eastbound into Indiana, CPKC already has trackage rights on the Barr Sub.

Rerouting the freights in this manner would still give CPKC full access to their Bensenville Yard just south of O'Hare.

While not as whiz-bang as turning the Altenheim into an airport express route, it might be the most practical way of separating passenger and freight traffic, opening up enough capacity to allow for an airport express on the MD-W and keep CPKC from being able to control dispatching on that line as far as O'Hare.

Who proposed this, to whom?

Mister Uptempo Oct 7, 2023 5:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 10054601)
Who proposed this, to whom?

The "who" is Rick Harnish from HSRA, mentioning it in passing on this YouTube video at about 24:35. He suggests that some agency should be talking to CPKC, CSX, and CN about getting CPKC freights off the MD-W east of O'Hare so it can be used as a dedicated passenger line.

While he does not specifically mention the lines that might be utilized to accomplish this, he does trace a path that clearly suggests the CN Waukesha Sub south of the MD-W, which connects to CSX's Altenheim Sub and then CSX's Blue Island Sub, which is currently getting a flyover at 75th Street.

Video Link

Klippenstein Oct 7, 2023 6:05 PM

^He mentioned how the High Speed rail corridor was not able to be protected on Green St because there isn’t an official plan. Interesting.

ardecila Oct 8, 2023 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 10054781)
The "who" is Rick Harnish from HSRA, mentioning it in passing on this YouTube video at about 24:35. He suggests that some agency should be talking to CPKC, CSX, and CN about getting CPKC freights off the MD-W east of O'Hare so it can be used as a dedicated passenger line.

While he does not specifically mention the lines that might be utilized to accomplish this, he does trace a path that clearly suggests the CN Waukesha Sub south of the MD-W, which connects to CSX's Altenheim Sub and then CSX's Blue Island Sub, which is currently getting a flyover at 75th Street.

Any freight on the MD-W is exiting at Cragin Jct onto the Belt Rwy, so I assume this would just be a different routing between Franklin Park and 46th Ave Jct.

This woudl also conflict with the city's plan to turn the Altenheim into a trail in North Lawndale/Homan Square. I think the trail plan assumed that one track would remain for local switching, but if a reroute means they need two tracks with a lot of traffic, that's not great for the trail plan...

https://i.ibb.co/tHGbbkP/Screenshot-...-08-121734.png

Mister Uptempo Oct 19, 2023 3:07 AM

Metra Receives CMAQ Grant To Purchase BEMUs
 
Metra to receive $169.3m grant for zero-emission trainsets
Quote:

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Metra will receive the largest discretionary grant in its history – a $169.3 million federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant – to buy battery-powered, zero-emission trainsets. Metra will be among the first in the nation to operate the innovative green technology.

The CMAQ funding was approved last week by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee.

A trainset is a group of permanently or semi-permanently coupled railcars powered by a propulsion system without a separate locomotive, with operator controls at either end so they can quickly change directions. Trainsets powered by batteries are currently in use in Germany, France and Australia, and Metra wants to explore whether they could work here. It issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for battery-powered trainsets in September 2022 and is currently reviewing proposals it received in response.

“We think zero-emission trainsets could be an exciting and positive addition to Metra’s fleet for a variety of reasons,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “Beyond the environmental and noise reduction benefits, they also offer savings in energy consumption as well as better efficiency, flexibility, and reliability. Along with our other initiatives, they would continue to make Metra a responsible and effective leader in green energy technology.”

CMAQ funding will support the purchase of up to 16 trainsets, adding a new type of propulsion to Metra’s fleet that could accelerate and brake faster than its traditional trains. The lower-capacity trainsets could be a more economical and environmentally friendly way to provide the same level of service or better, particularly during off-peak times, and could play a significant role in helping Metra achieve its vision to provide more frequent all-day service – so-called regional rail service.

Buying the trainsets would allow Metra to retire some of its oldest, most polluting diesel locomotives, which are well beyond their useful life, and eliminate tons of carbon emissions. It would also allow Metra to retire some of its oldest railcars.

Metra likely would introduce the trainsets on its Rock Island Line. That would directly benefit the air quality in several economically disadvantaged neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago and in the south suburbs.

The largest discretionary award comes after Metra’s record-breaking haul in 2022, when it secured $204.1 million in competitive federal grants for Metra projects. The amount included the previous record for a discretionary award – $117 million for the next phase of the UP North Line bridge replacement program.
This report from CBS2 largely echoes the Metra press release, but does mention that Metra is planning to introduce the new trainsets on the Beverly Branch.

CMAP, as an element of PART (Plan of Action for Regional Transit), suggests breaking Metra service into Inner Suburban Service and Outer Suburban Service. One of those ISS corridors would see multiple units running, ideally, every 15-20 minutes on the Beverly Branch to LaSalle St. Station.

Video Link

Randomguy34 Nov 12, 2023 7:16 PM

Was watching the recent Metra board meeting, apparently they're upgrading the MED to increase the speeds from 65 Mph to 79 Mph, and eventually to 90 Mph. Roseland to Millennium Station is already ~30 minutes, so if that dropped to almost 20 minutes that'd be incredible. It would also greatly improve SSL's travel time

Here are also some renderings of what the new BEMUs could look like
https://i.imgur.com/nnezq8zl.png

Busy Bee Nov 12, 2023 7:58 PM

Absolutely. Excellent news.

ithakas Dec 6, 2023 4:10 PM

Looks like Chicago is getting some raised crossswalks:

https://blockclubchicago.org/2023/12...-conservatory/

I can think of a few intersections near me where this is badly needed (as I'm sure anyone who regularly walks around the city can).

Is the best way to get these installed to lobby your local alder/request menu funds, to contact CDOT, or some combination of the two?

Randomguy34 Dec 6, 2023 9:09 PM

Welp, we got screwed over in this Amtrak FSP funding round. We only got $93 million to fund the Chicago Hub Improvement Program. It's enough to expand the existing platforms and reactive the mail platforms. It's not enough to build the grander parts of the program, like the SCAL connection to Union Station. This would have allowed trains on MED or RID tracks to travel to Union Station, and potentially O'Hare.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-revi...-for-upgrades/

Bonsai Tree Dec 6, 2023 9:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 10096094)
Welp, we got screwed over in this Amtrak FSP funding round. We only got $93 million to fund the Chicago Hub Improvement Program. It's enough to expand the existing platforms and reactive the mail platforms. It's not enough to build the grander parts of the program, like the SCAL connection to Union Station. This would have allowed trains on MED or RID tracks to travel to Union Station, and potentially O'Hare.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-revi...-for-upgrades/

Feels a bit premature to say that- we don't know if they'll give out more funding later (more announcements are coming on Friday too)

Randomguy34 Dec 8, 2023 6:12 PM

DPD's Central Area analysis is out, look at this nugget I found in the transportation section

CTA Infill Stations
Division - Brown/Purple

Quote:

CDOT will begin a feasibility study to assess the viability of a Division Street station to serve Brown and Purple Line trains, having received CTA agreement for planning and design activities in fall 2022.
https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/...120523-web.pdf

nomarandlee Dec 8, 2023 6:33 PM

Though not nearly the nugget that was hoped for, it is good to note the long-planned retrofits coming to Union Station that could help increase capacity.

Quote:

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...rades/3297329/

Chicago's Union Station to get $93 million for upgrades
By Sun-Times/ NBC Chicago • Published December 7, 2023 • Updated on December 7, 2023 at 6:50 am

Chicago Union Station will get $93 million in federal funding for upgrades, but the grant total is far less than what officials had sought and doesn’t address Amtrak’s wish list of track improvements outside the station.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, who had pushed for the Chicago Hub Improvement Project funding, announced the grant Wednesday.

The funding will expand platforms and make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as upgrade ventilation systems, Durbin and Duckworth said in a news release.

The station’s post office platforms, unused since 2005, will be repurposed for intercity travel for the station’s 120,000 weekly passengers......
..

Klippenstein Dec 8, 2023 8:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 10097870)
DPD's Central Area analysis is out, look at this nugget I found in the transportation section

CTA Infill Stations
Division - Brown/Purple


https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/...120523-web.pdf

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this.

I'm a little concerned that I don't see anything about the North Branch Transitway in that document...

SIGSEGV Dec 9, 2023 5:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 10097870)
DPD's Central Area analysis is out, look at this nugget I found in the transportation section

CTA Infill Stations
Division - Brown/Purple


https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/...120523-web.pdf

I think a station at Halsted would make a lot of sense too, especially since North/Cybourn isn't accessible...

Randomguy34 Dec 14, 2023 12:15 AM

Looks like the FSP grant will allow for a dozen new entrances to Union Station, from Madison St all the way to Harrison St. That's a 12 minute walk from one side of the station to the other

https://i.imgur.com/g4GPkhAh.png
https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra....s_final_r2.pdf

ardecila Dec 14, 2023 5:39 AM

So... the FRA document also mentioned that the "platform capacity expansion" grant only funds project development, not construction. Somehow they're gonna blow $55M doing 30% design? At least the mail platform grant is supposed to fund construction, although they have no schedule for completion.

I'm not sure if those green dots mean anything at this point, but it looks as if they may build a separate concourse building between Jackson and Van Buren to serve BNSF and HC trains on tracks 2/4/6/8/10/12. I have no idea why they are adding stairs every ~100 feet along Canal, especially when those stairs only serve one platform.

It's frustrating that Amtrak seems to have nothing shovel-ready, even though the need for these improvements was identified over 10 years ago. Amtrak got a big chunk of change from selling their parking garage to Riverside for BMO Tower, it should have been more than enough to pay for all the engineering and design work but I fear it was all spent on behind-the-scenes stuff like restoring the Great Hall skylight, renovating the Fred Harvey space which no restaurant operator wants to rent, etc.

Tcmetro Dec 14, 2023 11:12 AM

I wonder if some of those stairs along Canal would be emergency exits. I'm not sure why there would be so many for one track otherwise.

IMHO, it would be better to orient the stairs towards Jackson Blvd if possible. If people have to walk around the corner on Canal to access the platforms they may just end up continuing to use the current path from street to train.

Busy Bee Dec 16, 2023 5:33 PM

:facepalm: So the answer is just to make the service worse in the name of "safety"... There goes the Swift from the name. I sure as hell hope this is temporary. :facepalm:


CTA To Cut Yellow Line Speeds From 55 To 35 MPH After Crash

The Yellow Line remains closed nearly a month after a train slammed into a snow machine on the tracks, injuring 16 people. No reopening date is set.

https://i0.wp.com/bcc-newspack.s3.am...00%2C675&ssl=1
source

By Mack Liederman
December 13, 2023 Updated December 14, 2023


CHICAGO — The CTA will reduce speeds and promises to communicate faster on the Yellow Line after one of its trains crashed into a snow removal machine last month, agency President Dorval Carter told his board Wednesday.

Sixteen people were hurt, three critically, in the Nov. 16 crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report on the incident. Officials initially said 23 people were hospitalized.

Carter, speaking publicly for the first time since the independent agency released its report, said CTA is fully cooperating with the investigation and has conducted its own safety review of rail lines since the crash.

Carter assured the board the train system is safe.

“We have analyzed our entire system, and there are no other locations equivalent to this section of the Yellow Line,” Carter said in prepared remarks at the monthly board meeting Wednesday. “We work quickly to confirm that no other areas of the CTA rail system have the same design features that are indicated on the Yellow Line itself.”

Rest of story @ Block Club

ardecila Dec 17, 2023 3:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tcmetro (Post 10102419)
I wonder if some of those stairs along Canal would be emergency exits. I'm not sure why there would be so many for one track otherwise.

IMHO, it would be better to orient the stairs towards Jackson Blvd if possible. If people have to walk around the corner on Canal to access the platforms they may just end up continuing to use the current path from street to train.

There is already a mid-block pedestrian plaza spanning between Jackson and Van Buren, so I assume you could enter the Metra concourse from either the east or the west.

The (10 years old) Union Station Master Plan showed the concourse at the base of a new highrise. Office development is not great right now, but it will probably get better in a few years. If Metra/Amtrak want to move faster, they can put in caissons and build the concourse as part of a standalone podium stub for a future tower.

ardecila Dec 17, 2023 3:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 10104151)
:facepalm: So the answer is just to make the service worse in the name of "safety"... There goes the Swift from the name. I sure as hell hope this is temporary. :facepalm:

It makes perfect sense to add an eastbound slow zone in the "trench" area from Asbury to Chicago Ave, where the trains are vulnerable to slippery rail from falling leaves, and there is a blind curve into Howard. I don't think they will cap the entire Yellow Line at 35mph.

I expect CTA will also make the case for drastically cutting back the trees along the trench, although they're probably worried about the Greenpeace types in Evanston chaining themselves to trees...

VKChaz Dec 17, 2023 4:02 PM

I came across a CNN article about Greyhound stations being sold off and was reminded of the Chicago location. Does anyone know if there was resolution on a bus terminal plan?

https://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...ijm-story.html

ithakas Dec 17, 2023 4:32 PM

CDOT released an updated Complete Streets website: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/site...cago/home.html

The new pedestrian infrastructure toolkit now includes raised crosswalks:https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/site...eld-guide.html

I'm contacting my alderman about a few notably bad intersections in my ward, and encourage anyone who's been similarly frustrated by spots in their neighborhoods to do the same (thanks to Ardecila for the suggestion).

From what I can tell, some alders take rolling requests via email, some have forms to submit suggestions ahead of menu fund allocations, and some have participatory budgeting processes (ie. voting for upgrade priorities). If you contact the ward's email address you should figure out the best route for your ward.


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