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

Chicagoguy May 22, 2008 12:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3566493)
New railcars can be much quieter. The 2200 and 2600 series have notoriously LOUD trucks, and the 2600s further have a defect that makes the wheels go out of balance quickly contributing to loudness.

Also, wooden ties and metal tie plates are noisier than the recycled plastic ties they'll be replaced with over the next 2 years.

Oh, it'll still be quite loud, but a little less skull-rattling.

Thats exactly what I was trying to get at? I wasnt meaning it was going to instantly be silent, just a little bit quieter than it is now! And eventually I am sure we will completely switch to a light rail system or something of the sort...at least that is what has been proposed in like 50 years from now....which I am sure will change a lot before then!

Nowhereman1280 May 22, 2008 12:59 AM

^^^ No, you were right, the new trains will be completely silent since they are Maglev and will levitate above the tracks, can't wait for the new cars to arrive!

OhioGuy May 22, 2008 1:04 AM

^^^ Oh what a dream something like that would be. :)

VivaLFuego May 22, 2008 4:21 AM

Anyone remember that Absolut ad from a few months ago? :) I can't find it anywhere online...

Ch.G, Ch.G May 23, 2008 4:11 AM

Hey everyone: I created a thread calling to action all you mass transit proponents. It concerns a bill introduced in the House that would impact Amtrak and rail funding across the country.

The thread is here.

Abner May 23, 2008 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3566065)
The UP-N, MD-N, UP-NW, UP-W, BNSF, RI, and ME all have the ridership and TOD to justify more off-peak and weekend service...here's hoping if/when fuel prices come back to earth that Metra and it's oversight don't forget about that part of the bargain...

I'm not very well-versed in track ownership and infrastructure. Which tracks are owned by Metra, and which of the tracks they don't own could be used by Metra more intensively? Are barriers to (something approaching) rapid transit service on certain lines within the city entirely based on politics and funding or are there logistical issues (track ownership, downtown station capacity, trainset availability) as well?

VivaLFuego May 23, 2008 5:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3570452)
I'm not very well-versed in track ownership and infrastructure. Which tracks are owned by Metra, and which of the tracks they don't own could be used by Metra more intensively? Are barriers to (something approaching) rapid transit service on certain lines within the city entirely based on politics and funding or are there logistical issues (track ownership, downtown station capacity, trainset availability) as well?

The short answer is that each of the problems you mention apply in different combinations to each line :) In some cases, the freight railroad owns the ROW while Metra owns the trackage, in some cases Metra owns it all, in some cases Metra owns none (e.g. the UP lines where Metra even contracts the provision of service).

If memory of all these various constraints serves me well, the Metra Electric (South Chicago branch, and as far as Kensington on the mainline, at least) and Rock Island would probably be the easiest on which to increase frequencies from a legal standpoint. From a technical standpoint, for any line there would be vehicle requirement and terminal signalling issues as well, not to mention of course fare controls. A possibility with a political champion. I think NCS, SWS, HC, MD-N have the worst problem with freight traffic conflicts along 1- and 2-track sections.

jpIllInoIs May 23, 2008 9:06 PM

Usage reported up on 3 Amtrak lines
 
Tribune staff report
10:57 PM CDT, May 22, 2008
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1838708.story

Ridership in Illinois continues to grow...this is one thing blago did right.

jpIllInoIs May 23, 2008 9:10 PM

Springfield rail upgrades affect Amtrak routes
 
Wow UPRR will replace "thousands" of railroad ties with new concrete ties

But check the schedule for train cancellations.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...,5780036.story

aaron38 May 23, 2008 9:52 PM

I witnessed a fun scene today that should warm the heart of any transit fan. 4 luxury car drivers were all fighting over one parking spot in a River North lot. The lot attendant was trying to sort it out as I went past.
Now you can jack up prices and anyone driving a Mercedes can still afford to park. But they can't pull a parking spot out of thin air.

Oh, and Metra was packed this morning. Standing room only after Arlington Heights.

VivaLFuego May 23, 2008 11:54 PM

Transit ridership growth is phenomenal since April. Most services are up 10-15% year over year. Gas prices are triggering some serious shift in the mode split.

emathias May 25, 2008 3:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 3571317)
Tribune staff report
10:57 PM CDT, May 22, 2008
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1838708.story

Ridership in Illinois continues to grow...this is one thing blago did right.

Now if only they'd find a way to make high-speed service between Chicago and St. Louis. Right now the trip is about 5 hours by car. It they could make it 3 hours by rail, they'd start to make a large dent in mode share between the two.

It's really too bad we don't have more high-speed corridors. 3 hours to St. Louis or Detroit, 4 hours to Minneapolis, an hour to Milwaukee, two to Indianapolis. Of course it'd kill the airlines ...

ardecila May 25, 2008 4:58 PM

^^ The latest Passenger Rail bill in Congress appropriates something like $6 billion to be used in speeding up service on existing lines. 4 projects were required to be funded, and one of those projects was building a completely new, dedicated passenger rail line from Porter, Indiana to Chicago, bypassing tracks that are congested with freight, and involving several grade separations (including one at Englewood). Old, unused bridges and things can be used.

The bill failed to leave committee, but it will very likely come back in some form, once it has more pork for other states.

aic4ever May 25, 2008 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3573383)
Now if only they'd find a way to make high-speed service between Chicago and St. Louis. Right now the trip is about 5 hours by car. It they could make it 3 hours by rail, they'd start to make a large dent in mode share between the two.

It's really too bad we don't have more high-speed corridors. 3 hours to St. Louis or Detroit, 4 hours to Minneapolis, an hour to Milwaukee, two to Indianapolis. Of course it'd kill the airlines ...

If I'm not mistaken, Amtrak runs the Haiawatha line to Milwaukee that takes about an hour and a half for something like $30 or $35 round trip, though a bit likely more than that now since I haven't ridden it for about five years. There are a couple stops in between so I would say if they ever ran a nonstop it could make it in an hour pretty easily.

Markitect May 25, 2008 7:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aic4ever (Post 3573833)
If I'm not mistaken, Amtrak runs the Hiawatha line to Milwaukee that takes about an hour and a half for something like $30 or $35 round trip, though a bit likely more than that now since I haven't ridden it for about five years. There are a couple stops in between so I would say if they ever ran a nonstop it could make it in an hour pretty easily.

The Hiawatha is $42 for a Chicago/Milwaukee round trip, for infrequent riders buying a pair of single tickets, one for each way. But for more frequent riders, there are a couple of different multi-ticket packages that work out to be much less money.

As for eliminating intermediate stops between Milwaukee and Chicago to make the train schedule faster--that's not necessary, since they are indeed used by suburban riders (Glenview, Sturtevant/Racine/Mitchell Field) and airport patrons (Mitchell Field). Considering several million dollars have been invested building completely brand new Amtrak stations on the Wisconsin side of the border in just the past 3-4 years alone, it is highly unlikely that those few brief stops at those stations would be discontinued.

Instead, efforts should be focused on making improvements to the track work (tracks rated for higher speeds, grade crossing improvements) and signaling systems (in-cab signaling for engineers) that would allow the Federal railroad regulators to lift the current 79 mph speed limit that's imposed on the corridor right now. Trains could be bumped up to a top speed limit of 110 mph (creating a 70-minute trip, a 20 minute improvement over current operations) with a little bit of effort...the hang-up right now is that no money has been appropriated to do it yet. Of course, if even more money was used to make even more advanced improvements (complete grade crossing separation...new, possibly electrified equipment...would allow speeds greater than 110 mph), travel times could be reduced even more without eliminating stops.

Luckily, the freight railroads which owns the tracks on which the Hiawatha runs have always been hospitable to Amtrak trains--there usually are no conflicts between freight and passenger trains that cause long delays, problems which constantly plague other Amtrak routes around the country. That's why the Hi has one of the best on-time performance ratings in the whole Amtrak system.

VivaLFuego May 26, 2008 12:50 AM

^ Hiawatha already runs 90mph over some portions, fyi

Markitect May 26, 2008 2:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3574271)
^ Hiawatha already runs 90mph over some portions, fyi

Where does this occur and how is that possible without the cab signaling that is required by the Feds?

I've never heard of Hiawathas being allowed to exceed 79 mph in that corridor...except back in the old Milwaukee Road days when they regularly eclipsed 100 mph with steam locos and first-generation diesels, but that was before such speed regulations and cab signaling requirements were imposed.

VivaLFuego May 26, 2008 5:00 PM

^ Brain fart on my part...I was thinking the Detroit service for some reason.

Is cab signalling required for anything above 79mph, or above 90mph? I thought the latter, but could be wrong.

aaron38 May 26, 2008 5:15 PM

Rt. 53 plan is dead … or is it?
State road builders say extending Route 53 north is officially on the shelf after decades of failed attempts to get the massive project built.
"Right now we … don't have any money for it," says Tom Murtha, transportation planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
Still, this often tried -- and failed -- project to cut Northwest suburban congestion appears to have life as the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority looks at reviving the plan, and some say it just needs more clout to really get off the ground.
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=197598

Any delay on this is good news, as I think this is a bad project. Also, with gas skyrocketing, they need to wait and re-evaluate the traffic, because I don't think it's going to grow like they think it is.
And another interstate and new big box stripmalls entirely dependent on the car is just stupid.
We're trying to get the suburban cores redeveloped around the Metra stations, and the last thing we need is a new interstate pulling development north into empty tracts of Lake County.

Markitect May 26, 2008 6:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3575274)
^ Brain fart on my part...I was thinking the Detroit service for some reason.

Yeah, I think Amtrak's Wolverine (Chicago-Detroit) and Blue Water (Chicago-Port Huron) are permitted to run 95mph (possibly a bit faster now, I can't quite recall if they've been allowed to go higher) or so on certain sections of tracks in western Michigan. They've been testing an Incremental Train Control System there.

Also, hasn't there been some testing going on along segments of the Chicago-St. Louis route using the North American Joint Positive Train Control system that would permit trains to run above 79mph?

Quote:

Is cab signalling required for anything above 79mph, or above 90mph? I thought the latter, but could be wrong.
I recall always reading/hearing that 79mph was the limit set by the FRA.


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