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

Abner Apr 6, 2009 9:12 PM

So those are going to be replacing the orange South Shore ones?

bnk Apr 6, 2009 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4180793)
And now for something completely different. Came across these railfan photos of the new bi-levels that NICTD is taking delivery on:

http://www.nictd1000.rrpicturearchiv...aspx?id=111547

Pretty similar to the cars Metra got for the Electric line.

I wish these things, and others for any rail expansion from the stimulus, could be totally made in the Midwest. But at least they were assembled in Milwaukee.


Quote:

From Mass Transit to New Manufacturing

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?..._manufacturing

With the right policies in place, an expansion of public transportation could help reindustrialize the United States.

Jonathan Michael Feldman | March 23, 2009

A new industrial-policy initiative for domestic production of mass-transit products could help the United States overcome multiple economic challenges. It could provide high-wage jobs, generate tax revenue, expand exports, and reduce trade deficits.

...

According to the Institute for Supply Management, U.S. manufacturing activity recently fell to its lowest level in 28 years.

...

The problem, however, is that in key parts of the mass-transit industry, domestic suppliers have exited the business, so public capital investments in mass transit become significantly captured by imports. There is no longer any U.S.–based producer of subway...The main foreign suppliers of subways to the U.S. are Alstom, Bombardier, and Kawasaki (principally based in France, Canada, and Japan respectively). South Korean–based Hyundai Rotem and German-based Siemens supply transit vehicles.

...


Our multiple crises suggest that a Green New Deal must mean more than one-shot investments. Support for mass transit and its supply industry can help promote domestically rooted system integrators, manufacturers, employment, and wealth creation. The expansion of domestic production, based on expanded investments in mass transit, could help link recovery plans centered on public works to a more comprehensive reindustrialization program.

Jonathan Michael Feldman is an associate professor in the department of economic history at Stockholm University.





The car bodies were manufactured by Nippon Sharyo/Sumitomo, in Toyakawa, Japan. The cars were assembled at Nippon Sharyo/Super Steel in Milwaukee, Wis.

Specs for new double-decker South Shore cars

Style: Gallery-style
Power: Electric
Cost: $3.64 million per car
Seating: 111 passengers
Weight: 145,000 lbs.
Height: 16 feet, 2 inches
Length: 85 feet

the urban politician Apr 7, 2009 2:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4180637)
the only way a rail transit expansion project is cost effective is if it opens an untapped floodgate of transit riders, with transit ridership being driven primarily by people commuting to and from work. This is why the Circle Line concept is generally so abysmal

^ So I take it you don't think there's any hope that Chicago could support a circumferential rail line, despite the fact that pretty much every global, respectable city out there has circumferential lines at some point (and usually more than one of them) in their transit networks?

I understand your argument--I sincerely do. But the only way to move Chicago out of its current immensely downtown-centric model is to at least try to make cross-city trips easier and sexier (ie buses aren't considered sexy) than the car. The Circle Line may be stupid, but it's a start and 50 years from now it could pay off, if not now.

Mr Downtown Apr 7, 2009 2:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnk (Post 4180692)
Can someone provide a link to this Clinton subway plan-map and transportation center?

http://i40.tinypic.com/2aeowed.jpg http://www.railway-technology.com/co...-west-loop.jpg

VivaLFuego Apr 7, 2009 4:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnk (Post 4180973)
I wish these things, and others for any rail expansion from the stimulus, could be totally made in the Midwest. But at least they were assembled in Milwaukee.

Generally, if it were economical to produce railcars in the US, there would be manufacturers. As it is, the federal Buy America requirements ensure that at least final assembly of transit vehicles is done here (such as the many buses churned out by the New Flyer that happens to be in Rep. Oberstar's district in Minnesota, etc.). At some point, mandating domestic production for government spending becomes just a form of wealth redistribution when the taxpayer is thus paying uncompetitive wages and therefore inflated asset prices, but that's a separate can of worms only tangentially related to Chicago transit.

I wonder, all those countries that manage to build transit infrastructure cheaply and quickly (Spain comes to mind), to what extent do they mandate labor and materials be domestic, versus whatever it takes to get the job done fastest, at highest quality, and lowest cost to the taxpayer?

Quote:

Originally Posted by tup
^ So I take it you don't think there's any hope that Chicago could support a circumferential rail line, despite the fact that pretty much every global, respectable city out there has circumferential lines at some point (and usually more than one of them) in their transit networks?

In the long run, anything's possible. It's never a bad idea to plan, and plan wisely - I'm all for protecting ROW, carefully building utilities, and building support infrastructure incrementally. But as of right now, no, there isn't remotely the trip density to justify it, nor is driving/parking nearly an unattractive enough option to generate such trip density. Even as it is now, probably 20% of the CTA rail system (ballpark guess) could be replaced with buses with negligble impact on regional transit ridership or congestion (depressing thought, eh?). I just look at the continuous nightmare that is the CTA operating budget and can't fathom how one could add even more underutiilized deadbeat rail service to it, unless you want to go the route of St. Louis, Dallas, et al and build shiny new rail lines in an effort to be a "real city" at the expense of necessary cuts to bus service, to the overall detriment of the transit-dependent population. But at least they have rail lines, like real cities.

Abner Apr 7, 2009 6:05 AM

Isn't part of the problem with the Circle Line simply that the routes roughly along Ashland are just too close in to really be worth it? The Alternatives Analysis from way back noted that a line along Western would have higher ridership. I have a hard time believing that a circumferential line through the middle of the city would have low ridership, it would just be monumentally expensive to build... same problem, but let's distinguish ideas that are bad because of low benefits from ideas that are bad because of high costs.

I still think the answer is a big fat investment in the Mid-City Transitway, which is already up on a nice straight embankment connecting the far reaches of the city to six el lines and two airports.

the urban politician Apr 7, 2009 1:53 PM

^ It would be great if somehow the concept of the Mid-City-Transitway and the Circle Line could be merged into one concept.

Also, if the city somehow mandated higher zoning along the route of the transitway, that would improve its chance of being successful.

Mr Downtown Apr 7, 2009 2:10 PM

^What would be the point of "merging" two parallel routes four miles apart? What does that even mean?

Busy Bee Apr 7, 2009 2:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnk (Post 4180973)
The car bodies were manufactured by Nippon Sharyo/Sumitomo, in Toyakawa, Japan. The cars were assembled at Nippon Sharyo/Super Steel in Milwaukee, Wis.

Specs for new double-decker South Shore cars

Style: Gallery-style
Power: Electric
Cost: $3.64 million per car
Seating: 111 passengers
Weight: 145,000 lbs.
Height: 16 feet, 2 inches
Length: 85 feet

Style: Butt ugly and boring as hell

I wish I could be excited for new cars on the SSL but i just can't. We are creating a metro area with absolutley no stylistic diversity in rolling stock. LAME!!!!!!

Just a reminder of what the rest of the 1st world is getting their hands on:

http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q...2-Helsinki.jpg

And we want the Olympics?

sammyg Apr 7, 2009 2:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4181639)
Generally, if it were economical to produce railcars in the US, there would be manufacturers. As it is, the federal Buy America requirements ensure that at least final assembly of transit vehicles is done here (such as the many buses churned out by the New Flyer that happens to be in Rep. Oberstar's district in Minnesota, etc.). At some point, mandating domestic production for government spending becomes just a form of wealth redistribution when the taxpayer is thus paying uncompetitive wages and therefore inflated asset prices, but that's a separate can of worms only tangentially related to Chicago transit.

I don't think that affected the domestic production as much as the fact that because funding for public transit has been so low for so long, there was barely any demand for railcars in the US. Maybe this will be yet another positive gain from the increased use of public transit, and yet another reason to encourage increased funding. How many orders would it take to get a plant built in Chicago?

ChicagoChicago Apr 7, 2009 2:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 4181727)
Isn't part of the problem with the Circle Line simply that the routes roughly along Ashland are just too close in to really be worth it? The Alternatives Analysis from way back noted that a line along Western would have higher ridership. I have a hard time believing that a circumferential line through the middle of the city would have low ridership, it would just be monumentally expensive to build... same problem, but let's distinguish ideas that are bad because of low benefits from ideas that are bad because of high costs.

I still think the answer is a big fat investment in the Mid-City Transitway, which is already up on a nice straight embankment connecting the far reaches of the city to six el lines and two airports.

Could you post a link to that alternative analysis study?

edit: found it.

Busy Bee Apr 7, 2009 3:10 PM

http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q...Lphotoshop.jpg

It's not rocket science.

VivaLFuego Apr 7, 2009 4:21 PM

I like that, hydrogen. There are some practical considerations as to why railcars look the way they do here, though. Offhand:

1. SSL trains need to accommodate both high-level and low-level boarding

2. Articulated trainsets are impractical for the Chicago context, where demand is so heavily peaked. Individual units (commuter) and married-pairs (rapid) provide the flexibility to appropriately meet demand.

3. Ribbed stainless steel is more graffiti-resistant and requires less maintenance than a painted or printed livery. The only such liveries that are economical are when advertisers are paying for ad wraps.

4. This one's simple: railroad standards governing length, height, weight, safety, and so on. Similar to how zoning codes impact/limit the universe of shapes and forms under which architects operate.

Taft Apr 7, 2009 5:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 4182073)
Could you post a link to that alternative analysis study?

See pics of the corridors in this document: http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...dors200605.pdf

See analysis of the corridors in this document (good stuff starts on about page 18):
http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...pres200609.pdf

Mr Downtown Apr 7, 2009 5:55 PM

My sentiments exactly, Busy Bee. I don't know why Japanese rolling stock is so butt-ugly. The only exceptions that come to mind are the Shinkansen trainsets, Nankai Electric's rapi:t trains, and the Kinki Sharyo SP150s for Kowloon-Canton. I think Dallas DART had to do their own design, and maybe Sound Transit as well.

In this case, NICTD is piggybacking on an order that Metra Electric is making (NICTD is adding cars, not replacing the current single-level cars). I don't know if there was some desire to have seats and other interior components interchangeable with other 50-year-old Metra bilevels or why the design is so retardataire. The Highliners they're replacing look sleek and modern next to these things.

Busy Bee Apr 7, 2009 6:01 PM

As to #3, if that was such a HUGE issue than all rolling stock in Europe would be strainless steel. There is more graffiti in a medium sized German or Italian city than in all of Chicagoland. I don't for a second believe that if Metra or CTA or SSL went with a pianted car body that it would become an instant overnight graffiti target requiring an abundance of money and man hours to maintain—that's plain baloney.

As to Mr. Downtown, yes the IC Highliners 9in their original IC orange) are the most bad ass EMU's we've ever had.

ardecila Apr 7, 2009 7:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4182421)
I don't know if there was some desire to have seats and other interior components interchangeable with other 50-year-old Metra bilevels or why the design is so retardataire. The Highliners they're replacing look sleek and modern next to these things.

I just assumed that the intent was to create a recognizable consistency between Metra Electric and the other 11 lines, so that the image of the bi-level car would automatically associate with Metra. AFAIK, no other major commuter railroad in the country uses the same bilevel cars that we do; they all use the awkward-looking Bombardier ones.

South Shore, although it would be cool and advantageous for them to maintain a separate branding identity from Metra, is getting new cars at a cost savings by using the same design and assembly line that was set up for Metra.

Mr Downtown Apr 7, 2009 7:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4182588)
AFAIK, no other major commuter railroad in the country uses the same bilevel cars that we do

JPB/CalTrain does. And the systems, such as Virginia Railway Express, who bought our old bilevels.

VivaLFuego Apr 7, 2009 7:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4182431)
As to #3, if that was such a HUGE issue than all rolling stock in Europe would be strainless steel. There is more graffiti in a medium sized German or Italian city than in all of Chicagoland. I don't for a second believe that if Metra or CTA or SSL went with a pianted car body that it would become an instant overnight graffiti target requiring an abundance of money and man hours to maintain—that's plain baloney.

It's not big money, but it's money nonetheless, so unless a policymaker (like say, Daley) makes some idiosyncratic stink about style/aesthetics, the budget concern tends to win in the culture/climate under which Chicago transit agencies operate. Check out the value-engineered spartan delight that are the new Brown Line stations - any interest/ornament that was left in after budget-cutting was that absolutely required by contractual or grant stipulations (e.g. the artwork, the "historic" nods at Armitage and Diversey, etc.)

arenn Apr 7, 2009 7:41 PM

Viva, what's the story on the Armitage/Diversity stations? I guess I just assumed TIF or SSA funds went to make them oh so slightly nicer.


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