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emathias Jun 15, 2016 7:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 7474257)
Are fantasy maps allowed on this forum? Because I just made one.
...
The general concept is a reconfiguration and expansion of the existing L system into 5
metro-style "L" lines, and a rework of the Metra network into 4 RER-style Regional "R".
...

I like that. Expensive, but good.

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 7474257)
-The Metra Electric South Chicago branch is taken over by a southward extension of the Green Line. This would probably require rolling stock with dual current collection by both 3rd rail and pantograph, similar to the former configuration of the Skokie Swift.

Car sizes are very different, I don't think you could ever inter-operate them with different trainsets.

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 7474257)
-I was not really sure what to do with the Forest Park branch (current Pink Line). I just kept it as a branch of the Green Line.

Current Pink Line is the Douglas Park branch. Forest Park is the current Blue Line terminus.

orulz Jun 16, 2016 1:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 7475379)
I like that. Expensive, but good.

Mostly using existing infrastructure is key. A few connectors have to be built. Some of them are big multi-billion dollar projects (the connections north from Millennium Station, the big new Brown Line subway, the WLTC for HSR and Intercity), some are medium (Connection from Rock Island lines to Union Station, realigning State Street subway to connect directly to the Midway line), and some are small (UP-NW connection to Union Station, Connection from the Wells street leg of the Loop to the Rock Island lines)

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 7475379)
Car sizes are very different, I don't think you could ever inter-operate them with different trainsets.

I mean to turn the South Chicago branch over completely to the green line and rebuild all the stations to CTA spec. Keep it at-grade though, to save money, since there are other places at the end of branches where CTA runs with grade crossings. Using catenary is not necessary, and on second thought maybe it should get converted to Third Rail.The benefits and drawbacks of replacing it with third rail do need to be considered, though.
Benefit: No need for unusual (probably expensive) rolling stock
Benefit: Visual improvement by removing catenary.
Drawback: Costs more to install 3rd rail when Catenary already exists and probably could be kept and reused
Drawback: Safety risk of third rail requires fencing the tracks
Drawback: Fencing has visual impacts have to build fencing around the tracks. Could be mitigated somewhat by using attractive fencing (rod iron?)


Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 7475379)
Current Pink Line is the Douglas Park branch. Forest Park is the current Blue Line terminus.

Oops, you got me. They're both Parks and they both used to be branches of the Blue Line :)

Mr Downtown Jun 16, 2016 4:08 PM

I think a much better way to use the South Chicago Branch tracks would be with light rail. It would be an easy escalator transfer at 63rd & Cottage Grove, use the IC tracks in 71st and into South Chicago, then a new extension would loop through Lakeside. Those parts of the city are unlikely ever to need the capacity of Metra trains, nor even of CTA trains.

http://i.imgur.com/lMiZNvU.jpg

orulz Jun 16, 2016 5:03 PM

I see your point, a one seat ride is desirable though not regardless of cost. However, I note that the capacity and size difference between CTA trains and light rail vehicles is actually pretty negligible. A six car CTA train is exactly the same length as a three car Siemens S70 in MU mode, the kind they run in places like Minneapolis and Charlotte. The S70 is 8'7" wide while CTA equipment is 9'4" but they are the same height, nearly the same weight, and the minimum curve radius they can negotiate is also comparable at about 85'. Really the CTA blurs the line between light and heavy rail in other ways too, not the least of which are the grade crossings at the ends of the yellow, pink, and Brown lines. Putting CTA equipment in the median of 71st street would blur the line even further but it's just a small incremental step, and besides, CTA trains would certainly be a better fit there than Metra's massive Highliners. Plus it would avoid introducing another type of rolling stock, where consolidation of orders and maintenance facilities is clearly desirable from the standpoint of scale.

Also, how high are CTA platforms- is it 45 inches? I have a suspicion it is close enough to Metra's that just adjusting the tracks and ballast, without actually rebuilding the platforms, would be enough.

Besides, I wanted to preserve the 63rd Street elevated lines for the southern leg of the massive but probably impractical Brown Line Loop. :) Really, 79th would be better given the density and existing bus ridership, but cost and pre existing infrastructure won the day in my fantasy map.


But if the powers that be wouldn't allow third rail on 71st street, I certainly would agree that rather than custom CTA style equipment with pantographs, off-the-shelf LRVs are the better route.

Mr Downtown Jun 16, 2016 7:50 PM

It's pretty hard to imagine any agency deciding, in this day and age, to install exposed third rail.

I'm not usually a fan of light rail, which often seems to combine the worst features of buses with the expense of a metro. But the flexibility and capacity seem like the right technology for linking the modest densities expected at Lakeside with the Green Line using the median ROW on 71st and Stony Island.

CTA Gray Line Jun 17, 2016 5:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 7476433)
I see your point, a one seat ride is desirable though not regardless of cost. However, I note that the capacity and size difference between CTA trains and light rail vehicles is actually pretty negligible. A six car CTA train is exactly the same length as a three car Siemens S70 in MU mode, the kind they run in places like Minneapolis and Charlotte. The S70 is 8'7" wide while CTA equipment is 9'4" but they are the same height, nearly the same weight, and the minimum curve radius they can negotiate is also comparable at about 85'. Really the CTA blurs the line between light and heavy rail in other ways too, not the least of which are the grade crossings at the ends of the yellow, pink, and Brown lines. Putting CTA equipment in the median of 71st street would blur the line even further but it's just a small incremental step, and besides, CTA trains would certainly be a better fit there than Metra's massive Highliners. Plus it would avoid introducing another type of rolling stock, where consolidation of orders and maintenance facilities is clearly desirable from the standpoint of scale.

Also, how high are CTA platforms- is it 45 inches? I have a suspicion it is close enough to Metra's that just adjusting the tracks and ballast, without actually rebuilding the platforms, would be enough.

Besides, I wanted to preserve the 63rd Street elevated lines for the southern leg of the massive but probably impractical Brown Line Loop. :) Really, 79th would be better given the density and existing bus ridership, but cost and pre existing infrastructure won the day in my fantasy map.


But if the powers that be wouldn't allow third rail on 71st street, I certainly would agree that rather than custom CTA style equipment with pantographs, off-the-shelf LRVs are the better route.

How much do you estimate all of this would cost? Versus the $500M Total Capital Cost of upgrading and utilizing the existing MED trains and physical plant: http://bit.ly/GrayLineInfo www.modernmetraelectric.org

orulz Jun 17, 2016 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 7477354)
How much do you estimate all of this would cost? Versus the $500M Total Capital Cost of upgrading and utilizing the existing MED trains and physical plant: http://bit.ly/GrayLineInfo www.modernmetraelectric.org

Obviously, a lot more. That is why it is a fantasy map, not a real plan.

Mr Downtown Jun 17, 2016 4:02 PM

^The "$500M Total Capital Cost" for the Gray Line is also just a fantasy.

ardecila Jun 17, 2016 6:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7476713)
It's pretty hard to imagine any agency deciding, in this day and age, to install exposed third rail.

I'm not usually a fan of light rail, which often seems to combine the worst features of buses with the expense of a metro. But the flexibility and capacity seem like the right technology for linking the modest densities expected at Lakeside with the Green Line using the median ROW on 71st and Stony Island.

Yeah, I'm unclear on exactly what you mean by light rail. Many light rail systems have characteristics very similar to CTA L lines. Seems like "light rail" vs. L is a distinction without much difference.

If there is an issue with third rail, perhaps CTA could bring back the old Yellow Line trains with pantographs for overhead wire, and some extra modifications for street running. Then you just run four-car Green Line trains with pantograph on the Jackson Park (now Lakeside) branch and six-car trains to Englewood.

The best of both worlds - you get one-seat L service to Jackson Park similar to what used to exist, but without the overhead viaduct that neighborhood leaders seem to hate.

Mr Downtown Jun 18, 2016 4:42 AM

It's not the weight, car dimensions, or overhead current collection. It's the braking distance and the capacity. It makes no sense to have four- or six-car Green Line trains trundling around through The Bush and out at Lakeside, running up car miles with only one or two people inside each car. South Chicago light rail would act as a feeder line to the line-haul Green Line. It could be BRT, of course, but we've already got the tracks and the overhead. In the future, a second branch could use the median of Stony Island all the way south to 95th.

CTA Gray Line Jun 18, 2016 5:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7477687)
^The "$500M Total Capital Cost" for the Gray Line is also just a fantasy.

The trains are running every day, no major construction like the Red Line Extension.; I actually don't think it would even cost that much..

The problem is that no Connected Construction Company Campaign Contributors get to make 2 or 3 Billion Dollars off of it -- this is after all the "Honest Administration" that hired the wonderful Ms. Barbara Byrd-Bennett (a true Model Administrator).

NOT Skimming Billions of Dollars is NOT the "Chicago Way" .....

CTA Gray Line Jun 18, 2016 5:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7478525)
It's not the weight, car dimensions, or overhead current collection. It's the braking distance and the capacity. It makes no sense to have four- or six-car Green Line trains trundling around through The Bush and out at Lakeside, running up car miles with only one or two people inside each car. South Chicago light rail would act as a feeder line to the line-haul Green Line. It could be BRT, of course, but we've already got the tracks and the overhead. In the future, a second branch could use the median of Stony Island all the way south to 95th.

WHY would anyone want to ride a feeder Line from Lakeside (for example) to 63rd St., to transfer to a Green Line train to make a whole bunch of stops to Downtown, when the MED goes directly Downtown with far less stops. That also leaves UoC, Hyde Park, Kenwood-Oakland, and Bronzeville still without Lakeside CTA service -- is that OK?

You also make the statement "one or two people in each car"; and that is exactly the situation that would be created.

The MED exists as an UNDERUTILIZED Class I Rapid-Transit Line with a much higher hourly capacity than the little toy 'L', why screw it up?

btw: What do you think of these peoples ideas, since mine are just sooooo bad?: www.modernmetraelectric.org

Mr Downtown Jun 18, 2016 2:41 PM

Because you're not going to have Bi-Levels or L trains making their way through the streets of Lakeside or The Bush every 10 minutes. Lakeside residents are not going to walk all the way over to 87th & Baltimore just so their ride to the Loop can be 8 minutes faster.

The lower-capacity/lower-cost feeder line is one of the most basic concepts in transit planning. It allows patrons to be getting somewhere instead of standing around waiting until there are enough people to justify a high-capacity mode.

LouisVanDerWright Jun 18, 2016 7:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 7478546)

NOT Skimming Billions of Dollars is NOT the "Chicago Way" .....

Lol, Chicago is wildly corrupt, but I can guarantee you that no one has ever made anywhere near a billion dollars off of it. In fact saying people are "skimming" a billion dollars suggests you have absolutely no concept of the scale you are talking about. Most Chicago corruption is actually very small in scale, but large in breadth. Example being patronage where you have thousands of small favors being repaid with thousamds of other small favors like employment or contracts, etc none of which net anyone huge sums of money on their face, but in sum they add up to a lot.

ardecila Jun 18, 2016 8:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 7474676)
Interesting you mention viaducts down to Webster -- I daresay if anywhere it's Ashland (next to Cortland) that really is decrepit and poses an issue to road safety, but I suppose that won't be addressed until Phase MMXXXV.

Yeah, the Clybourn station and associated viaducts are an entirely separate project. Really needs a total overhaul and redesign, ideally with a stationhouse and concessions, and a track-level trail connection to the 606. The one must-have is longer platforms so that all Metra trains can easily discharge passengers... right now certain cars on certain trains do not open their doors.

The Kennedy puts sort of a crimp on things to the west, but it should have better pedestrian links to Bucktown - a wide pedestrian tunnel under the Kennedy and rail tracks, tying into a TOD on the Howard Orloff dealership site. The impending death of the North Branch PMD bodes well for mixed-use development to the east, and a planned new river bridge at Armitage should alleviate some of the horrible congestion here.

Maybe one day it can resemble this station in Paris...

https://www.google.com/maps/place/92...770096!5m1!1e2

denizen467 Jun 18, 2016 10:28 PM

^ I look forward to a future holistic redevelopment of that complicated intersection, but what is this Armitage bridge of which you speak? Is this a wish list item or are the current projects at Finkl (IIRC, Sterling Bay et al) already taking it into consideration in their street grid planning? How far east would the roadway extend? Does the Cortland bridge get deprecated to cyclist use? Would twinned one-way bridges make sense?

An Armitage extension would lead its Ashland/Elston intersection into becoming another D/E/F mess. Adopting the Damen/Elston/Fullerton solution would require loads of land acquisition, so the intersection may be doomed to become a six-way. Unless the abovereferenced holistic redevelopment really coordinates something wide-ranging from the station to the river.

CTA Gray Line Jun 19, 2016 5:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 7478674)
Because you're not going to have Bi-Levels or L trains making their way through the streets of Lakeside or The Bush every 10 minutes. Lakeside residents are not going to walk all the way over to 87th & Baltimore just so their ride to the Loop can be 8 minutes faster.

The lower-capacity/lower-cost feeder line is one of the most basic concepts in transit planning. It allows patrons to be getting somewhere instead of standing around waiting until there are enough people to justify a high-capacity mode.

And how much do you estimate this will cost (including purchase of a new light-rail fleet - incompatible with any other Chicago rail system, and isolated to that one route); vs using a system already in daily operation (and bought and paid for) that provides a One Seat ride to Downtown with no transfer required.

You also didn't answer the question about CMME's goals: www.modernmetraelectric.org I wonder what they would think about your idea about pulling up the existing system; and you seem to ignore Lakefront Communities like Hyde Park, and Kenwood-Oakland North of 63rd St., what about them?

CTA Gray Line Jun 19, 2016 5:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 7478842)
Lol, Chicago is wildly corrupt, but I can guarantee you that no one has ever made anywhere near a billion dollars off of it. In fact saying people are "skimming" a billion dollars suggests you have absolutely no concept of the scale you are talking about. Most Chicago corruption is actually very small in scale, but large in breadth. Example being patronage where you have thousands of small favors being repaid with thousamds of other small favors like employment or contracts, etc none of which net anyone huge sums of money on their face, but in sum they add up to a lot.

I have complete and total understanding; somebody got $3B for that hole at Block 37 didn't they? (That could have been spent someplace else that needed if more)

THAT $2.5B+ RPM Project replacing much of the NSM could be done far, far cheaper -- but why when you have basically unlimited funds you can skim?

CTA Gray Line Jun 19, 2016 6:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 7479145)
THAT $2.5B+ RPM Project replacing much of the NSM could be done far, far cheaper -- but why when you have basically unlimited funds you can skim?

That "Red Line Extension" was going to be a Super Skim, but Thank God it priced itself right out of feasibility.

And notice how they were so worried about "Improving service to the Far South Side"; but since they can't get their gold-plated toilet seat -- it is just TOO BAD for the Far South Side, as they WON'T (or don't want to) consider any other alternatives, now do they?

Kngkyle Jun 19, 2016 6:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 7479145)
I have complete and total understanding; somebody got $3B for that hole at Block 37 didn't they? (That could have been spent someplace else that needed if more)

$3 billion? Huh? The figure I saw recently-ish was $400 million wasted. Not a small sum, but hardly $3 billion. And hopefully some day it can be used for something.


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