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twister244 Feb 28, 2023 11:34 PM

Well - Here's one sure way to increase CTA/Metra pickup NW of downtown.....

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...month/3083105/

ardecila Mar 1, 2023 6:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian_b (Post 9875165)
What more could you want from them? The town is so tiny that everything is a 15 minute walk or less from the station.

What I want is to restore the train station to the correct (downtown/Main St) location in each of these towns. If they had done so in Elburn, there would be little need for a TOD plan because the existing streets all converge on the downtown already.

bnk Mar 5, 2023 10:53 PM

Not sure if this regional rail network is still alive.



https://siteselection.com/issues/202...gs-to-come.cfm

From Site Selection magazine, January 2023


The Shape Of Things To Come

Infrastructure investments drive momentum in the Midwest.


I
llinois Gov. JB Pritzker is happy to point out that his state was ahead of the federal government in making generational investments toward infrastructure development. Pritzker, who was re-elected in November, spearheaded “Rebuild Illinois,” a $45 billion capital improvement project approved by the Illinois legislature during the first months of his first term in office. In August, Gov. Pritzker announced that under Rebuild Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation had made more than $8.6 billion in improvements to some 4,422 miles of highway and 412 bridges.

“Since I signed our historic, bipartisan infrastructure program into law,” he said, “Rebuild Illinois has undertaken a massive transformation of our state’s transportation systems.”

And not just that, Pritzker boasts, but now that funds are flowing from the $550 billion federal Infrastructure Act, Illinois, he contends, owns a commanding position for associated funding by already having laid the groundwork for specific road, rail, airport and port projects. The Infrastructure Act, state officials say, has allowed the state to expand projected spending by $4 billion.

“Because we passed Rebuild Illinois two-and-a-half years before, we are actually shovel-ready,” Pritzker said, “We’re in a position to do much more and more quickly.”

Under the year-old Infrastructure Act, Illinois has banked $73 million toward the state’s single most conspicuous transportation project, the $7.1 billion modernization of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the world’s fourth busiest. That project recorded a milestone in November when Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg travelled to Chicago to announce that — after a four-plus year environmental review — the ambitious renovation had received final clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Chicago’s transportation infrastructure,” Buttigieg said at O’Hare, “is what makes this city an economic powerhouse of global importance.”

“We’re in a position to do much more and more quickly.”

— JB Pritzker, Illinois Governor

Projects analyzed under the FAA review include new terminals and concourses, on-airport hotels and airfield and taxiway improvements. With the federal green light, construction is set to begin this spring on two satellite concourses that are to provide more than 1 million sq. ft. of gate and amenity space. The new configuration, said Mayor Lori Lightfoot, will dramatically expand the airport’s ability to accommodate aircraft of all sizes.


https://siteselection.com/images/1223SS_Midwest-one.jpg


...

As intriguing as it may sound, do not hold your breath, for the ultimate end-product is a 40-year dream with a projected price tag of up to $162 billion. The plan envisions a 3,000-mile passenger rail network consisting of “pillar corridors” radiating out of Chicago with endpoints in Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Detroit. Trains would run as fast as 125 miles per hour. A “hub and spoke” layout would serve to incorporate destinations as far-flung as Sioux Falls, Des Moines, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Carbondale, Dayton and Cleveland.

...

twister244 Mar 5, 2023 11:33 PM

Here's a question - Is there a place for someone like Brightline within the Chicago/Midwest arena?

I hadn't heard of Brightline until two seconds ago hearing about the LA/Vegas route about to be developed. I don't know the background, but when I looked up the trains and routes in Florida, they look damn nice.

Obviously Metra technically has jurisdiction for the metro suburban market, but can Brightline make an entrance with something like a Chicago/Milwaukee route?.... Or a Chicago-MI route? Or is this something Amtrack also plans on tackling?

Just thinking out loud after looking up Brightline....

bnk Mar 6, 2023 12:01 AM

Good question and I look forwards to a thoughtful question.

One thing I noted about that train map.
Most Big universities are on the line.

I did notice a few misses. Such as Iowa City, Bloomington Indiana, Ann Arbor Michigan, DeKalb Illinois but I figure it's on there and overlooked like the others I mentioned.

Getting to Milwaukee, Madison, and Urbana Illinois than on to Carbondale should be top priority first. Of course, for ND, South Bend but that should be easy too, the infrastructure is more than already there in many duplicates I figure. At even a slow speed of 125 mph, you're still going to have to under dig or overfly. At Grade crossings should really be avoided at all costs.

Imagine if we ever got the trains up to speeds one can see in Japan.
The Iowa line should be easy and pretty straight forward all the way to Omaha Nebraska.


Video Link

Busy Bee Mar 6, 2023 12:05 AM

They're not going to be going to any corridor thats already served by Amtrak. Brightline in Florida and the high desert between LA and LV are both fulfilling a market that previously did not exist - albeit one much more traditional diesel "higher speed" rail and the other very much real electrified true high speed rail.

twister244 Mar 6, 2023 3:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9883659)
They're not going to be going to any corridor thats already served by Amtrak. Brightline in Florida and the high desert between LA and LV are both fulfilling a market that previously did not exist - albeit one much more traditional diesel "higher speed" rail and the other very much real electrified true high speed rail.

That's a good point..... Here in the Chicago area, there really isn't much ground that isn't already covered by CTA/Metra/Amtrak...... Unless you start thinking about any routes not in the works from any of these agencies, that also don't already exist for a high-speed upgrade.

With that said - It could be kinda cool if Brightline could establish some "loop" routes to connect various lines across the city/metro. Think if it as an "RER" that can loop you through the city, connecting CTA lines - Almost like the CTA circle route we have all dreamed of. Then you have another one or two suburban "RER"-like routes that connect various Metra lines.

Of course, this may be very difficult in the city as there would have to be land bought, etc, etc. I'm sure any costs/red tape would preclude this idea ever getting beyond a bar conversation, let alone an actual idea penciled on paper.

ardecila Mar 6, 2023 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twister244 (Post 9883642)
Here's a question - Is there a place for someone like Brightline within the Chicago/Midwest arena?

I hadn't heard of Brightline until two seconds ago hearing about the LA/Vegas route about to be developed. I don't know the background, but when I looked up the trains and routes in Florida, they look damn nice.

Obviously Metra technically has jurisdiction for the metro suburban market, but can Brightline make an entrance with something like a Chicago/Milwaukee route?.... Or a Chicago-MI route? Or is this something Amtrack also plans on tackling?

Just thinking out loud after looking up Brightline....

Unlikely. The investor appetite to fund rail privately in the Midwest is non-existent, because of our slow population growth and limited tourism market. The strongest city-pair travel markets in the Midwest all cross state lines too, which make the approval process exceptionally tough when you start talking about building thru red states like Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio.

Maybe if Brightline was a smashing business success, you'd see more companies forming and trying to take on the Midwest, or maybe even the Class I freight railroads getting back into the passenger game. But as it stands, Brightline is only modestly successful even in a high-growth state with huge tourism numbers.

Both of the current Brightline projects are sort of unique situations too. In Florida they had the existing FEC mainline with a highly cooperative freight partner, and a cooperative toll highway authority that let them expand to Orlando. In California, they have hundreds of miles of open desert between Victorville and Vegas, a cooperative state government letting them use I-15, and they have shied away from entering the LA basin where construction gets difficult.

I think any private effort in the Midwest will end up more like Texas Central. Lawsuits and political opposition will kill it before it starts.

twister244 Mar 6, 2023 6:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9884076)
Unlikely. The investor appetite to fund rail privately in the Midwest is non-existent, because of our slow population growth and limited tourism market. The strongest city-pair travel markets in the Midwest all cross state lines too, which make the approval process exceptionally tough when you start talking about building thru red states like Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio.

Maybe if Brightline was a smashing business success, you'd see more companies forming and trying to take on the Midwest, or maybe even the Class I freight railroads getting back into the passenger game. But as it stands, Brightline is only modestly successful even in a high-growth state with huge tourism numbers.

Both of the current Brightline projects are sort of unique situations too. In Florida they had the existing FEC mainline with a highly cooperative freight partner, and a cooperative toll highway authority that let them expand to Orlando. In California, they have hundreds of miles of open desert between Victorville and Vegas, a cooperative state government letting them use I-15, and they have shied away from entering the LA basin where construction gets difficult.

I think any private effort in the Midwest will end up more like Texas Central. Lawsuits and political opposition will kill it before it starts.

Thanks for the rundown - Makes sense. They seem to offer a pretty solid product, so hopefully it gains some traction where they are putting them in.

sammyg Mar 10, 2023 7:05 PM

If you always wanted your own CTA car, a place in West Virginia is selling some old 2400-class cars for the price of a mid-size car.(they ran on the Purple Line until the 5000s started coming in)

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/3/...-west-virginia

Busy Bee Mar 10, 2023 7:51 PM

^^^Never really cared for the looks of the BV 2400 cars. The Budd 2200's were beautiful to me with the sharp lines, corrugated sides and the blinker doors. If I could turn one of those into a backyard studio I would.

Randomguy34 Mar 17, 2023 9:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9854574)
Yes, but the MEGA was not specifically a rail program. There are several other big pots of money reserved for rail that Amtrak could go for, and there are further rounds of MEGA grant funding in FY23, FY24, FY25 so this won't be Amtrak's only bite at the apple for Chicago Gateway. Still, I am very surprised that we didn't get a grant considering the regional support lined up behind it.

HSR Alliance gave an update and it seems like Chicago Gateway didn't get a MEGA grant because it didn't quite fit the criteria of the program. The good news is that Amtrak recognizes this is a critical project and is splitting the program into 4 different projects, and will apply for FY22-23 FSP grant for all 4 projects :cheers: Here's a quote from Amtrak expressing their support for the program:

Quote:

"Amtrak and our partners in Chicago and throughout the Midwest agree route and station concourse investments envisioned by Chicago Hub Improvement Program (CHIP) are of national importance. We have unprecedented support from business and government leaders and we will continue to seek every available federal funding opportunity for every element of CHIP."

ardecila Mar 18, 2023 12:11 AM

The "criteria for the program" being big, splashy projects with big, splashy ribbon cuttings like the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincy.

Glad to hear this is still alive, though. Hopefully they stop handicapping themselves and do the whole thing properly - a 2 track ramp into Union Station instead of single track, properly refurbishing the SCAL bridge, a 2-track quadrant connection at 16th St, triple-tracking the Rock Island (or 4-track passing segments), etc.

OhioGuy Mar 20, 2023 4:04 PM

CTA Begins Plan To Rebuild Red Line’s Sheridan, Rogers Park Stops In Massive North Branch Overhaul
Block Club Chicago | Joe Ward | 9:20 PM CDT on Mar 16, 2023

Quote:

As work continues on the rebuilding of the Red Line in Uptown and Edgewater, the CTA is now turning its attention to reconstructing the remainder of the transit line’s north branch.

The CTA is in the early stages of planning to rebuild the century-old Red Line stations and rail infrastructure not yet included in the massive Red-Purple Modernization Project.

That includes rebuilding the Sheridan stop and overhauling much of the Red Line infrastructure in Rogers Park, possibly including the Howard Street terminal, CTA officials said at a community meeting Tuesday.

CTA is also planning to overhaul the Purple Line branch that extends into Evanston and Wilmette, officials said.
Quote:

The Sheridan station, near the corner of Sheridan and Irving Park roads, is sandwiched between buildings. Its current footprint is too small for fully accessible features.

The station needs to be fully reconstructed to make it accessible, but engineers and architects will have to get creative if they are to work within the existing station footprint, said Christina Bader, project manager at CTA.

The Red Line tracks follow an S-curve just north of Sheridan, a feature that slows down service. Straightening it out will be a challenge as CTA only owns the land within the existing rail infrastructure, Bader said.

“There’s both old and new development that makes streaming the curve challenging,” Bader said at a community meeting Tuesday. “We’re looking at all options here, which include station location.”

Busy Bee Mar 20, 2023 5:12 PM

Here's a completely fair question... Is the time lost from the slowing of trains through the Sheridan s-curve, an s-curve with a station in the middle of it unlike say the old sharp s-curve at Harrison/Wabash, really significant enough to spend massive amounts of $ on saving at most 10 or 15 seconds with a huge smoothed out trackway?

OhioGuy Mar 20, 2023 5:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 9896940)
Here's a completely fair question... Is the time lost from the slowing of trains through the Sheridan s-curve, an s-curve with a station in the middle of it unlike say the old sharp s-curve at Harrison/Wabash, really significant enough to spend massive amounts of $ on saving at most 10 or 15 seconds with a huge smoothed out trackway?

Red line trains already need to slow down for the stop anyway, so I wouldn't think the S-curve is overly detrimental to speedy service... though it does slow down express service on the purple line since it doesn't typically stop at Sheridan. I'm relucant to see the little retail corridor outside the current Sheridan station demolished/altered significantly to make the curve smoother when red line trains will always need to slow down in that general area regardless of the presence of the S-curve in order to stop at the station.

If they need to move the station because the current spot is too constrained to make it fully accessible, I would assume they'd move it to the north side of Irving Park where there's adjacent linear parking along Graceland Cemetery that could be used for an expanded/fully accessible station?

Nexis4Jersey Mar 21, 2023 8:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twister244 (Post 9883642)
Here's a question - Is there a place for someone like Brightline within the Chicago/Midwest arena?

I hadn't heard of Brightline until two seconds ago hearing about the LA/Vegas route about to be developed. I don't know the background, but when I looked up the trains and routes in Florida, they look damn nice.

Obviously Metra technically has jurisdiction for the metro suburban market, but can Brightline make an entrance with something like a Chicago/Milwaukee route?.... Or a Chicago-MI route? Or is this something Amtrack also plans on tackling?

Just thinking out loud after looking up Brightline....

The only new corridors I see Brightline taking up are the Texas Triangle Routes...but the rest of the Country will largely have to deal with Amtrak and most state plans seem to acknowledge that. Amtrak has a lot of plans for the Midwestern Region and if the FRA Study gains traction then the Interstate Regions will be well-connected as well. Michigan , Minnesota and Illinois have strong plans and securing funding seems to be easier. While Ohio , Indiana , Wisconsin , Missouri are kinda shaky in the funding / political will dept. I'll just list the plans/proposals for the Chicago Amtrak Hub over the next 15-20yrs , I don't know the final name of some of these proposed services so I just them a generic name. I pulled most of this off of the 2035 plan and various state proposals and the FRA long distance Study with the full build out.

Chicago Hub
Illinois - Indiana - Michigan : Southern / Eastern Routes

  • Build an upgraded Airline Route allowing for direct access to Chicago Union Station from the Eastern Routes
  • Overhauling the Chicago Union Station Complex
  • Shift Amtrak Operations over to the South Shore Line West of Michigan City for increased reliability
  • Increase Track Speeds to 90-110mph along all Illinois and Michigan Routes
  • Increase Service along the Amtrak Pere Marquette 1x>3x daily
  • Increase Service along the Amtrak Wolverine 3x> 6x daily
  • Increase Service along the Amtrak Blue Water 1x>2x daily
  • Increase Service along the Amtrak Illini/Saluki 2x>3x daily
  • New Service : Amtrak Hoosier Northern – Chicago – Fort Wayne – Toledo – Cleveland – 2x daily
  • Restore the Amtrak Hoosier State and extend to Cincinnati – 3x daily
  • Restore the Amtrak Kentucky Cardinal to Louisville – Indianapolis – Chicago – 3x daily
  • Restore the Amtrak Three Rivers Service : Chicago – Fort Wayne – Akron – Youngstown – Pittsburgh – Harrisburg – Philly – NY – 1x daily
  • Restore the Amtrak Mountaineer : Chicago - Cincinnati - Christiansburg - Roanoke - Petersburg - Norfolk - 1x daily
  • Restore the Amtrak Floridian : Chicago - Louisville - Nashville - Birmingham - Jacksonville - Orlando - Tampa & Miami - 1x daily
  • Restore the Amtrak International : Chicago - Kalamazoo - Detroit - London - Toronto - 1x daily

Illinois - Iowa - Missouri : Western Routes
  • New Service : Amtrak Quad Cities service to Iowa City – Davenport – Chicago – 3x daily
  • Restore the Amtrak Black Hawk service to Dubuque – Rockford – Chicago – 3x daily
  • Extend Carl Sandburg to Hannibal - Quincy - Naperville - Chicago - 3x daily


Illinois - Wisconsin : Northern Routes

  • New Hiawatha Service to Green Bay from Chicago-Milwaukee – 3x daily
  • New Hiawatha Service to Madison from Chicago-Milwaukee – 5x daily
  • New Service : Amtrak Great Rivers to St. Paul via Eau Claire from Chicago-Milwaukee – 2x daily
  • Restore the Amtrak North Coast Hiawatha - Seattle - Spokane - Missoula - Bismark - Fargo - St Paul - Eau Caire - Milwaukee - Chicago - 1x daily


Now I have a few proposals that i'd like to see happen over the next 20yrs a mixture of Amtrak & Regional Rail Expansions , though very unlikely to happen without a massive political shift
  • Extend the Metra Electric Line to Kankakee
  • Extend the South Shore Line to Goshen
  • New Electric Regional Rail service to Fort Wayne from Chicago Millennium Station
  • Extend the Electrified West Lake Corridor to Lafayette
  • Electrify the remaining Diesel Metra lines
  • Electrify the Amtrak Illinois , Hiawatha to Milwaukee & Michigan Routes
  • Build the Metra Southeast Service : Chicago – Thorton – South Chicago – Balmoral Park
  • Southern Tier Limited : Chicago - Toledo - Cleveland - Erie - Binghamton - Scranton - Newark - Hoboken - 1x daily
  • North Star - Chicago : Milwaukee-Appleton-Superior-Duluth -1x daily
  • Restore & Extend the Amtrak Lake Country Limited : Madison – Janesville – Chicago – 3x daily

CaptainJilliams Mar 23, 2023 9:44 PM

Not sure if this belongs in the airport thread, transit thread, or both. A new way to get to O'hare is coming in a couple of years...

United and Archer will open an air taxi route to Chicago’s O’Hare airport in 2025

Quote:

Archer Aviation and United Airlines announced a partnership today to launch a commercial air taxi route in Chicago. The companies plan to open the flight path between downtown and O’Hare International Airport in 2025.

Besides being United’s headquarters and largest hub, Chicago's airport commute makes it an ideal testbed for flying taxis. For example, the drive to or from O’Hare, in the western suburb of Rosemont, can take anywhere from 35 minutes to over an hour, depending on traffic; even in one of the city’s elevated trains, it can take around 45 minutes. But Archer estimates a flight in one of its air taxis will only take 10 minutes to travel from O’Hare to its destination at a downtown helipad. The program will initially be limited to the mainline O’Hare / downtown route, but the companies eventually plan to add smaller paths to surrounding communities.
https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/VV...29f17d.cf.webp

https://www.engadget.com/united-and-...191352804.html

SIGSEGV Mar 23, 2023 9:51 PM

Hmm is that location really going to save people a lot of time? No way to build a heliport on top of a building or something? Roof of the union station tower would be kind of ideal...

I guess if you can clear security at the heliport and you're flying united it would save lots of time.

twister244 Mar 23, 2023 10:21 PM

Cool! Although I would prefer to see a landing location somewhere in downtown, but I assume if the program is scalable and successful, they could extend it to multiple drop off locations.

Are there any other cities planning on something like this, or can we gloat at being first here?


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