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  #15981  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2022, 5:01 PM
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Knowing the history and philosophy of Metra it is way too much to expect them to piggyback on this wave in the next few years. Maybe a 2075 introduction rate if all goes well?

The only silver lining to pin any hopes on perhaps is that the recent new train set contracts are with Alstom? if I remember correctly?

Quote:
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/c...ins/index.html
The world's first hydrogen-powered passenger trains are here
Julia Buckley, CNN • Updated 24th August 2022

.......Fourteen hydrogen trains powered by fuel cell propulsion will exclusively run on the route in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony. The 93 million euro ($92.3 million) deal has been struck by state subsidiary Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LVNG), the owners of the railway, and Alstom, builders of the Coradia iLint trains. The Elbe-Weser Railways and Transport Company (EVB), which will operate the trains, and gas and engineering company Linde, are also part of the project.
The trains, five of which which debut Wednesday, will gradually replace the 15 diesel trains that currently run on the route, with all 14 running exclusively by the end of the year. Just 1 kilo of hydrogen fuel can do the same as around 4.5 kilos of diesel.
The trains are emissions-free and low-noise, with only steam and condensed water issuing from the exhaust. They have a range of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), meaning they can run for an entire day on the network on a single tank of hydrogen. A hydrogen filling station has already been established on the route. The trains can go at a maximum of 140 kph, or 87mph, though regular speeds on the line are much less, between 80-120 kph........
..
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  #15982  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2022, 8:53 PM
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This is not a solution to pin the future on. The German trains are just an experiment, and it could be several decades until the technology is "ready" - that is, commercially viable and low or no emission.

Most hydrogen produced now is "gray" hydrogen that is produced from natural gas and the process emits tons of CO2 into the air, so you've got to deal with all the environmental impacts of fracking and oil spills even if there are no emissions at the point of use. The proposed solution to this is "blue" hydrogen where they just pump the CO2 into the ground instead of the air. Just like the "clean coal" myth. In theory you can produce "green" hydrogen from water via electrolysis, and you can get the electricity from renewable sources like solar or wind, but nobody has figured out how to do this cost-effectively.

Compare this to electrification the traditional way, with overhead wires. This is expensive up front, but it relies on mature technology that is 100 years old. And the actual source of energy can be anything, so even if you run it off natural gas or coal power plants initially, it will decarbonize over time as the grid switches over to renewables (or nuclear).

In fact Germany is continuing to electrify its busier lines, the only reason hydrogen made sense for this particular line is because it doesn't run frequently enough for electrification to make sense financially. I think the threshold in Europe is usually around 2 trains per direction per hour, so a 30-minute headway is when electrification makes sense. Metra is very close to that threshold. (Germany is also in a pickle because it relies on Russia for most of its oil&gas, so they need a fast way to cut back on their diesel use.)
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Last edited by ardecila; Aug 28, 2022 at 9:06 PM.
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  #15983  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2022, 9:09 PM
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That being said, the (sketchy) new proposal for KRM commuter rail up in Wisconsin is proposing to use hydrogen trains. They would probably need to be from Alstom, since nobody else is making them yet.

I'm 95% sure that KRM project will die yet again, but there's a slim chance the Biden administration decides to send them a big check - Dems love to build rail projects in red states, like Obama and all of his streetcar lines.
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  #15984  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2022, 12:26 AM
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The MED has been pretty packed during off-peak this week. Too bad Metra will likely respond by adding more rush hour service
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  #15985  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2022, 6:58 PM
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FYI:

APTA ridership report for 2nd quarter available, comparing ridership across systems

https://www.apta.com/research-techni...ership-report/
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  #15986  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2022, 1:13 AM
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Concrete on the new flyover still making headlines since it hasn't been fixed yet:

Video Link
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  #15987  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2022, 1:23 AM
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The engineer and the contractor really should be tarred and feathered.
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  #15988  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2022, 7:04 PM
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Seems like mostly a cosmetic issue, and the complaints are being pushed by people who opposed the flyover in the first place. I don't think there have been any injuries or property damage.

I'm guessing the contractor doesn't know which spots were grouted and which were not, so they are waiting for the spalling to run its course before doing a one-time fix. I am surprised that Walsh/Fluor hasn't put up netting, though. Seems like an simple way to protect against liability.
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  #15989  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2022, 6:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Seems like mostly a cosmetic issue, and the complaints are being pushed by people who opposed the flyover in the first place. I don't think there have been any injuries or property damage.

I'm guessing the contractor doesn't know which spots were grouted and which were not, so they are waiting for the spalling to run its course before doing a one-time fix. I am surprised that Walsh/Fluor hasn't put up netting, though. Seems like an simple way to protect against liability.
Concrete doing that seems like there was something wrong with the mix and pour or most likely the rebar that can cause that crumbling.
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  #15990  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2022, 8:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WrightCONCEPT View Post
Concrete doing that seems like there was something wrong with the mix and pour or most likely the rebar that can cause that crumbling.
The parapet panels are held in place with epoxy anchors, the CTA has already admitted that not every anchor was properly filled with epoxy. This likely allowed certain panels to flex because of wind or the train vibrations, and the flex led to shear forces that caused failure at the concrete slab edge. I'm not sure there is an easy fix for this, though. Likely they will need to design some kind of reinforcement for this joint, probably something ugly bracketed on the outside of the structure.

I hope they figure out a solution, because there will be roughly 6 miles of similar sound parapet walls yet to be installed on the RPM project. I still think the problem is not safety critical, but I take back what I said about it being "cosmetic".


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  #15991  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2022, 9:55 PM
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I'm sorry but the engineering here is just so stupid. Why even the need for parapet walls made of concrete...and if were getting right down to it why even the need for parapet walls at all? Sound control? Sound control on the up and over roller coaster but none on either side makes limited sense. And if you are going to have parapets instead of a simple galvanized safety fence why not use a lightweight material that has a straightforward and conventional means of attachment? "Epoxied rods into concrete" just sounds like the title of the case study done before a multi-million dollar redo snafu just a couple years after completion. Oh wait...
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  #15992  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2022, 11:18 PM
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The sound parapet walls are required mitigation since CTA is adding a new structure (the flyover) that did not exist before. If you look at the Orange Line, you will see similar parapets on the viaducts, although those are more conventional type similar to highway ramps. A better example would be the Belmont and Fullerton stations, which had a mixed steel/concrete parapet wall that seems to be more durable but not as sleek.

CTA is also rebuilding 2 blocks of the Main Line from Belmont to Cornelia and that will get parapets as well, and the new structures from Lawrence-Ardmore too.

Epoxy is a common means of attachment these days, it's not exotic. Gets used all the time on Chicago highrises.
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  #15993  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2022, 1:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post

Epoxy is a common means of attachment these days, it's not exotic. Gets used all the time on Chicago highrises.

Yes I'm quite familiar with the use of epoxy anchorage in construction. My fair suggestion is maybe it wasn't the best application in a situation where 300 tons of steel and load rumbles those connections 100+ times a day. The fact they are failing sort of backs up that concern for me.
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  #15994  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2022, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Yes I'm quite familiar with the use of epoxy anchorage in construction. My fair suggestion is maybe it wasn't the best application in a situation where 300 tons of steel and load rumbles those connections 100+ times a day. The fact they are failing sort of backs up that concern for me.
Then why didn’t the ones that were filled with epoxy properly fail?
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  #15995  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2022, 5:46 PM
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Then why didn’t the ones that were filled with epoxy properly fail?
Without an independent investigation its hard to know whether this was a design flaw or a construction quality issue.

I don't think there is an issue with the use of epoxy here per se, but design factors like the embedment depth, edge distance, etc make the difference between success or failure just as much as the execution does.

Not much point in continuing to debate this here on SSP unless more information comes out.
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  #15996  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2022, 8:18 PM
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Via @ChiBuildings on Twitter, it looks like the Damen Green Line station has finally broken ground:



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  #15997  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2022, 8:32 PM
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Good to see Damen breaking ground. Now they just need to get going on the State/Lake station and we need to push for a Halsted station for the Green/Pink line in Fulton Market. What other lines need new stations?

Any update on whether or not CTA will rehab the Forest Park branch of the blue line? So many of the stations past IMD need desperate rehab.
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  #15998  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2022, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by lakeshoredrive View Post
Good to see Damen breaking ground. Now they just need to get going on the State/Lake station and we need to push for a Halsted station for the Green/Pink line in Fulton Market. What other lines need new stations?
I know the red line is already full of stations, but it seems to me that it would make sense to add a station on Clyborn just north of Division. Orange line could use a stop at 43rd. It sucks that so much of the track is surrounded by highway/industrial/strip malls. The city should really consider rezoning and promoting residential like around the Kedzie station for instance. Pulaski has space for some big development around it as well, but Ashland was probably the worst location they chose. The stop would make so much more sense a little further out, just South of the 55. Then you coulda also put a stop at Loomis without the stations being too crowded. The orange line is a mess, but I still think a 43rd street station would be good.

Not CTA, but Metra Electric could use another stop between 47th and 26th.
MD-N and W could use a stop in Humboldt Park and, of course, at Ashland/Ogden.
SWS could use one somewhere around Damen or Ashland, but they also need more service. Maybe once they are terminating at Lasalle Street the next project could be adding that station.

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I got right now.
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  #15999  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2022, 5:14 PM
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Transit construction in this city (country in general sadly) moves at a ridiculously slow pace. Why is the red line expansion not starting now? Why wait till 2025???? Didn't Biden just give cities trillions of dollars for infrastructure? The Damen green infill stop should have been started.

Wish we had leaders that prioritized transit. When Rahm was in office there were tons of transit stuff going on.
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  #16000  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2022, 5:59 PM
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^ Federalism?

Some aspects of our systwm of government is genius but planning and bringing into fruition infrastructure is not one of them. In my opinion the country would be better off if much if not most key infrastructure - including road, rail and transit - was centrally planned and executed from the federal level guided in part by state priorities and insight but also consistent long term national goals and most importantly FUNDING. The system as it currently works leaves much to the states which in many cases don't have the resources, ambition or imagination to plan for such infrastructure and thats not even getting into the lack of cooperation between the states.
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