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  #14541  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2018, 2:50 AM
emathias emathias is offline
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Construction I think. CTA has been sending the Red Line over the top (at least in one direction at a time) the past few weekends to do work in the subway.
Unrelated to State Street, but they've also been sending some Rush Hour Red Line trains to/from the Green Line South of Roosevelt. Helpful when I'm visiting a friend's place in Bronzeville from River North.

Also, just out of curiosity, and speaking of Metra electrification, is there such a thing as powering electric passenger units from a locomotive instead of using all the electricity within the locomotive? It wouldn't solve the issue of the excess weight of the locomotive, but it would solve the problem of only having traction in one part of the train. And if the cars were convertible to overhead, it would help pay for electrification in pieces - at least for the rolling stock - if Metra ever decided to electrify BNSF or UP-North or something else.
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  #14542  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2018, 3:14 AM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is offline
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Is the CTA ever going to eliminate the slow zone between Sheridan and Wilson? From my previous stint living in Chicago a decade ago I seem to recall this area also being slow zoned. Was it ever not slow zoned between 2009 & 2018? It seems like they’re always working on this stretch of track, but never seem to produce any worthwhile results (at least in terms of returning to appropriate speed).
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  #14543  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2018, 2:31 PM
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Unrelated to State Street, but they've also been sending some Rush Hour Red Line trains to/from the Green Line South of Roosevelt. Helpful when I'm visiting a friend's place in Bronzeville from River North.

Also, just out of curiosity, and speaking of Metra electrification, is there such a thing as powering electric passenger units from a locomotive instead of using all the electricity within the locomotive? It wouldn't solve the issue of the excess weight of the locomotive, but it would solve the problem of only having traction in one part of the train. And if the cars were convertible to overhead, it would help pay for electrification in pieces - at least for the rolling stock - if Metra ever decided to electrify BNSF or UP-North or something else.
Better just to convert and buy EMUs like Caltrain is to replace their diesel service. The much improved acceleration allows for shorter time runs which in turn boosts line capacity.

I think that Metra is again going to angle for electrifying the Rock Island instead however since they own it. Given that Nippon Sharyo is closing up here would be interesting to see if they'd buy something a little less primitive than the Highliners.
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  #14544  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2018, 3:48 PM
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Also, just out of curiosity, and speaking of Metra electrification, is there such a thing as powering electric passenger units from a locomotive instead of using all the electricity within the locomotive? It wouldn't solve the issue of the excess weight of the locomotive, but it would solve the problem of only having traction in one part of the train. And if the cars were convertible to overhead, it would help pay for electrification in pieces - at least for the rolling stock - if Metra ever decided to electrify BNSF or UP-North or something else.
Sorry, I'm a little confused about what your asking. Are you talking about the difference between an electric locomotive hauling or pushing a series of coaches like the arrangement we currently have on the diesel lines or are you describing distributed power like an EMU train where every car has electric axle motors?
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  #14545  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2018, 10:33 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Sorry, I'm a little confused about what your asking. Are you talking about the difference between an electric locomotive hauling or pushing a series of coaches like the arrangement we currently have on the diesel lines or are you describing distributed power like an EMU train where every car has electric axle motors?
I'm describing something that probably doesn't exist, but I'm asking if it ever has existed:

Diesel locomotives generate power for the electric motors in the locomotive - so has that electric power ever been used for powering EMUs from a locomotive's generator instead of from overhead or third-rail sources.

Alternately, where are we with battery-powered electric trains?
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  #14546  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2018, 11:37 PM
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^^^

OK gotcha.

I think an electrical engineer could probably explain this exactly but I think the laymen's understanding is that the electricity generated by a diesel generator as in modern diesel-electric type locomotives doesn't hold a candle to the instantaneous brake horsepower/torque/juice (or whatever the measure terminology is) of an electric alternator powered by direct overhead/3rd rail delivered current. It's apples and oranges. As for whether a diesel-electric locomotive has ever existed or will ever exist that distributes its' diesel derived generated electricity to individually powered coach axles as in an EMU type configuration - the answer to the best of my knowledge is no. I can't explain why technically, but I would imagine there would be no performance benefit to such a system. If the loco lacks the acceleration power for performance comparable to an electric multiple unit train, than distributing that inferior up-front power to traction motors throughout the train would have little to no advantageous effect. Again a physicist or electrical engineer could probably easily explain this better. To take your question further, you may be essentially describing a diesel multiple unit (DMU). DMU's in long consists have multiple points of diesel generation throughout the carriages and are distributed to multiple traction motors, but performance remains significantly poorer in regards to acceleration and top-speed as compared to electric multiple units for the aforementioned reasons.

Quote:
Alternately, where are we with battery-powered electric trains?
Well I know Siemens and others have trains in their product line that claim some on-board battery off-wire range, but what it is and what applications it could apply to IDK. I suppose in theory a battery train could perform just like a battery bus, where a recharging juice station is placed at specific intervals/locales (or train stops) to re-energize the batteries. But for world systems that already have "hard-wired" electrification (OCS or ground 3rd rail) there is no long term advantage to ever switch considering the lack of dependability that it would come with, even considering the built in cost of maintenance for a fixed system. As for Metra, such a proposal in that direction would be met by me at least as a half-hearted endeavor where line electrification is what is actually needed, not just for performance and environmental benefits, but for bringing the system up to world-class modern standards.
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Last edited by Busy Bee; Nov 18, 2018 at 12:16 AM.
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  #14547  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2018, 1:21 AM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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Longer Stadler FLIRT configurations like the ones used Fort Worth have a short power car sandwiched between 2 or 3 passenger cars, so that configuration must perform well enough for the kind of commuter rail service common to most American cities.
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  #14548  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2018, 1:42 AM
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Perform well, yes, but whether or not they have any performance advantage, specifically acceleration, as compared to a diesel locomotive and hauled coaches is up for debate. It would not come as a surprise though that they do have fuel cost savings over a stand alone engine. For most limited scale commuter operations in this country at least (think like Nashville with a few coaches and an old F40 locomotive) they are the better option. Thank goodness the FRA finally eased its' absurdly stringent safety regulations to allow the off-the-shelf European rolling stock.
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  #14549  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2018, 12:27 AM
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  #14550  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2018, 1:42 AM
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  #14551  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2018, 1:51 AM
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U.S. Finally Legalizes Modern, European-Style Train Cars

Angie Schmitt - Nov 23, 2018 - Streetsblog

This week, the Federal Railroad Administration finalized new safety rules [PDF] that bring American standards more in line with those used in Europe — changes that will save American commuter rail operators money and passengers time. Under the new rules, old, heavy trains can now be replaced with lighter, sleeker, more-modern models.

Meeting the Federal Railroad Administration’s onerous and antiquated safety rules has been a big problem for passenger rail operators that use the Federal Railway System (commuter rail and inter-city rail, like Amtrak). The U.S. doesn’t have a very large domestic train car market, so importing train cars from Europe and Asia is often the cheapest and lowest-risk option.

But FRA rules had required significant design changes. Most important, American train cars had to be built to withstand 800,000 pounds of frontal impact. Former Amtrak CEO David Gunn complained U.S. trains had to be designed like “high-velocity bank vaults.” Rather than just bulk up, European and Asian trains instead are designed to absorb impacts and avoid collisions in the first place. And they have better safety records.


https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/11/...le-train-cars/
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  #14552  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2018, 4:03 AM
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Last night at the under-renovation Garfield station. Notice some sparks flying in the background....
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  #14553  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2018, 7:51 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Has anyone on here ever ridden a bicycle to either of the major airports (MDW or ORD)? Either for fun or to actually catch a plane?
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  #14554  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2018, 11:20 PM
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Has anyone on here ever ridden a bicycle to either of the major airports (MDW or ORD)? Either for fun or to actually catch a plane?
I feel like I read a streetsblog article on this, but I can't find it so it's possible I dreamed it up.

Anyway I doubt it's possible to easily bike to O'Hare. Midway would be easy but you'd probably end up locking your bike at the Orange Line station anyway...
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  #14555  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2018, 5:31 AM
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Hey guys and gals out here in Sacramento we have Siemens they can build either electric or fast diesel-they built the sets for Florida's Brightline and they have the new contact with Illinois DOT, California's CalTrans and some other DOT's for new sets. Btw they build the new Charger locos-just something to think about..
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  #14556  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2018, 2:24 PM
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No comments on the Red/Purple Line construction that is now officially announced?
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  #14557  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2018, 4:12 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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No comments on the Red/Purple Line construction that is now officially announced?
It's good that it's finally starting. Hopefully the financing mechanism on the city end (transit TIF) proves successful and can be utilized more places.

The Belmont flyover is my personal favorite part of this since that was my old stop and not waiting for NB Brown line trains to clear Clark while my SB Red line train sits there is real good.
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  #14558  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2018, 4:43 PM
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^ Yeah, I just hope that the lots demo'd for the Belmont Flyover don't sit vacant for decades.

It's hard to recreate urban fabric in our car-obsessed and NIMBY dominated world
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  #14559  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2018, 5:15 PM
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One aspect I wasn’t aware of (though I’m guessing it’s always been part of the plan) is the construction of temporary stations. That way Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr can all be completely closed and rebuilt while major construction on the viaduct is underway. I just assumed they’d close Lawrence & Berwyn at the same time, forcing riders who use those stations to head north or south to the next station. Same for Argyle & Bryn Mawr. Since they’re constructing temporary stations, I’m wondering whether the entrances will be on the same streets as the current stations? Or perhaps a block further north or south since the mid point of 3 of those 4 stations is directly above the street they serve (excluding Berwyn where most of the platform is south of the street) and therefore a temporary station would need to be constructed above a different street to avoid overlap with the old station during reconstruction?

I’m looking forward to this overall project as I think the benefits are definitely worth it, though I’m most fearful the flyover will be a hulking concrete behemoth resembling a freeway overpass. I have near zero faith the CTA will succeed in creating something lighter/less over powering. Hopefully my concern is misplaced.
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  #14560  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2018, 5:52 PM
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Garfield (Green line) is being rebuilt while kept mostly open (weekend/night closures, plus a few one-way closures). It's a bit of a pain to use (I used it this morning) but better than closing...
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