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  #15441  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2021, 9:27 PM
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Maybe the author is imagining a future where downstate secedes from Illinois and Chicago has to be the new capital
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  #15442  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2021, 9:54 PM
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The city, along with Metra, is hosting a virtual meeting 10/12 to discuss a West Loop Metra stop.

DPD,

@ChicagoDOT and @AldermanBurnett will cohost an informational webinar next month to update the Near West Side community on the feasibility of a future @Metra station and a related track realignment. The event will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct12 http://bit.ly/3lZptJM
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  #15443  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2021, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bgsrand View Post
The city, along with Metra, is hosting a virtual meeting 10/12 to discuss a West Loop Metra stop.

DPD,

@ChicagoDOT and @AldermanBurnett will cohost an informational webinar next month to update the Near West Side community on the feasibility of a future @Metra station and a related track realignment. The event will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct12 http://bit.ly/3lZptJM
This is a no brainer. They could build and open a station over a long weekend for basically no cost. Just pour some concrete next to the existing tracks. Google would probably do it for free.

Of course it'll instead cost half a billion dollars and take a decade.
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  #15444  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2021, 10:50 PM
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Oh give em some credit. It'll only cost a quarter billion dollars and take half a decade.

Seriously though im sure it will be a cheesy ye olde rail depot facsimile like so many Metra stations with the brick, the black crook lamps, the wrought iron instead of something that feels modern and airy it will feel heavy and old. Like their rolling stock, that's the Metra way.
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  #15445  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2021, 1:09 AM
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^ I'm not so sure about that. Sterling Bay is one of the parties pushing for this behind the scenes, and their contemporary design for the new Clybourn stop would not look out of place in London or Paris.

Also CDOT seems to be taking the lead on the planning process and all the new CTA stations they've done have also been contemporary, if not always elegant. Remember, Metra usually defers to the local jurisdictions for design of stations. The suburban stations all look old-timey because that's what the suburbs want. Peterson/Ridge is admittedly a stinker, but I think that's partly because CDOT wasn't involved and Metra just gave the design commission to the same guys that design their maintenance sheds.

As for the cost, the Fulton Market station is tied up with a new flyover that will eliminate the A-2 crossing, where all the UP-W trains going to Ogilvie have to cross in front of all trains going into the north side of Union (so MD-N, MD-W, NCS, Hiawatha, Empire Builder). That is an important investment to eliminate a major bottleneck on the system, and honestly worth spending half a billion dollars if it unlocks frequent CTA-like service to O'Hare or along the existing Metra lines.
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  #15446  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2021, 2:27 AM
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^Agreed.
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  #15447  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2021, 2:48 AM
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With Metra—sooner or later, at a cost yet to be determined—taking over operation of the UP lines, there's actually the opportunity to swap the terminals and maintenance facilities such that A-2 would go nearly unused. You'd send the NCS, MD-W, and MD-N trains to Ogilvie, and the UP-W trains to the north side of Union Station. Only Amtrak's Milwaukee trains would have to cross over at A-2.

Will that happen? Doubtful. The situation with UP won't be resolved for another five years, while Metra is anxious to rebuild A-2 with whatever federal money is about to get shaken loose. And the feds give grants for big construction projects—not for innovative thinking.
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  #15448  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2021, 3:16 AM
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It's not clear to me that Ogilvie could host MD-N, MD-W, and NCS in addition to UP-N and UP-NW which can't be rerouted. That's a lot of trains, and more importantly a lot of passengers. The concourse space available at Ogilvie may not be enough for the peak crowding and potentially unsafe in the event of a disruption. On the flip side it leaves the north end of Union under-utilized, and it's not clear what new services would fill the void (Rockford trains?)

There's also a vague plan for frequent (20-minute) service from Union Station to O'Hare, which would need to cross over at A-2 in any case.

I guess if you rebuild a fourth track from A-2 to Pacific Junction you can separate MD-N from MD-W and NCS, and send only MD-N to Ogilvie while sending UP-W to Union.
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  #15449  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2021, 3:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
It's not clear to me that Ogilvie could host MD-N, MD-W, and NCS in addition to UP-N and UP-NW which can't be rerouted. That's a lot of trains, and more importantly a lot of passengers. The concourse space available at Ogilvie may not be enough for the peak crowding and potentially unsafe in the event of a disruption. On the flip side it leaves the north end of Union under-utilized, and it's not clear what new services would fill the void (Rockford trains?)

There's also a vague plan for frequent (20-minute) service from Union Station to O'Hare, which would need to cross over at A-2 in any case.

I guess if you rebuild a fourth track from A-2 to Pacific Junction you can separate MD-N from MD-W and NCS, and send only MD-N to Ogilvie while sending UP-W to Union.
Is the proposed 20 minute O'Hare service going to be on the MDN? Isn't it preferable to have O'Hare service from Union rather than Ogilvie?
Also- is it known if the new Fulton Station will have platforms to service both train lines?
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  #15450  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2021, 4:24 AM
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O'Hare service wouldn't ever be on the MD-N. Most likely it would be on the NCS, which comes downtown on the MD-W.

I always wonder if it wouldn't be easier to build a new spur from the (Metra-owned) MD-W into ORD from the south—it runs less than 300 feet from Irving Park Rd—rather than have a big, expensive fight with CP over putting more trains on the NCS.

The Cassidy Tire property is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect the UP to the Union Station runthrough tracks, and I hate to see it lost for just another forgettable West Loop highrise.
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  #15451  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2021, 3:35 PM
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O'Hare service wouldn't ever be on the MD-N. Most likely it would be on the NCS, which comes downtown on the MD-W.

I always wonder if it wouldn't be easier to build a new spur from the (Metra-owned) MD-W into ORD from the south—it runs less than 300 feet from Irving Park Rd—rather than have a big, expensive fight with CP over putting more trains on the NCS.
Big, expensive fight? No fight (or, you know, cordial negotiation) can be as expensive as a 2-mile tunnel under one of the world's busiest airfields. At the US' insane tunneling costs, it would probably be cheaper to just buy half of CP's right of way to provide 2 dedicated passenger tracks up to ~Touhy. Initially with service to a pocket track at O'Hare Transfer station, but eventually with an above-ground spur paralleling the Blue Line into the terminal complex, similar to what Toronto has. Supposedly there are plans to rebuild I-190 so just widen it a little further to provide space for 2 more tracks.

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The Cassidy Tire property is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect the UP to the Union Station runthrough tracks, and I hate to see it lost for just another forgettable West Loop highrise.
Agreed on this point. I always imagined the UP spur connecting to the underground West Loop Transportation Center, with a portal north of Grand. I guess you could connect at-grade to the north end of Union Station, but the geometry would be awkward given the existing highrises around there, and you're stuck with 3 busy grade crossings at Grand/Kinzie/Canal.
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  #15452  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2021, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
O'Hare service wouldn't ever be on the MD-N. Most likely it would be on the NCS, which comes downtown on the MD-W.

I always wonder if it wouldn't be easier to build a new spur from the (Metra-owned) MD-W into ORD from the south—it runs less than 300 feet from Irving Park Rd—rather than have a big, expensive fight with CP over putting more trains on the NCS.

The Cassidy Tire property is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect the UP to the Union Station runthrough tracks, and I hate to see it lost for just another forgettable West Loop highrise.
I was thinking NCS-that is the current route. My question remains--is it preferable to have the terminus in CUS or OLG? And is the plan for the Fulton Market Metra to include platforms for both lines?
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  #15453  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2021, 9:07 PM
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I was looking on ChiTransit forum and saw someone posted about the CTA's current and future capitol projects. Phase 1 of the Forest Park branch reconstruction (Halsted to IMD) is funded through Rebuild Illinois, page 5 of this PDF lists the projects: https://www.cmap.illinois.gov/docume...=1607726249694

Quote:
Morgan Substation and Hermitage Traction Power Improvements ($50 M)
Racine Station ($33 M)
Halsted to IMD trackwork ($83 M)
Advance utility work ($12 M)
There are vague "future" projects the CTA has planned, like a $1.8 billion for expanding Brown Line capacity. The Brown Line was rehabbed a decade ago, so this makes me think they're considering an extension to Jefferson Park so trains can use the O'Hare branch's yards
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  #15454  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 1:35 PM
OrdoSeclorum OrdoSeclorum is offline
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Originally Posted by Randomguy34 View Post
I was looking on ChiTransit forum and saw someone posted about the CTA's current and future capitol projects. Phase 1 of the Forest Park branch reconstruction (Halsted to IMD) is funded through Rebuild Illinois, page 5 of this PDF lists the projects: https://www.cmap.illinois.gov/docume...=1607726249694



There are vague "future" projects the CTA has planned, like a $1.8 billion for expanding Brown Line capacity. The Brown Line was rehabbed a decade ago, so this makes me think they're considering an extension to Jefferson Park so trains can use the O'Hare branch's yards
Ugh. If you add up all of the CTAs plans for capital rail spending it's $11.5 billion on stuff like red line modernization and extension and $15 billion on station accessibility. I'd like to see better wheelchair access as much as the next guy, but we could get a Canal street subway and West Loop transportation center for that much.
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  #15455  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 2:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Randomguy34 View Post
There are vague "future" projects the CTA has planned, like a $1.8 billion for expanding Brown Line capacity. The Brown Line was rehabbed a decade ago, so this makes me think they're considering an extension to Jefferson Park so trains can use the O'Hare branch's yards
wouldn't a brown line extension out to jeff park cost A LOT more than $1.8B?

we're talking about roughly 2 miles of new subway tunnel under a busy main street (lawrence), with some very complicated tie-ins with existing rail lines on both ends.

i mean, the blue line's tracks currently sit in the middle of an expressway median, there's no way that tying into that would ever be cheap.

not that i personally wouldn't LOVE the utility of such an extension (i live a half block from the rockwell stop), but $1.8B just seems pretty low-ball on the surface of it.
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  #15456  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 3:15 PM
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For comparisons to analogous heavy rail projects, phase 1 of LA Metro's Westside Subway extension is $3 billion for 3.9 miles. This is one of the densest stretches of LA, and there was a lot of NIMBY opposition from Beverly Hill residents. For NYC 2nd Ave Subway, they spent $4.5 billion for a 1.8 mile extension. This is the densest stretch of NYC and there were similar complaints from Upper East Side residents. But of course the MTA is terribly mismanaged and completely blew up costs of the project, such as stations each costing $400 million compared to LA's $120 million stations, and tunnels being 200 ft below ground compared to 100 ft.

A Brown Line extension project will likely be more similar to LA's Westside Subway for several reasons. One is that the Brown Line can't dig too deep without disrupting the storm drains, so 100 ft is the likely tunnel depth. Beverly Hill and UES NIMBYs had campaigns and plenty of money to sue the extensions and delay the project, resistance from any Albany Park residents will be no where near as extreme. LA also has to build new turnbacks and new yards, while the Brown Line would be borrowing existing yards from the Blue Line. $1.8 billion for 2 miles shouldn't be entirely unreasonable.

Sources: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019...ure-costs.html
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  #15457  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 3:29 PM
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For comparisons to analogous heavy rail projects, phase 1 of LA Metro's Westside Subway extension is $3 billion for 3.9 miles.
oh, that's interesting. ~$750M/mile isn't as expensive as i would have thought.

my assumptions must be jaded from all of the negative press the costs for NYC's 2nd ave subway got.

if brown line to jeff park were to ever happen, how new many stations would likely need to be built? i'm guessing pulaski and elston at an absolute minimum. a half-mile station at central park would likely also be useful given the high population density of that stretch of albany park. what about that neighborhood squeezed in between the kennedy and the edens, would you put one in there? it wouldn't really be able to tie into anything going north south, unless metra ever built a lawrence stop on the MD-N, which seems unlikely given how close the current mayfair and forest glen stops are.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Oct 1, 2021 at 3:43 PM.
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  #15458  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 3:38 PM
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Originally Posted by OrdoSeclorum View Post
Ugh. If you add up all of the CTAs plans for capital rail spending it's $11.5 billion on stuff like red line modernization and extension and $15 billion on station accessibility. I'd like to see better wheelchair access as much as the next guy, but we could get a Canal street subway and West Loop transportation center for that much.
For $15 billion you could probably buy robotic legs for every wheelchair user in the city for the next two centuries.
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  #15459  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 4:03 PM
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if brown line to jeff park were to ever happen, how new many stations would likely need to be built? i'm guessing pulaski and elston at an absolute minimum. a half-mile station at central park would likely also be useful given the high population density of that stretch of albany park. what about that neighborhood squeezed in between the kennedy and the edens, would you put one in there? it wouldn't really be able to tie into anything going north south, unless metra ever built a lawrence stop on the MD-N, which seems unlikely given how close the current mayfair and forest glen stops are.
Yeah it would be great future-proofing if a 3rd station is proposed in that pocket neighborhood, just in case MD-N starts running more frequent service. The area has been slowly densifying the past few years, but it still might be too low to justify a subway stop

Another big thing I noticed in the PDF is that phase 2 of RPM will be $4.3 billion for Thorndale to Howard. Phase 3 costs are unknown, but it will be the Evanston branch + Addison to Wilson
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  #15460  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 4:08 PM
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oh, that's interesting. ~$750M/mile isn't as expensive as i would have thought.

my assumptions must be jaded from all of the negative press the costs for NYC's 2nd ave subway got.

if brown line to jeff park were to ever happen, how new many stations would likely need to be built? i'm guessing pulaski and elston at an absolute minimum. a half-mile station at central park would likely also be useful given the high population density of that stretch of albany park. what about that neighborhood squeezed in between the kennedy and the edens, would you put one in there? it wouldn't really be able to tie into anything going north south, unless metra ever built a lawrence stop on the MD-N, which seems unlikely given how close the current mayfair and forest glen stops are.
Since the line would need to go underground by the time it reaches Kimball, I'm thinking a subway station there under Lawrence, with an eastern entrance at Kimball and a western entrance at Central Park, with the platform between Drake to Bernard, might be reasonable? Length would be relatively close to that of the Logan Square blue line station, with its entrances just off the square on the NW side and the other entrance further northwest at Spaulding. I definitely agree with stations at Pulaski and Elston. As for the other between the Edens and Kennedy, maybe it would be worth it if dense development could happen on the industrial land adjacent to the Metra tracks, otherwise it's probably fine to just continue on to Jefferson Park without spending more money on an additional station.
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