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  #15841  
Old Posted May 20, 2022, 7:24 PM
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IDOT & CTA are seeking $400M grant from the new Infrastructure bill.

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg...linei-290-work

Apparently the project includes a big chunk of change for rebuilding sewers in the western suburbs (read: Maywood/Bellwood/Broadview). Not very sexy, but I assume that work would be included in the broader Eisenhower project so this gets it out of the way. The Federal grant program targets disadvantaged communities, so it looks like IDOT is trying to pass off part of their highway expansion as a social justice investment.

Sunken highways usually require big-time sewers so they don't turn into rivers every time it rains. The current I-75 project in Detroit included a special "deep tunnel" just to keep the highway dry, so I assume the Eisenhower will get something similar given the $400M pricetag for this piece.

The other part of the project ($160M) would rebuild the Austin and Cicero stations on the Blue Line and rebuild some portion of the crumbling tracks. Not sure if the stations will be rebuilt from the ground up, or just heavily renovated like the Medical District station a few years ago.

All in all, not getting very much out of a whopping $660M total investment IMO.
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  #15842  
Old Posted May 20, 2022, 7:45 PM
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That's because the investment is too small.
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  #15843  
Old Posted May 29, 2022, 11:28 PM
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Gas is almost $6, several friends have said they're now taking the bus & train and only driving when they have to
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  #15844  
Old Posted May 30, 2022, 5:04 AM
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This video news piece from the ABC affiliate in South Bend is 2 months old but I just came across it. Possible changes to the South Shore Line in South Bend are discussed.

Video Link
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  #15845  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2022, 10:14 PM
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Metra to sell $100 flat-rate monthly pass

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Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Metra is making Chicago area residents an offer that is too good to refuse – a $100 flat-rate “Super Saver” monthly pass valid for unlimited travel throughout the Chicago area. The new pass will be offered for a three-month pilot period starting in July.

--------SNIP-----------

Full fare “Super Saver” passes will cost $100, while a reduced fare pass for eligible seniors, K-12 students and children will cost $70. All riders on the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines also will pay the reduced fare rate, thanks to the Fair Transit South Cook Pilot, with the same stipulation that those passes are valid only on those two lines. The July passes will go on sale starting June 20.

Buying the new pass during the pilot program will be the same process as buying the regular Monthly Pass via the Ventra app and from ticket agents, with only a different price. The passes will look the same as the regular Monthly Pass and still display a zone pair (indicating the fare zones of the riders’ origin and destination stations), but conductors will know that all Monthly Passes are good for unlimited travel across all fare zones.

Metra will continue to sell the $6 Day Pass, valid for unlimited travel within one to three fare zones in a single day, and the $10 Day Pass, valid for unlimited travel systemwide in a single day.
SOURCE - https://metra.com/newsroom/metra-sel...e-monthly-pass
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  #15846  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2022, 11:55 AM
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now that it's coming together it's becoming clear how much of an impact the redline north rebuild is gonna have on uptown/edgewater, looks fantastic
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  #15847  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2022, 4:54 PM
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now that it's coming together it's becoming clear how much of an impact the redline north rebuild is gonna have on uptown/edgewater, looks fantastic
Could you elaborate
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  #15848  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2022, 4:19 PM
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The weekend Metra Electric trains have been packed to the point passengers have to sometimes stand for the ride. But according to Metra, people don't ride the trains outside of rush hour. So I was probably hallucinating my train ride
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  #15849  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2022, 4:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomguy34 View Post
The weekend Metra Electric trains have been packed to the point passengers have to sometimes stand for the ride. But according to Metra, people don't ride the trains outside of rush hour. So I was probably hallucinating my train ride
I think there's some truth to what you are observing. I ditched my car a couple months ago, so when I go out to my cousins (conveniently located near the Fox River Grover Metra station), I just hop on the Clybourn stop and shoot out. I've noticed a solid number of people on the trains, which is great to see. I suspect the $6 gas has something to do with it......

Riding the Metra again does make me super happy that there are plans to incorporate a new Clybourn stop into the Lincoln Yards project. It's so easy for me to hop on a Divvy in front of my building, shoot down Milwaukee, onto the 606 and to Clybourn. It's a fun ride actually.
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  #15850  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2022, 6:50 PM
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I did a metra pub crawl through the NW burbs on the UP-NW yesterday with a group of friends. Started in Norwood park, then hit Edison Park, Park Ridge, Des Planes, Mount Prospect, and ended in Arlington Heights then back to the city. So we were on 6 different trains throughout the afternoon and evening, and all trains were very heavily patronized, not standing room only, but the vast majority of seatswere occupied on all cars we were on, so folks are definitely using those weekend metra trains to get around the metro area. $6 gas is no joke when those all day metra passes are only 7 bucks.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Jun 5, 2022 at 10:15 PM.
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  #15851  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 11:40 AM
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HOLY SHIT CROSSRAIL CHICAGO MIGHT GET FUNDED!!! METRA MIGHT FINALLY BE COMPETENT!!


A unified push to revamp Union Station: Today's Juice

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Specifically, in an unprecedented but unheralded (until now) action, Amtrak and the states of Illinois and Michigan, joined by Metra, Chicago and Cook County, are working together to seek a huge grant as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, envisioning what eventually would be $850 million in work in and around the historic train depot.
....
Some of the work is in the station, including engineering for a complete rebuild of the station’s beyond-outmoded engineering system, $30 million or so for internal redesign to make the station flow better, and both engineering and construction to open a badly needed new platform by rebuilding the long abandoned mail-train platform. With sidings, according to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari, it will be able to handle four trains at once, something that those who have had to wait for a clear track to finish their trip will appreciate.

The bigger part of the first phase is outside the station. It will focus on building new track and realigning and making better use of the St. Charles Air Line bridge in the South Loop. Doing so will allow Metra to run trains south using Metra Electric and Rock Island tracks rather than relying on often congested Canadian National freight tracks.

That should allow both Metra and Amtrak trains to travel faster.

The work also will allow direct service from O’Hare International Airport to McCormick Place via Union Station—a key move that high-speed rail advocates consider a crucial piece of their plans for fast passenger trains nationwide.
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/juic...g-crains-juice
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  #15852  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 1:00 PM
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Just read it on my juice blast. Great news indeed!
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  #15853  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 3:25 PM
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I'm excited but waiting for more details here.

The SCAL bridge is the keystone of the CrossRail plan, but I'm waiting for an official statement on how Metra/Amtrak plan to use the bridge. I think the plan initially is to fix the reverse move on New Orleans and Carbondale trains.

In the medium term they also want to shift St Louis and San Antonio trains onto the Rock Island, so those trains will use this connection also. Long-term, they may route Michigan and East Coast trains this way, but that requires other new connections on the South Side and Indiana.

No idea what plans, if any, Metra has for the corridor. The SCAL is operationally separate from Metra Electric with no connections until you get down to Kensington. Further investments would be needed to really do CrossRail, including track connections between SCAL/ME and new McCormick platforms.
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  #15854  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 3:32 PM
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This is my first time hearing about a direct line from O'Hare to downtown on Metra. Would it just be one stop at McCormick? Seems like there should be a stop at Union Station, no?
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  #15855  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 3:39 PM
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The CrossRail plan was developed by advocates (Midwest HSR Association), not by Metra or Amtrak and is currently not official in any way, although CMAP did put in on their unconstrained project list (read: wish list). Under CrossRail, Metra Electric trains would go from University Park to O'Hare with major stops at McCormick and Union Station and lots of other local stops.

https://hsrail.org/sites/default/fil...e%20rgs-01.png
https://hsrail.org/midwest/crossrail-chicago

The construction of a bridge on the St Charles Air Line does not mean that Metra is ready to embrace CrossRail - it seems like (for now) this is an Amtrak-led project that will primarily benefit intercity trains. Right now the trains to St Louis can go fast through the open country, but once they hit Joliet they have to crawl up a congested freight line through the SW burbs to get into the city. Building the SCAL bridge will allow the St Louis trains to switch to Metra's Rock Island line to get through the burbs instead, which should allow faster and more reliable service to St Louis.

It would also cut maybe 10 minutes off the trip time for Amtrak trains to Champaign/Carbondale and New Orleans, which don't use the Rock Island line but they do have to make the railroad equivalent of a slow 3-point turn to get into Union Station.
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  #15856  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 3:55 PM
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Now that I have looked more into this.... Amazing. For sure, a direct fast line from O'Hare to the city with a stop at Union Station would be phenomenal. I would love to see something like Union Station in Denver where it's not just a train stop, but a "living room" for people coming into the city. There's restaurants and comfy seating inside the facility. Wouldn't take much to put that in, but it could do wonders for first-timers coming into the city.
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  #15857  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 3:58 PM
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Freight trains still use that elevated rail section parallel to 16th Street don't they? Does a freight railroad own that corridor? If so, how does that impact these plans in terms of reliability and frequency if the corridor must be shared and schedules negotiated between passenger & freight trains?
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  #15858  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 6:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioGuy View Post
Freight trains still use that elevated rail section parallel to 16th Street don't they? Does a freight railroad own that corridor? If so, how does that impact these plans in terms of reliability and frequency if the corridor must be shared and schedules negotiated between passenger & freight trains?
The St Charles Air Line is owned by Canadian National and has about 6 freight trains per day. I don't think that will be too much of a hindrance to passenger service, but if it is, there is room to add a 2nd or 3rd track along 16th St and up to 2 additional tracks across the river on the old B&OCT bridge (the one that is currently locked in the 'up' position).
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  #15859  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 8:28 PM
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I'm always so annoyed they didn't flip the new rental car facility at O'hare and put the ATS on the east side of it instead of the west side. You could literally have the ATS and Metra station consolidated together to transfer people.

As it is now extend that ATS up another 1,000 feet with a station over Higgens. Have an exit on the south side tied into the Sheraton and Holiday Inn and then rip down that crap on the north side and put in a large master planned hotel/convention, etc complex directly tied into the ATS. Willow Creek runs right through the middle of it, redevelop that as a functional water feature right through the middle.
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  #15860  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2022, 10:30 PM
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This is awesome news! Untangling the Amtrak mess south of Union would be a dream come true. The talk has been going on forever. Hopefully the funds come through and shovels hit dirt on this finally.

Express trains to O'Hare are badly needed and would be a huge boost to the city as well. Attempting to do it on the Blue Line was never the right approach (thanks, Daley) since you would need to at the very least triple track the entire Blue Line, which would be either prohibitively expensive or downright impossible to do on the elevated structure and subway tunnels. Whereas using existing rail networks and having Metra operate it is much more feasible since the line and existing station (O'Hare Transfer) exist.

Much to MayorOfChicago's point, it is silly that you need to lug your suitcases across 1000 ft of parking lot to go from the O'Hare ATS to the Metra station. I wonder how much more it would cost to simply dig a tunnel and have a Metra stop directly underneath O'Hare, ala the Blue Line? It would be a huge timesaver and be much more convenient to ride only one train downtown, instead of having to transfer from the ATS. Alas, almost 100% unlikely to happen anytime in the near future. I will gladly settle for express runs to O'Hare Transfer from Union, if we are lucky enough to get that
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