HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Transportation


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #14441  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2018, 10:04 PM
SIGSEGV's Avatar
SIGSEGV SIGSEGV is offline
He/his/him. >~<, QED!
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Loop, Chicago
Posts: 5,330
Crazy idea once Musk throws in the towel:

Dig a tunnel under Randolph, connecting the ME to the UP and MD lines with a stop at State.

Then Electrify MD-W/NCS to O'Hare and UP-N to Evanston and have through routed trains serving.

Evanston -> Kensington (10-15 minute headways, with in-fill stops every mile or so).
O'Hare -> South Chicago (15-20 minute headways, more stops near the city. Could also have an O'Hare -> Loop -> Convention Center express).

I guess it might would easier to run it via the St. Charles Air Line if Freight can be kicked off (it would only require a bridge instead of a tunnel) but then it would skip a lot of the loop (but maybe the connection at Clinton is enough... and a Red Line station might be built at 16th st in the future anyway allowing a connection there).
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14442  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 12:01 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,396
Here's an interesting tidbit:

Tesla has a lot at Elston and Belmont either under lease or contract. I heard a Tesla dealership is supposed to take up half the lot, but one wonders if that wouldn't be a convenient midpoint for Boring Co staging on the other half of the lot...

They are claiming they will have paperwork in 3 months almost a month ago, anyone hear any rumblings with permits or anything like that being applied for with the city?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14443  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 1:31 AM
SIGSEGV's Avatar
SIGSEGV SIGSEGV is offline
He/his/him. >~<, QED!
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Loop, Chicago
Posts: 5,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
Here's an interesting tidbit:

Tesla has a lot at Elston and Belmont either under lease or contract. I heard a Tesla dealership is supposed to take up half the lot, but one wonders if that wouldn't be a convenient midpoint for Boring Co staging on the other half of the lot...

They are claiming they will have paperwork in 3 months almost a month ago, anyone hear any rumblings with permits or anything like that being applied for with the city?
Hmm. That's conveniently halfway between the Loop and O'Hare on their proposed alignment.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14444  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 4:14 AM
emathias emathias is offline
Adoptive Chicagoan
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 5,157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
No real need for any new infrastructure. Metra could simply have UP-N run 10-minute-headway service between Ogilvie and Evanston. New S-bahn stations at Howard, Bryn Mawr, Irving Park, Armitage, and Chicago Ave. could assist regional mobility. But it still offers no easy link to any CTA line other than Brown, so does nothing much for Lincoln Yards. And the odds seem very long that Metra—which gets not one penny from city residents—would get excited about runniing a new service serving only the city. Politically (and logically) it would need to be part of a program doing a similar thing on Metra Electric South Chicago and Rock Island Suburban Branch, and maybe Milw-West (to O'Hare!) as well.
Couldn't a TIF district along the UP-N be created specifically to electrify, send some money to Metra and increase city service?
__________________
I like travel and photography - check out my Flickr page.
CURRENT GEAR: Nikon Z6, Nikon Z 14-30mm f4 S, Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S, Nikon 50mm f1.4G
STOLEN GEAR: (during riots of 5/30/2020) Nikon D750, Nikon 14-24mm F2.8G, Nikon 85mm f1.8G, Nikon 50mm f1.4D
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14445  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 12:13 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Couldn't a TIF district along the UP-N be created specifically to electrify, send some money to Metra and increase city service?
You'd need state legislation to authorize it but yea. Electrification Davis to Ogilvie maybe runs $350M-ish not including new stations.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14446  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 1:24 PM
Mr Downtown's Avatar
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
Urbane observer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,339
Why is any electrification needed? Are we going underground for a lengthy stretch somewhere?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14447  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 2:17 PM
SIGSEGV's Avatar
SIGSEGV SIGSEGV is offline
He/his/him. >~<, QED!
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Loop, Chicago
Posts: 5,330
It's not needed per se but electric trains accelerate much faster
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14448  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 2:24 PM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
Unicorn Wizard!
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,037
EMU's have superior acceleration and would be more suited to a line with a large number of stops. From what I can tell, the line doesn't have many bridges that go over the tracks since its an embankment itself, so catenary clearance and air gap for 25kv power could be unlimited.

The F40PHs seem to produce more diesel smoke and noise than Cousin Bubba's rolling coal F250 dually, and that might effect the ability for TOD to develop around these stations.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14449  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 2:52 PM
ardecila's Avatar
ardecila ardecila is offline
TL;DR
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 15,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Why is any electrification needed? Are we going underground for a lengthy stretch somewhere?
No, but neither is Toronto. Yet they have deemed electrification to be crucial for converting their commuter rail system into a Euro/Japanese-style regional rail system.

It's a complicated discussion and depends on the assumptions about service. Set the new 10-minute service aside for a second and think about how the existing service will be impacted by more city stations.

Are we assuming that many or most of Metra's existing trains will run express through the North Side, and bypass the new infill stops? If yes, then the schedule will need to somehow juggle fast-moving suburban trains with slow-moving Evanston trains, on two tracks. If the local Evanston trains run at a ten-minute headway in both directions, I'm not sure this is workable.

One way around this is to electrify the line (not to Evanston, but all the way up to Lake Bluff or something) and use the time savings to make all trains local. According to some unofficial simulations done for SF's Caltrain, an EMU is able to save 13 minutes on a 40-mile corridor vs. a push-pull diesel. That 13 minutes of time savings more than makes up for 3 or 4 additional stops added to the line. Of course, you could make all trains local without electrification, but then the North Shore folks get pissed at how much longer their commute takes.

The other option is to restore the third track up to Evanston without electrification and allow peak-period express trains to bypass the locals. This would be more in line with Metra's style of thinking and does not require any new rolling stock beyond what is required for the Evanston service. However, off-peak and reverse commute service would still face the same limitation of slotting into the Evanston service's ten-minute headway. Any increases to trip time for those trains would likely have the effect of dropping ridership and pushing more people into cars.
__________________
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...

Last edited by ardecila; Jul 25, 2018 at 3:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14450  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 2:54 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
The F40PHs seem to produce more diesel smoke and noise than Cousin Bubba's rolling coal F250 dually, and that might effect the ability for TOD to develop around these stations.
Yes, clean and quiet would be major political selling points for people living along the line. The existing Metra loco fleet is really neither of those things.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14451  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 3:00 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
One way around this is to electrify the line (not to Evanston, but all the way up to Lake Bluff or something) and use the time savings to make all trains local. According to some unofficial simulations done for Caltrain, an EMU is able to save 13 minutes on a 40-mile corridor vs. a push-pull diesel. That 13 minutes of time savings more than makes up for 3 or 4 additional stops added to the line.
Now we're up to the 1.5B range. If we're going to do that might as well figure out a way to connect it with the MED and through run.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14452  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 3:03 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 880
There was supposed to be a metra station at Peterson Ave built for the last 5 years, but from what I can see Metra hasn't been able to secure funding for it yet.

They spent about 6 years it seems to rebuilt the Lawerence Ave station, and they are only halfway finished. It's hard to image them electrifying the line in our lifetime. At the pace they are going at Lawerence it seems like they must be hand carving the station out of marble blocks, lol!

Just doing more frequent trains would help alot, and getting some newer trains that don't belch diesel fumes.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14453  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 3:08 PM
ardecila's Avatar
ardecila ardecila is offline
TL;DR
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 15,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Now we're up to the 1.5B range. If we're going to do that might as well figure out a way to connect it with the MED and through run.
Even without through-running, an electrified UPN has a lot of independent utility. Chicago (West) Loop and Evanston are both big, walkable hubs with significant anchors, and the corridor in between (at least south of Howard) probably has a lot of untapped potential for rail ridership.

But I do agree that it might make sense to choose a compatible DC electrification so that an eventual connection doesn't require MED to be reconstructed. You can punt on the actual connection, or find a way to use the SCAL on the cheap while waiting for a proper underground connection that actually serves part of the CBD.

There's also a whole debate about platform heights that turns into a huge chicken-and-egg problem. Good regional rail service requires high platforms and level boarding, but then Metra's bilevel trains can't use those platforms. How do you build a regional rail overlay on top of a Metra line? Caltrain's solution is to order a whole fleet of EMUs with two different sets of doors for use during the transition, which adds millions to the price of those cars.
__________________
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14454  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 3:20 PM
ardecila's Avatar
ardecila ardecila is offline
TL;DR
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 15,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baronvonellis View Post
There was supposed to be a metra station at Peterson Ave built for the last 5 years, but from what I can see Metra hasn't been able to secure funding for it yet.

They spent about 6 years it seems to rebuilt the Lawerence Ave station, and they are only halfway finished. It's hard to image them electrifying the line in our lifetime. At the pace they are going at Lawerence it seems like they must be hand carving the station out of marble blocks, lol!

Just doing more frequent trains would help alot, and getting some newer trains that don't belch diesel fumes.
Metra is heavily reliant on state funding for capital projects, and the state is not interested in investing in transit systems right now. CTA is a different story, it's tightly linked to Chicago as a single political body so Emanuel can do things like use TIF funding for stations in many parts of the city, or propose (and get approved!) a TIF district that covers the entire North Red Line corridor. If CTA did not enjoy the unwavering support of the mayor, it too would be crumbling like Metra is.

As a regional bureaucracy covering hundreds of small municipalities, Metra can only dream of such fundraising ability. Instead it has to rely on the state government, and all its inadequacies, as the only body of government with the power to raise money across Metra's entire territory.
__________________
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14455  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 3:23 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Even without through-running, an electrified UPN has a lot of independent utility. Chicago (West) Loop and Evanston are both big, walkable hubs with significant anchors, and the corridor in between (at least south of Howard) probably has a lot of untapped potential for rail ridership.

But I do agree that it might make sense to choose a compatible DC electrification so that an eventual connection doesn't require MED to be reconstructed. You can punt on the actual connection, or find a way to use the SCAL on the cheap while waiting for a proper underground connection that actually serves part of the CBD.

There's also a whole debate about platform heights that turns into a huge chicken-and-egg problem. Good regional rail service requires high platforms and level boarding, but then Metra's bilevel trains can't use those platforms. How do you build a regional rail overlay on top of a Metra line? Caltrain's solution is to order a whole fleet of EMUs with two different sets of doors for use during the transition, which adds millions to the price of those cars.
I don't disagree that there are a lot of benefits. Communities along the route will have to buy in though with the transit TIF to come up with the money to accomplish it.

SCAL seems like the most likely option to though run even though it will require a somewhat costly bridge over the yard south of CUS to connect to the throat tracks. Still better than a tunnel and a crazy expensive deep station.

I'm trying not to ruin my morning thinking about the platform height issue.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14456  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 8:02 PM
Mr Downtown's Avatar
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
Urbane observer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,339
Quote:
Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
electric trains accelerate much faster
Only in theory. UP-North takes 36 minutes to make 16 stops along 14.7 miles of track (Main St Evanston to Fort Sheridan). The much faster-accelerating Metra Electric, featuring high platforms for faster loading, takes 38 minutes to make 16 stops along 14 miles of track (87th St to Flossmoor).
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14457  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 8:42 PM
ardecila's Avatar
ardecila ardecila is offline
TL;DR
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 15,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Only in theory. UP-North takes 36 minutes to make 16 stops along 14.7 miles of track (Main St Evanston to Fort Sheridan). The much faster-accelerating Metra Electric, featuring high platforms for faster loading, takes 38 minutes to make 16 stops along 14 miles of track (87th St to Flossmoor).
Metra Electric's scheduling is hard to predict because the many flag stops add unpredictability. Presumably the trains have schedule padding to account for the possibility of one or several flag stops. 87th, in fact, is a flag stop which makes it an odd choice. There are only a handful of trains per day that could possibly make both stops. However, Metra schedules show a travel time between 28-31 minutes from 87th to Flossmoor. The fastest UP-N train covering Main St to Fort Sheridan, assuming all stops including Ravinia Park to keep the stop count the same, is 34 minutes.

34/28 = a 21% speed boost comparing EMU to diesel push=pull. This is roughly consistent with the 23% speed boost shown in the study I linked to above (if you compare the apples to apples numbers at 79mph). The slight difference can be chalked up to the general heavy weight of Metra Electric's EMUs compared to modern European designs, plus differences in the specifics of the station spacing.
__________________
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...

Last edited by ardecila; Jul 25, 2018 at 8:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14458  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 11:02 PM
bnk's Avatar
bnk bnk is offline
પટેલ. કે ન
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: chicagoland
Posts: 12,060
Isn’t Metra diesel electric pretty much electric already ?


The Diesel drives the electric motors that run those trains I didn’t notice a major acceleration problem compared to other systems.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dies...c_transmission

It seems to me that the diesel electric locomotive us are basically a portable electric power station
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14459  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 11:09 PM
SIGSEGV's Avatar
SIGSEGV SIGSEGV is offline
He/his/him. >~<, QED!
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Loop, Chicago
Posts: 5,330
EMUs would still have greater acceleration i would think because each car contributes, but I am no expert.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14460  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2018, 11:28 PM
ardecila's Avatar
ardecila ardecila is offline
TL;DR
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 15,739
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnk View Post
Isn’t Metra diesel electric pretty much electric already ?


The Diesel drives the electric motors that run those trains I didn’t notice a major acceleration problem compared to other systems.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dies...c_transmission

It seems to me that the diesel electric locomotive us are basically a portable electric power station
Yes, American diesel locomotives commonly use a diesel-electric transmission, but the "diesel" part of that equation imposes significant penalties on the overall weight of the train, the output of the generator, and thus the amount of torque the electric motor can produce.

Train performance is described by power to weight ratio and adhesion factor. The power-to-weight ratio of an EMU is roughly three times that of a diesel locomotive and passenger cars - it weighs hundreds of tons less, no need to haul heavy diesel fuel and generator, plus modern EMU designs are just generally lighter, using crumple zones like an auto instead of tons and tons of steel to make a perfectly rigid carbody. (These modern designs are technically illegal in the US because of our outdated ideas on train safety, but FRA often issues waivers to use modern designs under certain circumstances).

The adhesion factor is the other piece, and it is also much higher for an EMU, since there are many drive wheels spread throughout the train instead of just a handful up front. The adhesion factor explains why an EMU has significantly better performance than just an electric locomotive hauling unpowered coaches.

So why use locomotives at all? The advantages of EMUs are most profound when the train is either stopping frequently, or traveling at very high speed. So either for urban rail operations with closely-spaced stops, or high-speed rail above 150mph. For regional and intercity services with stops miles or tens of miles apart, where very high-speed travel isn't warranted, the locomotive-and-coaches model still makes a lot of sense. It's very easy to take apart and re-assemble trains and cheaper to maintain them. Some Metra lines with wide stop spacing (Heritage Corridor, Rock Island, NCS) probably don't warrant the extra expense of multiple-unit trains. I'm honestly not sure why South Shore continues to operate EMUs rather than just install better vent systems at Millennium Park.
__________________
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...

Last edited by ardecila; Jul 25, 2018 at 11:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Transportation
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 8:40 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.