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  #14801  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2019, 4:58 AM
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I assume like many small cities, the good stuff is spread out and difficult to access by car. Quad Cities even more so since, well, it's four separate cities in two different states. Amtrak will only serve Moline.

I will say the John Deere HQ is an architectural masterpiece though...
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  #14802  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2019, 3:30 PM
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Are the QC worth a visit? I would consider visiting for a weekend if I can go by train.
My brother-in-law played basketball in college in Dubuque. I went a few times. Solid little town. If you're forced to spend a weekend there, as I was, there's some well maintained old homes, a downtown that's coherent and has some bars and shops. Pleasant enough for 36 hours. I wouldn't call it "worth a visit" though.

Now north of there, starting in Galena and into the Mississippi bluffs and up into the Driftless Area, there are tons of incredibly charming little towns surrounded by natural beauty. Absolutely worth a four day mini-vacation and a very underrated part of the country for touring.

The highlight of Dubuque, for me, is this:
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  #14803  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2019, 6:17 PM
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^ Dubuque is 75 miles away from the Quad Cities...
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  #14804  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2019, 8:05 PM
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^ Dubuque is 75 miles away from the Quad Cities...
What!? Beloit, Dubuque, Davenport, Joliet. The Quad Cities.

Honestly, I get Davenport and Dubuque mixed up, I guess.
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  #14805  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 2:17 AM
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Knippels Religious Gifts. I'd have to agree.
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  #14806  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 2:19 AM
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^ Strangely it's only open 12-4 pm M-Th. Who the hell can actually shop there? I guess priests and retirees?
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  #14807  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 2:37 AM
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Really infuriating with all the needs and upgrades both Metra and CTA needs there is any talk about extending further into sprawlville. Hopefully, this somehow gets killed.

Quote:
https://www.dailyherald.com/news/201...omplete-waste-


Is spending millions to extend Metra to Oswego needed -- or a 'complete waste'?
Marni Pyke
6/3/2019

Last month, the commuter railroad allocated $4.5 million in federal funds to study stretching the BNSF Line to Oswego and other towns while Gov. J.B. Pritzker's capital program -- which passed this weekend -- allocates $100 million for Metra expansion into Kendall County.

The idea of spending millions pushing Metra past the six-county Regional Transportation Authority border while riders on existing lines endure crowded trains has some fuming....
.......So far, so good, but a preliminary cost-benefit analysis shows a BNSF extension would cost $440 million to construct and $5.1 million per year to operate and maintain the service (in 2016 dollars), Metra spokesman Mike Gillis said. How officials would make up the difference is still undetermined.

.....Pushing the BNSF Line to Sugar Grove wouldn't be cheap either. An extension would cost $370 million to construct and $4.5 million per year to operate and maintain the service (in 2016 dollars), Gillis said.

Still, it's cheaper than the Kendall option and stays within the RTA service area, Michels said.
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  #14808  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 3:07 AM
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If Metra expands outside the service region it should go to Dekalb a few times a day, where it would actually get some use!
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  #14809  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 1:37 PM
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Rockford?
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  #14810  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 3:49 PM
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Worth noting that the Kendall Area Transit express bus from Oswego to Aurora BNSF terminal died for lack of patronage. For a BNSF extension to Kendall County, Metra estimates the cost per new trip as $63.50.

Similar story for the express bus from NIU to Elburn UP-W terminal, discontinued a decade ago.
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  #14811  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 5:11 PM
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There is no good financial case for any Metra extension that I'm aware of. Fundamentally the agency still thinks that it's the 90s and exurban expansion is going to come back in a big way instead of the clear trend to urbanization we've seen.

I'd rather spend hundreds of millions on improving service to the inner ring suburbs that are seeing rejuvenation and more city stops/service. Or maybe start electrifying lines.
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  #14812  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 6:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Worth noting that the Kendall Area Transit express bus from Oswego to Aurora BNSF terminal died for lack of patronage. For a BNSF extension to Kendall County, Metra estimates the cost per new trip as $63.50.

Similar story for the express bus from NIU to Elburn UP-W terminal, discontinued a decade ago.

I imagine there might be some bidirectional demand for NIU if the Metra extension existed, but maybe not enough to justify it. It's really more of an intercity type rail than a commuter rail so It might work better as a twice-a-day Amtrak route Chicago-Geneva-Dekalb-Rochelle-Dixon-Sterling-Clinton-Cedar Rapids if Iowa ever feels like paying for rail.
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  #14813  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2019, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
Really infuriating with all the needs and upgrades both Metra and CTA needs there is any talk about extending further into sprawlville. Hopefully, this somehow gets killed.
Elsewhere on the Metra site I'd an analysis of stations facing closure with less than 100/day ridership. Crazy to add expense and operating overhead when system has long list of needed upgrades and enhancements. Mainly O'Hare service. A-2, A-5, Rock Island upgrades.
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  #14814  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2019, 3:22 PM
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Metra is, I think, in a bit of a political trap. Biggest gains in ridership would probably come from increasing service to city and close-in suburbs. But Metra's governance and funding is focused on the collar counties. Remember that Metra gets not one dollar of tax support from the city. Only the suburban sales tax goes to Metra.

Nonetheless, Metra's operational leadership is focused on state of good repair, new equipment (mainly locomotives), and vital infrastructure like A-2. I was surprised at a recent Sandhouse Gang presentation how much they focused on things like new and rebuilt in-city stations, and O'Hare.

It would be great if a new mayor and a new governor could rethink the devil's bargain struck in 1982, and once again give us a Regional Transportation Authority.
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  #14815  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2019, 3:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
I imagine there might be some bidirectional demand for NIU if the Metra extension existed, but maybe not enough to justify it. It's really more of an intercity type rail than a commuter rail so It might work better as a twice-a-day Amtrak route Chicago-Geneva-Dekalb-Rochelle-Dixon-Sterling-Clinton-Cedar Rapids if Iowa ever feels like paying for rail.
In most other countries, commuter rail and intercity rail are provided by the same nationalized rail service so there's a continuum of different service types on offer. This is really where Chicago's problem lies with expanding the rail network into the hinterland - Amtrak is not equipped to operate a dense network of rail service and Metra is limited to operating in the six-county RTA service area.

Really there's no reason Metra couldn't extend 2 or 3 UP-W runs a day to DeKalb, they just need a siding to hold the trains for layover. Looks like UP still owns the DeKalb stationhouse; they could just build a platform there for less than $1M and leave the stationhouse as-is.
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  #14816  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2019, 2:53 AM
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^And DeKalb County (or Sycamore & DeKalb & NIU) could just step up and fund the extension by paying UP directly. No need to involve Metra with a county not in the RTA service area.
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  #14817  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2019, 5:16 AM
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Has anyone heard anything recently about the State / Lake station renovation? Last articles I've seen are from late 2017 / early 2018..

https://chicago.curbed.com/2017/10/1...a-station-loop
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  #14818  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2019, 3:01 PM
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^ nothing recent but I’m sure we’ll see some movement with the new state capital bill.

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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
^And DeKalb County (or Sycamore & DeKalb & NIU) could just step up and fund the extension by paying UP directly. No need to involve Metra with a county not in the RTA service area.
I agree, ideally this is funded like the Kenosha service.
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  #14819  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2019, 6:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
Are the QC worth a visit? I would consider visiting for a weekend if I can go by train.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I assume like many small cities, the good stuff is spread out and difficult to access by car. Quad Cities even more so since, well, it's four separate cities in two different states. Amtrak will only serve Moline.

I will say the John Deere HQ is an architectural masterpiece though...

Could the QC be done car free? Hmmm.... Would you bring a bike, or use uber?
The downtowns are spread out. Rock Island and Davenport are right across each other, it is possible to walk across the bridge. Downtown Moline is a few miles east. There are busses. To be honest, there's nothing worth seeing in Bettendorf.

All the good stuff is clustered in the downtowns along the river. There's a new 4000 seat music venue in East Moline, the Rust Belt (https://www.rustbeltil.com/), bus goes there too.

I was at a wedding in downtown Moline few years ago where we walked everywhere.
If you wanted to go to Davenport for the Bix Jazz festival and the Bix 7 running race, you can walk to everything once you get over there. Davenport has a couple good museums that are downtown and walkable.

I mentioned the bike because personally, the riverfront bike path in Moline and East Moline is something that every bike enthusiast should ride.

Okay, enough OT. PM me if you want to discuss the QC more.
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  #14820  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2019, 3:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boeing738 View Post
6/18
On my way back to Union Station:

Wolf Point East by jlnd29, on Flickr

I hadn't seen one of these Battery Electric busses in the wild yet. Anyone ridden on one yet? I imagine they're much more pleasant and quiet from the sidewalk too.

https://www.transitchicago.com/cta-e...ric-bus-fleet/
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