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  #5501  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2009, 8:30 PM
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Lightbulb

Looks like the entire Chicago Hub HSR network will rely upon Talgo technology that's been used by Amtrak before for the Cascades train.




An additional disc brake per bogie is required for faster speeds, otherwise the speeds of these rail cars is limited by their locomotives.
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  #5502  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2009, 2:46 AM
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I was minding my own business tonight when I looked out the window and saw what looked like a tour boat that had lost control and ran into the river bank near Wolf Point. I grabbed my camera and went out on my balcony. After zooming in, I see that they indeed ran into the river bank, but it was on purpose - they wanted the perfect backdrop for the wedding ceremony:

I thought it was funny and didn't really know where to put it, so this may be the best forum fit.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/10015939@N08/3733109659
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  #5503  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2009, 3:06 AM
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_238710.html

Big Cash Infusion Could Ease Chicago's Snarling Train Traffic

First Posted: 07-17-09 08:15 PM | Updated: 07-17-09 08:25 PM


CHICAGO (AP) -- When a train screeches to a halt in Chicago, freight and passenger trains from as far away as Baltimore or Los Angeles are sometimes forced to apply their brakes as well - which can result in costly gridlock throughout the nation's 140,000-mile rail network.

But a fresh injection of cash, including a generous slice of a new $10 billion state capital plan, means a long-languishing, $1.5 billion project to ease train traffic jams in the nation's most important rail hub by building new overpasses and modernizing signals can begin in earnest.

The unofficial motto of the congestion-reduction project, widely considered one of the most vital to the long-term financial health of some of the nation's biggest railroad companies, is "Keeping the 'go' in Chicago."

As it is now, it's often no go.

The 500 freight trains that pass through Chicago each day compete for access to tracks with 700 daily commuter trains in the region. This means trains hauling everything from coal to grocery items can take more than a day to wind their way through Chicago.

The Illinois bill sets aside $320 million for the project - money that will be pooled with more than $200 million raised earlier.

"This is a very big deal - the largest single amount of money awarded to this project," Earl Wacker, a recently retired rail executive and an authority on rail congestion, said Friday. "Earlier, I wasn't confident this would get done. Now, I'm extremely confident it will."

Six of the seven largest railroads operating in the United States run trains through or to Chicago. All have contributed money to the project, dubbed the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program, or CREATE.

"There are projects of importance to different railroads, but this brings so many railroads together. That's historic," said Holly Arthur, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Railroads. She calls the money Illinois put up "a tremendous milestone."

Proponents say long-standing support from President Barack Obama should help efforts to secure the remaining costs.

At least $300 million in federal stimulus money could soon be approved for CREATE, which was first drawn up in 2003. A separate transportation reauthorization bill working its way through Congress could set aside $500 million or more.

Advocates say taking steps to solve Chicago logjams should also greatly boost Illinois' bid for a cut of $8 billion in federal stimulus money marked for high-speed rail. Illinois and neighboring states want a Midwest high-speed network with Chicago as its hub.

"CREATE and high-speed rail for the Midwest are inextricably linked," said Kevin Brubaker, deputy director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago. "To make high-speed rail work, we need to clear up congestion in Chicago."

CREATE is comprised of nearly 80 separate projects, from 25 roadway overpasses or underpasses that would divert cars above or below busy tracks to viaduct improvements and upgrades of track switches and signals.

The project says on its Web site that its price tag is $1.5 billion. But the cost of completing all the projects by 2020 probably will be closer to $2.5 billion because of rising construction costs, said Larry Wilson, an Illinois Department of Transportation official.

The sharp economic downturn and a 20 percent dip in freight train traffic this year compared to last has eased congestion in parts of the country - with empty trains idled for months on sidetracks in some places.

But congestion in the network's main bottleneck of Chicago remains a daily headache, delaying freight as well as commuter and Amtrak passengers. And despite current slowdowns, the U.S. Department of Transportation still expects demand for rail freight to double over the next 25 years.

In recent years, about 40 percent of all U.S. rail freight has come through Chicago on more than 150,000 trains a year. Nearly all the major routes of the rail freight system come through one or more of the region's 80 rail yards. It's why a single delayed train here can force those thousands of miles away to stop or slow down.
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  #5504  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 3:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_b View Post
I was minding my own business tonight when I looked out the window and saw what looked like a tour boat that had lost control and ran into the river bank near Wolf Point. I grabbed my camera and went out on my balcony. After zooming in, I see that they indeed ran into the river bank, but it was on purpose - they wanted the perfect backdrop for the wedding ceremony:

I thought it was funny and didn't really know where to put it, so this may be the best forum fit.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/10015939@N08/3733109659
That's funny, my good friend was at that wedding, and posted a picture from that angle on his facebook...
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  #5505  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2009, 5:30 PM
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This really pisses me off:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2...-amendment.ars

Quote:
What's the difference between the advertisements for violent films and the advertisements for violent games? You can advertise one on the side of buses in Chicago, and the other one you can't. The Entertainment Software Association has a slight problem with that policy, and has filed suit against the Chicago Transit Authority.
Why in the world would the CTA spend money trying to enact and defend this decision? At a time when tax revenues are way down and they are having trouble filling gaps in their budget, they are really going to go to court to defend a policy with questionable legal underpinnings? Really? Not only that, but they are pissing off a group of advertisers that could be pumping money into the CTA. All to "protect the children" from evil video games...ugh.
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  #5506  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2009, 6:17 PM
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That just seems ludicrous...
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  #5507  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2009, 4:47 PM
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Wellington Brown Line Station to Reopen Thursday, July 30
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The CTA’s Brown Line Wellington station will reopen to customers and resume rail service Thursday, July 30 following a 16-month temporary closure for construction as part of the line’s capacity expansion project.
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  #5508  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2009, 8:39 AM
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^ Good news about Wellington. No more closures! The Brown Line is back to normal operation for the forseeable future.

Does anyone know the status of CTA's order for the new railcars? Everyone said they would be appearing in 2009, but so far, they have not shown up.
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  #5509  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2009, 10:13 PM
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Through a competitive RFP process, CTA selected Bombardier Transit Corporation located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania for the contract. The CTA issued a Notice to Proceed to Bombardier at the end of July 2006 to begin assembly of the cars. The contract calls for delivery of the 10 prototype cars within 30 months (by December 2009) after official Notice to Proceed is given by the CTA. The Chicago Transit Board granted permission on October 11, 2006 to issue up to $275 million in revenue bonds to help pay for new rail cars and buses and to continue capital improvement projects.
Delivery of prototype rail cars is expected in late 2009. The 10 prototype cars will get at least nine months of testing -- in Chicago's snowy winter and humid summer -- before other new cars are delivered by Bombardier. Construction will go forward at a slow pace during the testing period. Production of the base order of 206 is expected to begin in 2009 with delivery beginning in 2010. If the first option is exercised for 200 additional rail cars, delivery is expected to begin in 2012. Under the contract with Bombardier, CTA® will be able to exercise other options for an additional 216 rail cars and another 84 rail cars for airport service as funding becomes available.
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  #5510  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2009, 1:14 PM
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Now if they can only get the auxiliary entrance on the north side of Belmont open so people aren't playing real life Frogger trying to cross the street.
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  #5511  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2009, 9:15 PM
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^Why is this station different from others, or for that matter, from the way it was for a hundred years?
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  #5512  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2009, 9:40 PM
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_245060.html

Governors Holding Midwest High Speed Rail Summit, Sign Pact

First Posted: 07-26-09 03:08 PM | Updated: 07-27-09 04:16 PM

CHICAGO (AP) -- The governors of eight Midwest states have agreed to set up a steering committee to help with their bid for federal cash to pay for a regional high-speed rail network.

The eight states have worked together for months to promote such a system with Chicago as its hub.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and governors from four other states met in Chicago on Monday to sign a memorandum establishing the Midwest Rail Steering Group. That group will coordinate the states' application for a share of the $8 billion in federal stimulus cash for such projects.

Competition for the money is stiff. Officials say 40 states have submitted 278 plans totaling $102 billion for federal rail funding.

In addition to Quinn, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland also attended the meeting in Chicago.
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  #5513  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2009, 11:03 PM
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^Why is this station different from others, or for that matter, from the way it was for a hundred years?
If you're referring to Belmont, it's not currently different from how it was "for 100 years," except that (apparently, based on the comment) it's slated to have an auxillary entrance on the north side of the street in addition to the main entrance on the south side of the street.

Many of the new stations have additional auxillary entrances. Which, I have to admit, is really nice. I love that the Brown Line stop nearest me - Chicago Ave - now has entrances at Superior Street, too, since that's 1 block less walking for me.
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  #5514  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2009, 1:49 AM
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I understand the value of auxiliary entrances on a different street. The reopening of Polk has been tremendously helpful to me personally.

But k1052 makes it sound like it's unsafe or a terrible burden for people to cross the street, as they've done perfectly well for generations.
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  #5515  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2009, 2:52 AM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1642137.story

Water taxi will serve River North via Erie Street stop
Service links neighborhood with Union Station, Mag Mile

By Sally S. Ho
July 28, 2009


It's not as romantic as gondola ride, but commuting via water taxi has come to the River North neighborhood of Chicago.

Opening for the first time for the Monday morning commute, the new Erie Street stop is at the edge of Erie Park between North Larrabee and West Erie Streets along the River Walk.

This pilot season for the River North Water Taxi, which runs until September, has permanent stops at Michigan Avenue and Willis Tower/Union Station. Officials with the taxi company, Shoreline Sightseeing, say the commute to Michigan Avenue is about 15 minutes.
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  #5516  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2009, 7:39 AM
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^^ Did they re-purpose the footing of the (former) Erie Street Bridge as the dock? It's right by the stairs down to riverwalk level, and it's the only straight segment of shoreline.
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  #5517  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2009, 1:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
I understand the value of auxiliary entrances on a different street. The reopening of Polk has been tremendously helpful to me personally.

But k1052 makes it sound like it's unsafe or a terrible burden for people to cross the street, as they've done perfectly well for generations.
If you camp out there during a morning from about 7-8 you will see all the people that cross mid-block instead of using the crosswalk at Sheffield, particularly people getting off the Belmont bus. I'd consider that unsafe.
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  #5518  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2009, 2:16 PM
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^^ Did they re-purpose the footing of the (former) Erie Street Bridge as the dock? It's right by the stairs down to riverwalk level, and it's the only straight segment of shoreline.
no, they're using another straight section by the dog park, just north of that landing between Erie and Huron.

Their published schedule says they go to 200 S Wacker at 7:10am, which I liked since I work in that building. But when I walked over there on Monday morning, they said their 7:10 departure was going to MIchigan Avenue.

Screw them if they can't even stick to a published schedule. Tourist's probably can roll with the punches, but as a commuter I can't afford to try and figure out their invisible or, worse, knowingly incorrectly published schedules.
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  #5519  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2009, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
I understand the value of auxiliary entrances on a different street. The reopening of Polk has been tremendously helpful to me personally.

But k1052 makes it sound like it's unsafe or a terrible burden for people to cross the street, as they've done perfectly well for generations.
Actually, yes, it is unsafe to cross the street there. The station is in the middle of the 1000-900 block of Belmont so cars are moving quite fast. There are literally thousands of people that cross the street there because most people that get off at Belmont catch the 77 bus at the northeast corner of Sheffield and Belmont and don't cross at the crosswalk.
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  #5520  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2009, 5:04 PM
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So, what's "unsafe" about people in a city crossing a two-lane street?

Jaywalking is a concept invented by the motorists' lobby in the 1920s.
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