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  #15981  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2022, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
The Pedway still generally sucks with signage, yes (unless something's changed in the last year or two). Not easy or intuitive to go from Millennium to CTA lines. I wouldn't ask it to be a moving sidewalk.

I don't think the Northwest Passage was particularly useful except as a way to avoid street people when West Loop was a rough area, so I wouldn't bring it back. A truly useful connection would require a new concourse at Level +2 above the Ogilvie platforms, but I would love to see a special treatment of the Clinton sidewalks at grade level to emphasize the connection from the existing suburban concourse.

O'Hare's CONRAC has poor signage to get to Metra. Many neighborhood Metra stations have incredibly poor signage - damaged, vandalized, or outdated (some even refer to the legacy railroads still). CTA bus connections are poorly marked at these stations, but so is everything else.
The pedway signage was actually dramatically improved this year for getting from Millenium to the CTA stations. I'll try to remember to take a picture tomorrow...
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  #15982  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2022, 5:01 PM
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Knowing the history and philosophy of Metra it is way too much to expect them to piggyback on this wave in the next few years. Maybe a 2075 introduction rate if all goes well?

The only silver lining to pin any hopes on perhaps is that the recent new train set contracts are with Alstom? if I remember correctly?

Quote:
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/c...ins/index.html
The world's first hydrogen-powered passenger trains are here
Julia Buckley, CNN • Updated 24th August 2022

.......Fourteen hydrogen trains powered by fuel cell propulsion will exclusively run on the route in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony. The 93 million euro ($92.3 million) deal has been struck by state subsidiary Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LVNG), the owners of the railway, and Alstom, builders of the Coradia iLint trains. The Elbe-Weser Railways and Transport Company (EVB), which will operate the trains, and gas and engineering company Linde, are also part of the project.
The trains, five of which which debut Wednesday, will gradually replace the 15 diesel trains that currently run on the route, with all 14 running exclusively by the end of the year. Just 1 kilo of hydrogen fuel can do the same as around 4.5 kilos of diesel.
The trains are emissions-free and low-noise, with only steam and condensed water issuing from the exhaust. They have a range of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), meaning they can run for an entire day on the network on a single tank of hydrogen. A hydrogen filling station has already been established on the route. The trains can go at a maximum of 140 kph, or 87mph, though regular speeds on the line are much less, between 80-120 kph........
..
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  #15983  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2022, 8:53 PM
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This is not a solution to pin the future on. The German trains are just an experiment, and it could be several decades until the technology is "ready" - that is, commercially viable and low or no emission.

Most hydrogen produced now is "gray" hydrogen that is produced from natural gas and the process emits tons of CO2 into the air, so you've got to deal with all the environmental impacts of fracking and oil spills even if there are no emissions at the point of use. The proposed solution to this is "blue" hydrogen where they just pump the CO2 into the ground instead of the air. Just like the "clean coal" myth. In theory you can produce "green" hydrogen from water via electrolysis, and you can get the electricity from renewable sources like solar or wind, but nobody has figured out how to do this cost-effectively.

Compare this to electrification the traditional way, with overhead wires. This is expensive up front, but it relies on mature technology that is 100 years old. And the actual source of energy can be anything, so even if you run it off natural gas or coal power plants initially, it will decarbonize over time as the grid switches over to renewables (or nuclear).

In fact Germany is continuing to electrify its busier lines, the only reason hydrogen made sense for this particular line is because it doesn't run frequently enough for electrification to make sense financially. I think the threshold in Europe is usually around 2 trains per direction per hour, so a 30-minute headway is when electrification makes sense. Metra is very close to that threshold. (Germany is also in a pickle because it relies on Russia for most of its oil&gas, so they need a fast way to cut back on their diesel use.)
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Last edited by ardecila; Aug 28, 2022 at 9:06 PM.
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  #15984  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2022, 9:09 PM
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That being said, the (sketchy) new proposal for KRM commuter rail up in Wisconsin is proposing to use hydrogen trains. They would probably need to be from Alstom, since nobody else is making them yet.

I'm 95% sure that KRM project will die yet again, but there's a slim chance the Biden administration decides to send them a big check - Dems love to build rail projects in red states, like Obama and all of his streetcar lines.
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  #15985  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2022, 12:26 AM
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The MED has been pretty packed during off-peak this week. Too bad Metra will likely respond by adding more rush hour service
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  #15986  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2022, 6:58 PM
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FYI:

APTA ridership report for 2nd quarter available, comparing ridership across systems

https://www.apta.com/research-techni...ership-report/
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  #15987  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2022, 1:13 AM
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Concrete on the new flyover still making headlines since it hasn't been fixed yet:

Video Link
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  #15988  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2022, 1:23 AM
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The engineer and the contractor really should be tarred and feathered.
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  #15989  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2022, 7:04 PM
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Seems like mostly a cosmetic issue, and the complaints are being pushed by people who opposed the flyover in the first place. I don't think there have been any injuries or property damage.

I'm guessing the contractor doesn't know which spots were grouted and which were not, so they are waiting for the spalling to run its course before doing a one-time fix. I am surprised that Walsh/Fluor hasn't put up netting, though. Seems like an simple way to protect against liability.
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