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  #14741  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2019, 8:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo View Post
Indiana only spends $2.5 million in operating subsidies to keep the train running 4 days a week (with an additional $500,000 coming from Lafayette, Crawfordsville, and Rensselaer). Considering the terrible deal the state made with Carrier to save jobs that actually won't be staying, $2.5 million seems like a hell of a bargain.
Never underestimate the intensity of ideological derangement present in the Indiana republican statehouse.
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  #14742  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2019, 8:55 PM
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I wonder if the Glenview skirmish would be less an issue if Metra was electrified on that corridor and not belching squealling diesel locomotives?
I doubt it.
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  #14743  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2019, 10:49 PM
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Never underestimate the intensity of ideological derangement present in the Indiana republican statehouse.
While I'm sure there are a few people at INDOT who genuinely wanted the Hoosier State to succeed, the State of Indiana long ago decided that the slow, agonizing failure of intercity passenger rail was the whole purpose of running the train.

They made sure that those paying any attention would bear witness to what an utter disaster the Hoosier State was, in an attempt to forever squash anyone who had the audacity of envisioning a transportation project not made of asphalt.
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  #14744  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2019, 12:08 AM
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They should let NICTD run it...
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  #14745  
Old Posted May 6, 2019, 7:57 PM
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City breaks ground on new Damen Green Line station, opening date slips to 2021
https://chicago.curbed.com/2018/7/9/...p-perkins-will

A shame this station is taking this long, it should have been well underway by now. Whole skyscrapers get from concept to groundbreaking in less than two years.
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  #14746  
Old Posted May 6, 2019, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
I wonder if the Glenview skirmish would be less an issue if Metra was electrified on that corridor and not belching squealling diesel locomotives?
Not quite electrification, but one of the options under study was to upgrade UP's entire New Line to shift virtually all freight trains off the Hiawatha/Metra corridor south of the Wisconsin state line. UP was even supportive, since it's basically a handout to them. The New Line was built in 1903 specifically so that C&NW could run fast passenger service up their lakefront corridor (today's UP-N line).

Potentially the New Line upgrade could enable electrification on the Hiawatha corridor down the road, especially since Metra already owns the corridor up to Rondout.

The Glenview holding track was the cheaper option at 1/4 to 1/3 of the cost, but it only narrowly serves the needs of the Hiawatha expansion plan without any provisions for further growth of passenger service along the corridor. Unfortunately the New Line plan requires running freight trains through the backyards of plutocrats in Lake Forest, so I suspect it was quietly removed from consideration.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 6, 2019 at 11:18 PM.
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  #14747  
Old Posted May 11, 2019, 12:45 AM
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This was probably shared before, I’m sharing it again.
The World’s Best Urban Gondola Ride

What I learned from traveling every inch of the L in one day

https://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-M...Chicago/The-L/
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  #14748  
Old Posted May 13, 2019, 5:09 PM
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I was at a Metra meeting last week where Jim Derwinski mentioned Metra's interest in providing O'Hare express service. That's one of the rationales for doing a flyover rather than cheaper short-term solutions at A-2.

He noted that O'Hare Express has disappeared from Elon Musk's (presumably The Boring Co.) webpage.
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  #14749  
Old Posted May 13, 2019, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
I was at a Metra meeting last week where Jim Derwinski mentioned Metra's interest in providing O'Hare express service. That's one of the rationales for doing a flyover rather than cheaper short-term solutions at A-2.
Will they rebuild the current O'Hare connection station next to the rental car facility?
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  #14750  
Old Posted May 13, 2019, 6:25 PM
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Will they rebuild the current O'Hare connection station next to the rental car facility?
I walked around the garage a few months ago. I guess they could rebuild the platforms and a better Metra waiting room, but there's not a great way to improve the Metra->APM connection itself. There's not really a path through the garage at all, the best option is just to build an enclosed walkway from the Metra platforms to the rental car lobby and the escalators up to the people mover. For a little more money, they could invest in a 2nd-floor skyway that wraps around the garage and provides a grade-separated bridge over the Metra tracks but the path will still be long and indirect like the Midway Orange Line connection.

Any mainline rail solution is going to have very limited appeal unless officials decide to invest in a tunnel under the airfield to the terminal area. We don't really know what Metra is planning for O'Hare service, but if they think they can operate an indirect connection like Newark has, they're setting themselves up for failure. The Blue Line already exists and provides a better option for most O'Hare-bound travelers directly from multiple stations downtown directly to the terminal area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
I was at a Metra meeting last week where Jim Derwinski mentioned Metra's interest in providing O'Hare express service. That's one of the rationales for doing a flyover rather than cheaper short-term solutions at A-2.

He noted that O'Hare Express has disappeared from Elon Musk's (presumably The Boring Co.) webpage.
Good to hear; Derwinski seems like a slight step up from previous generations of Metra leaders, although Metra as an organization is still a 1950s dinosaur and every Chicagoan is paying the price.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 13, 2019 at 6:40 PM.
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  #14751  
Old Posted May 13, 2019, 6:57 PM
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It still makes me mad that the powers that be almost seemed to go out of their way not to build a relatively easy connection that would have incorporated the ATS system and a link to the Metra/NCS station. We are talking a matter of a few hundred feet and just literally plotting the station down on the south or north side of the rental car building instead of the west side. Just seems so shortsighted even if there wasn't immediate plans for increased or express service using that line.

I didn't think so before but it probably will just be best in the future from a cost and time perspective to use the MD-W route and split off at the rail line at York and have a new station as part of the new employee people mover connecting the new island termianls and new T2.
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  #14752  
Old Posted May 13, 2019, 7:14 PM
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It would seem you could get into the T5 parking lot with a relatively short tunnel or viaduct. Maybe just do that, buy some FLIRTs, and call it a service. T5 flyers already have to backtrack to the central terminals to catch the Blue Line anyway so that would be a considerable improvement.

While the Blue Line still works pretty well I'd probably deal with the short trip on the ATS from T5 to T2/3 if I was traveling anytime around rush. Crowding on the Blue Line has become a real problem.
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  #14753  
Old Posted May 13, 2019, 8:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
He noted that O'Hare Express has disappeared from Elon Musk's (presumably The Boring Co.) webpage.
I mean, this is really easy to debunk -

https://www.boringcompany.com/chicago/

Although for all intents and purposes it might as well have been.
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  #14754  
Old Posted May 13, 2019, 11:49 PM
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It would seem you could get into the T5 parking lot with a relatively short tunnel or viaduct. Maybe just do that, buy some FLIRTs, and call it a service. T5 flyers already have to backtrack to the central terminals to catch the Blue Line anyway so that would be a considerable improvement.
I know T5 is shifting to more LCCs (plus SkyTeam) instead of international flights, but this is still pretty ho-hum. O'Hare 21 will shift an even greater percentage of gates to the central terminal complex and away from T5. You could probably achieve similar ridership by reconfiguring the garage to bring a rail spur to the west side between Mannheim and the APM station.

Quote:
While the Blue Line still works pretty well I'd probably deal with the short trip on the ATS from T5 to T2/3 if I was traveling anytime around rush. Crowding on the Blue Line has become a real problem.
Fundamentally, an airport express train serves a narrow market since it prices out airport workers and budget travelers, leaving only wealthy travelers and business folks. Toronto's airport express train could not be more similar to Chicago's, even the same travel distance, yet it was a miserable failure financially and the private operator ran away. Now it's a huge strain on the balance sheet of the public agency.

Elon Musk's plan had many red flags, but at least it changed the rules so majorly that it could overcome this obstacle. The projected travel time beat out every other option, including driving on an uncongested Kennedy. It would have been the fastest way to access O'Hare at the peak of rush hour or the wee hours of the night. Plus the Block 37 terminal offered excellent CTA connections and the O'Hare terminal was in the middle of the action. The speed and convenience were so clearly stronger than any other option that it could have dominated the travel market from "global city Chicago" to O'Hare, and stood a decent chance of covering its expenses (assuming Musk's ultra-low cost goals could be achieved). I don't think there's a way for North American commuter rail to succeed at this market without a massive re-alignment to European or Asian transit principles.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 14, 2019 at 12:08 AM.
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  #14755  
Old Posted May 14, 2019, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I know T5 is shifting to more LCCs (plus SkyTeam) instead of international flights, but this is still pretty ho-hum. O'Hare 21 will shift an even greater percentage of gates to the central terminal complex and away from T5. You could probably achieve similar ridership by reconfiguring the garage to bring a rail spur to the west side between Mannheim and the APM station.
Delta has expressed interest in expanding their service also. T5 would be more convenient time wise than the CONRAC probably for similar cost. If ORD wants to spend the money to get a line into the central terminal area they can be my guest, METRA should under no circumstances pay for that (they have MANY other priorities).

Quote:
Fundamentally an airport express train serves a narrow market since it prices out airport workers and budget travelers, leaving only wealthy travelers and business folks. Toronto's airport express train could not be more similar to Chicago's, even the same travel distance, yet it was a miserable failure financially and the private operator ran away. Now it's a huge strain on the balance sheet of the public agency.

Elon Musk's plan had many red flags, but at least it changed the rules so majorly that it could overcome this obstacle. The projected travel time beat out every other option, including driving on an uncongested Kennedy. It would have been the fastest way to access O'Hare at the peak of rush hour or the wee hours of the night. Plus the Block 37 terminal offered excellent CTA connections and the O'Hare terminal was in the middle of the action. The speed and convenience were so clearly stronger than any other option that it could have dominated the travel market from "global city Chicago" to O'Hare, and stood a decent chance of covering its expenses (assuming Musk's ultra-low cost goals could be achieved). I don't think there's a way for North American commuter rail to succeed at this market without a massive re-alignment to European or Asian transit principles.
I don't particularly disagree with any of this. I'm not passionate about airport express service to begin with. I'd rather have CTA focus on getting (and keeping) the Blue Line in good shape and replace the aged rolling stock as soon as they start getting 7000 series cars. Also maybe find a way to reliably inform incoming passengers which track of the terminal will be the next to board from...
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  #14756  
Old Posted May 14, 2019, 9:10 PM
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
I don't particularly disagree with any of this. I'm not passionate about airport express service to begin with. I'd rather have CTA focus on getting (and keeping) the Blue Line in good shape and replace the aged rolling stock as soon as they start getting 7000 series cars. Also maybe find a way to reliably inform incoming passengers which track of the terminal will be the next to board from...
At least having some or all cars fitted with luggage racks would be useful.

I still think the idea of having one or two extra premium fitted cars attached to usual Blue Line trains that include say usb/charging outlets, comfort seating etc may be all that is really needed for many travelers to pay an extra $5-10 for the privilege. Having those cars only be available to take on passengers at a few select stations would cut down on some logistical issues I'd think.

I speculate that it is not so much the surplus time that is a turn off for many potential travelers but riding with the everyday "riff-raff" along with their luggage that barely fits next the seats and being subjected to the summer/winter elements every stop when the doors open.
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  #14757  
Old Posted May 14, 2019, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
At least having some or all cars fitted with luggage racks would be useful.

I still think the idea of having one or two extra premium fitted cars attached to usual Blue Line trains that include say usb/charging outlets, comfort seating etc may be all that is really needed for many travelers to pay an extra $5-10 for the privilege. Having those cars only be available to take on passengers at a few select stations would cut down on some logistical issues I'd think.

I speculate that it is not so much the surplus time that is a turn off for many potential travelers but riding with the everyday "riff-raff" along with their luggage that barely fits next the seats and being subjected to the summer/winter elements every stop when the doors open.
I think you'd have to extend the trains to 9 or 10 cars to make that work, if platforms permit.

Honestly crowding and the layout of the old cars which makes handling luggage difficult at best are my biggest annoyances. Run more trains at peak and use a more favorable car layout (more longitudinal seating for more space in the center of the car).
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  #14758  
Old Posted May 15, 2019, 3:12 AM
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I think you'd have to extend the trains to 9 or 10 cars to make that work, if platforms permit.

Honestly crowding and the layout of the old cars which makes handling luggage difficult at best are my biggest annoyances. Run more trains at peak and use a more favorable car layout (more longitudinal seating for more space in the center of the car).
What Blue Line stations allow for 9-10 car trains, if any. Anyone know?
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  #14759  
Old Posted May 15, 2019, 2:12 PM
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What Blue Line stations allow for 9-10 car trains, if any. Anyone know?
The expressway stations, Jeff PK, I think Logan might. Clark & Lake just barely, and the continuous platform downtown.
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  #14760  
Old Posted May 15, 2019, 4:58 PM
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At least having some or all cars fitted with luggage racks would be useful.
CTA did this when the O'Hare extension opened in 1984. No one but me ever used them, so after a few years they removed them.
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