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  #12581  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2015, 2:38 AM
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It seems that I had forgotten that the Harvard station on the 'T' Red Line is a double decked subway stop.


Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_(MBTA_station)
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  #12582  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2015, 2:56 AM
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I don't normally post video game videos in the transit threads....but how realistic is Omsi 2 Chicago?

Video Link
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  #12583  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2015, 4:09 AM
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So... why again does the O'Hare express train have to be nonstop, and charge a premium fare with premium amenities? Having an express train integrated with the existing Blue line service would be a boon for NW side neighborhoods.

Imagine an express train that ran Clark-Division-Logan-JeffPark-OHare. To just add a glorified AirTrain service seems so shortsighted. It is going to cost an insane amount no matter what is done, but 20 years from now, what would be more beneficial?
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  #12584  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2015, 9:19 PM
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OThatttitledreality;707wer7]So... why again does the O'Hare express train have to be nonstop, and charge a premium fare with premium amenities? Having an express train integrated with the existing Blue line service would be a boon for NW side neighborhoods.

Imagine an express train that ran Clark-Division-Logan-JeffPark-OHare. To just add a glorified AirTrain service seems so shortsighted. It is going to cost an insane amount no matter what is done, but 20 years from now, what would be more beneficial?[/QUOTE]

I agree. That very well might be the most ideal solution. But can that be done without delaying or interrupting regular blue line service? Even if passing tracks were built Would it still be feasible?
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  #12585  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 1:39 AM
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Posting this here so it doesn't get forgotten in the discussion....

In addition to the projects shown here (roughly $1B, all told) you can add the easing of sharp curves at Pacific Junction and Franklin Park Junction. Maybe a few more miles of triple track. That would enable fast service from Union Station to O'Hare in 25 minutes or so.

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  #12586  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 3:27 AM
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But if it takes an average of 10 minutes to get to Union Station, and another 10 minutes to get from "O'Hare Transit Center" to your actual terminal . . . .what's the point of all that speed in between? Your end-to-end time is exactly the same as the current Blue Line; probably less given the Blue Line's frequent departures.
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  #12587  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 3:53 AM
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  #12588  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 6:02 AM
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^ Who cares? Serving O'Hare business travelers is only a secondary goal of Crossrail. The relevant point of comparison here is not with the existing Blue Line service, but with the fanciful Airport Express, double-decker Blue Line proposal the city is putting out. Like that proposal, Crossrail would also provide a faster ride to O'Hare for a similar capital cost, but it would also serve the Grand Ave corridor in the city with rapid transit and give South and West Siders a quick transit access to O'Hare area jobs.

I agree that the People Mover and transfer time is relevant, assuming the train terminates at the O'Hare Transfer and doesn't enter a costly new tunnel to access the terminals directly. However, I disagree that you need to factor in the time needed to access Union Station. That depends heavily on where the origin point is, and as we've seen previously, land use will shift fairly quickly based on transit options. Open an Airport Express train that calls at Union Station, and you'll see developers rush to open business hotels around (and on top of) the station. It's happening already, at a somewhat slower pace as older Class B buildings on Clark and LaSalle shift to hotel and the office tenants move to gleaming new towers along Wacker.
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  #12589  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 2:50 PM
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*cough* West Loop Transportation Center *cough*
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  #12590  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 3:06 PM
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That would have to be High Level platforms which raises some issues with Freight trains...
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  #12591  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 3:34 PM
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^Not much of a problem. There's very little freight on Metra Milw-W east of Franklin Park. If Crossrail doesn't have it's own high-speed tracks (likely, since we're talking about a fever-dream fantasy here), gauntlets could let the platforms sit three feet outside the freight car plate.

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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I disagree that you need to factor in the time needed to access Union Station. That depends heavily on where the origin point is, and as we've seen previously, land use will shift fairly quickly based on transit options. Open an Airport Express train that calls at Union Station, and you'll see developers rush to open business hotels around (and on top of) the station.
That's exactly the city's rationale for having a Blue Line Express. We don't want the employment center to keep shifting westward, where it's convenient only to suburban commuters. We want to reinforce the traditional center of the Loop.
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  #12592  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 4:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
^Not much of a problem. There's very little freight on Metra Milw-W east of Franklin Park. If Crossrail doesn't have it's own high-speed tracks (likely, since we're talking about a fever-dream fantasy here), gauntlets could let the platforms sit three feet outside the freight car plate.



That's exactly the city's rationale for having a Blue Line Express. We don't want the employment center to keep shifting westward, where it's convenient only to suburban commuters. We want to reinforce the traditional center of the Loop.
Is there such a thing, or would it be possible to create Hybrid FRA Class I Compliant equipment that could operate in CTA's Subways? They could use Block 37 Downtown, connect up onto the UP NW Line with a link, and back onto the Blue Line at Austin to use the existing O'Hare Blue Line Terminal. (fever-dream)
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  #12593  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 7:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
hat's exactly the city's rationale for having a Blue Line Express. We don't want the employment center to keep shifting westward, where it's convenient only to suburban commuters. We want to reinforce the traditional center of the Loop.
But that's the thing. I've heard this point before, and I'm not sure I agree with it.

A - the "traditional center" of the Loop is a heavily restricted environment for growth. It's full of short but valuable landmarked buildings that don't satisfy modern office-tenant demands for large, open floorplans. Plus, the shopping and entertainment districts in that area suggest hotels as the highest and best use, and not office.

B - Chicago has had poor integration between local transit and regional/intercity rail for over a century. If you want to make a big, splashy investment to affect the locus of downtown growth, why would you favor a Blue Line Express to Block 37 over, say, a Clinton St Subway for the Red Line, the CCAC's Loop Connector, or even Crossrail?

Either of those plans would kill two birds with one stone, delivering city residents to West Loop jobs and connecting the city's transit network to Ogilvie and Union for the first time.

C (side point) - dispersing office uses through River North and West Loop, mixed in with residential, might enable more workers to live within walking distance of their jobs, and promote more 24/7 vitality. It also maximizes the effectiveness of transit service, since you have demand in all directions and not a strong inbound vs. outbound flow where you're running empty buses and trains in one direction.
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  #12594  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 7:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
^Not much of a problem. There's very little freight on Metra Milw-W east of Franklin Park. If Crossrail doesn't have it's own high-speed tracks (likely, since we're talking about a fever-dream fantasy here), gauntlets could let the platforms sit three feet outside the freight car plate.

That's exactly the city's rationale for having a Blue Line Express. We don't want the employment center to keep shifting westward, where it's convenient only to suburban commuters. We want to reinforce the traditional center of the Loop.
Perhaps I'm being overly cynical and perhaps not. I don't think it has nearly as much to do with wanting to stymie any shift westward across the river or somehow being concerned that the Western Train Terminals aren't accessible to city commuters (they largely are and will likely be even more so in the future).

What is more likely is that the city wants to hold on to have full control of the tracks, trains, and revenue that would come from such a service. Not to let the state, Amtrak, or RTA have control and revenue control. It is the same basic story over the casino fight. The city wants to maximize control and revenue because all this region is good for is fiefdom infighting as opposed to what is comprehensive best choices and practices for the region.

.......On the issue about where the termination of such an express would end and if it is only worth doing if it there are new underground spurs built into the terminals. I think one other alternative that might make sense would be for there to be a spur above ground (much cheaper and complicated obviously) of 1.5 miles that would have an end/intermodal station at T1 where the ATA starts/ends. T1/T2/T3 stops are all less then 5 minutes from end to end within that segment and that is where 75% of O'Hare's passengers are going anyway.

The express train gets there in 20 minutes. The ATS gets 75% of their passengers in front of their check-in counters within 25 minutes or 30 minutes tops. This is the set-up the new Toronto model is using. Basically the new 15 mile train takes them to the a few hundred yards away from the terminals and there they transfer and the airport system takes them a few extra minutes/1/4 mile to the main 2 terminals. Seems sensible.
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  #12595  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2015, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line View Post
would it be possible to create Hybrid FRA Class I Compliant equipment that could operate in CTA's Subways?
I certainly don't see how the physics could work out. What kind of object has the buff strength to avoid being crushed by a pair of freight locomotives, yet is light enough that it wouldn't crumple a CTA 3200?

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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
What is more likely is that the city wants to hold on to have full control of the tracks, trains, and revenue that would come from such a service.
Revenue? Revenue? What revenue? Any service like this will require public subsidy, and possibly PFC diversion as well. And that's just for the operating costs.
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  #12596  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2015, 4:56 PM
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Originally Posted by untitledreality View Post
So... why again does the O'Hare express train have to be nonstop, and charge a premium fare with premium amenities? Having an express train integrated with the existing Blue line service would be a boon for NW side neighborhoods.

Imagine an express train that ran Clark-Division-Logan-JeffPark-OHare. To just add a glorified AirTrain service seems so shortsighted. It is going to cost an insane amount no matter what is done, but 20 years from now, what would be more beneficial?
The purpose of the express is so that the rich don't have to deal with being on a train with the poor and middle class people who ride the Blue Line.
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  #12597  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2015, 5:19 PM
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The purpose of the express is so that the rich don't have to deal with being on a train with the poor and middle class people who ride the Blue Line.
Oh brother

The purpose of an express is to keep Ohare and Chicago and Chicago CBD competitive on a global scale.

45 min is too long for point to point transit on a 16 mile run.

The choice between a Blue Line on steroids or the Cross Rail proposal is huge.

Cross Rail gives far more benefit to multiple modes and transit lines including the ability to beef up Chi-Milw Amtrak service,(A2 grade separation) Connecting Ohare to McMk, Adding a Metra UP extension to Wadsworth, Gurnee, Abbott and allowing more trains for reverse commute,(again A2 separation)
And Allowing Detroit, Indy and Champaign trains direct access to Ohare.

Obviously the Blue Line with double stack tracks and whatever infrastructure is needed would provide some benefits.

This is shaping up to be a tug of war that will probably have to be settled by CMAP. But recent press releases from CMAP seem to promote the Cross rail solution.

AFAIK the CTA should develop the Clinton Street subway project to further enhance connectivity to CUS and the existing el lines.
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  #12598  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2015, 9:14 AM
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Oh brother

The purpose of an express is to keep Ohare and Chicago and Chicago CBD competitive on a global scale.
Well, the appearance of such, which really is the purpose.

Quote:
Cross Rail gives far more benefit to multiple modes and transit lines including the ability to beef up Chi-Milw Amtrak service,(A2 grade separation) Connecting Ohare to McMk, Adding a Metra UP extension to Wadsworth, Gurnee, Abbott and allowing more trains for reverse commute,(again A2 separation)
And Allowing Detroit, Indy and Champaign trains direct access to Ohare.
I’m not going to argue with anything that gets us an A2 grade crossing, but that’s been on the almost-need-to-have list for a long time and already affects ~80,000 daily commuters, plus Hiawatha riders. The fact that there has to be a new, shiny service oriented towards conventioneers to get that funded (hypothetically) is dispiriting. The fact that a bunch of actually useful bits of regional rail modernization cannot get traction on their own does not give me confidence that future useful improvements will necessarily end up in be prioritized, and the fact that CrossRail apparently has serious competition from a plan to double-deck the Blue Line over the Kennedy does not inspire confidence in local decision-makers’ ability to say, “Maybe our priorities are off and we should reevaluate where the actual problems with our obviously decrepit infrastructure are” or even the milder, “Maybe we’re just following an idée fixe past any rational benefit/cost ratio.”

I agree with you on the ancillary benefits—however, I’m not confident that this will be an engine that allows those to happen.

I’m quite sure the airport service itself is very oversold—it’s far from most downtown destinations, so I’m sure a lot of people will still opt for one-seat private bus over a transfer at CUS, even if that ends up being slightly slower).

Last edited by Beta_Magellan; Jul 5, 2015 at 9:28 AM.
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  #12599  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2015, 4:06 AM
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^ I agree with you that the priorities underlying the planning are seriously skewed.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how advocates can really influence the priorities, other than to push back against poorly-planned projects and support (or put forward) better ones. Organization before concrete is definitely the way to go, but good luck building public support around work-rule adjustments and governance changes.

It's pretty obvious that CrossRail can't happen without some serious overhaul of governance. Metra is controlled entirely by suburbanites who see no value in improving the service to city neighborhoods. CTA is controlled entirely by Rahm Emanuel who doesn't care one whit about the suburbs. Neither one wants to cede any control. RTA should be able to reconcile the two towards solving shared regional goals, but they are fundamentally weak and toothless. CMAP tries to do this as well, but all they can really do is prioritize the projects that CTA and Metra bring to them.
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  #12600  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2015, 6:37 PM
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CREATE update

CREATE website has updated the Status Map 7/7/15

Most notable is the completion of the GS15a The Grade separation down at Torrance and 130rd Street.

At one time there was a cool video of the placement of the massive NICTD bridge over Torrance Ave and the NS rail line.
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