Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by metraRI
As many know, one of the many CREATE projects includes moving SWS into LaSalle Street Station on RI. Included in the overall "75th Street CIP" are a CSX flyover at Forest Hill, and reconfiguring the bottlenecks at Belt Jct. and 80th Street. More specifics on the plan have come out, including where the flyover could be. Even though this project is still a few years away, definitely has gotten interesting.

Double tracking of SWS from Ashburn to Western Avenue:
http://www.75thcip.org/resources/aerial ... avenue.pdf

CSX Flyover @ Forest Hill:
http://www.75thcip.org/resources/aerial ... ossing.pdf

SWS Flyover Plan:
http://www.75thcip.org/resources/aerial ... ection.pdf
  by JamesT4
I like the Ideas, I hated when the train gets held up at Belt Junction to wait for a Freight. Thou I am still oppose of the SWS moving to LaSalle St. from Union Station.
Everyone: This is interesting 75th Street Corridor improvement information...

I have been interested in this busy corridor since my first Chicago SW Side visit in 1973 as a teenager...

The big improvement is the expansion of METRA's SWS Commuter Rail Service to full regular service...
As compared to the rush-hour only service that this line once had...

There are two things I find interesting: First: if SWS gets routed to the Rock Island Line will properties
need to be condemned in the area of the new tracks to be constructed?

Second: I feel that the Flyover is a good idea but I feel that the Columbus Avenue crossing should also
be eliminated...I remember this crossing specifically as my introduction to the insanity of motorists
driving around crossing gates trying to evade delay by freight trains back in the that same mid 70s era...

  by orulz
If SWS gets rerouted to Lasalle Street, then properties will have to be acquired - not necessarily condemned. Usually in projects like this, the agency building it extends every reasonable effort to purchase the property from the owner voluntarily. The parcels in question are not particularly expensive, so they might just offer a price somewhat higher than market value, to get the owners to sell. If the owners refuse to sell and force condemnation, it's likely that the owners would get less sweet of a deal.

The reason all the 75th CIP projects are being shown as a bundle is that each of the projects will only realize its full benefit when built if all the others are built as well. There is no such convenient synergy with the Columbus crossing. A likely solution there, would simply be to bridge Columbus over the tracks. That is just as easy to do as a separate project as it could integrated with the 75th CIP.

This brings up an interesting question. What are the worst road-rail grade crossings in Chicagoland? I remember a pretty nasty wreck a few years ago at the crossing on Grand Avenue in Elmwood Park. The rail and road are nearly parallel there. A four lane road and a three track railroad crossing at only 10 degrees makes for an insane 500 foot long grade crossing. I have to imagine this would make the list.