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: metraRI, JamesT4

  by twropr
Crains Review recently released Amtrak's $251.1 million MEGA application to USDOT, which seeks funding for concourse improvements in Chicago Union Station, a connecting track between the coach yard and CN's St. Charles Air Line (to eliminate moves of trains to/from the former IC), a new platform at Joliet to serve CHI-STL trains, and double track to connect the controlled sidings at Glenwood, Dowagiac and Niles. Here is the document
https://www.scribd.com/document/5772659 ... from_embed
I wonder if there is enough room by the coach yard to build a connecting track to the Air Line that would permits speeds of more than 10-15 MPH?
  by justalurker66
Design speed is 10 MPH but it will be faster than the reverse moves that it replaces.
The rebuild of the Metra RID diamond and interlocking is also in the proposal.
  by Anthony
justalurker66 wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 6:09 pm Image
Design speed is 10 MPH but it will be faster than the reverse moves that it replaces.
The rebuild of the Metra RID diamond and interlocking is also in the proposal.
If these improvements creating a direct route from CUS to the St Charles Air Line, the Rock Island Line, and the IC Line are built, it would mean that there will no longer be the problem of the former Rock Island route not having a direct route into Union Station, making the route more attractive for Amtrak trains to use. In addition, the CRI&P tracks are in much better shape than they were when passenger service over them beyond Joliet ended in 1978. Amtrak and IDOT have considered moving the Texas Eagle and the Lincoln Service off the CN and onto the Rock Island between Chicago and Joliet. For these reasons, and given the opposition of farmers owning the land near Wyanet that the required connection track between the BNSF and IAIS for the proposed Amtrak trains to the Quad Cities would be built on, IDOT should also move the proposed Chicago-Quad Cities route onto this route for the entirety of the proposed service's route. In addition, in the Peoria metropolitan area, because there is also interest in restoring the Peoria Rocket, that route should also be planned to use the former Rock Island route if it is built. Imagine the possibilities if we could return both services to their original routes.
  by justalurker66
A RID platform at Joliet is one of the components of the plan.
Metra's SWS is expected to move to Lasalle St and use the RID to get to the 75th St corridor. Sounds like the rock is going to get busy.
  by eolesen
Amtrak should try to relocate its shops from Lumber Street to make more room for improvements like this...

I'm sure UP might be willing to get rid of the Canal Street yard for the right price.
  by justalurker66
Purchasing additional yard space near CUS is another component of the plan (which yard is not specified).

"The existing Chicago Yards facility is at maximum capacity. The purchase of yard space near CUS will alleviate the capacity issue that Amtrak is facing and will enable other major projects needed for Midwest expansion. Upon acquiring the additional yard space, Amtrak would first use the facility as a storage yard for the additional equipment anticipated to be needed for the new Midwest services envisioned in Amtrak Connects Us. The acquisition will also offset space lost during construction and implementation of the proposed SCAL connector. The yard acquisition is crucial to the long-term success of Chicago as a whole. Without the property acquisition, the planned service expansions could be significantly impacted. For instance, the long-term vision of TCMC is dependent on the acquisition of the yard.

"Once this property is acquired, no improvement activities or construction activities are needed to commence operations at the yard. Amtrak has commenced conversations with the owner regarding the acquisition of this property. The scope of Project activities for this Project component is Acquisition."

TCMC is Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago.

Component 1: Reactivation of Mail Platform (for passenger use - high level boarding)
Component 2: Concourse Improvements
Component 3: Trainshed Ventilation Improvements
Component 4: Platform Capacity Expansions (widening platforms)
Component 5: Direct connection between SCAL and CUS
Component 6: Purchase of property near CUS for yard
Component 7: RID platform at Joliet
Component 8: Improve SCAL/RID interlocking at 16th St
Component 9: Double Track Niles to Glenwood in Michigan
  by ryanwc
Just realizing the status of this is - denied under MEGA, but being reformulated as four separate projects.
  by justalurker66
Thanks for the update. The planners are still dreaming big.
  by ryanwc
The line from Joliet to Wyanet (and the Quad Cities) is a wiggleworm. Wouldn't that be slow?