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 BN7151
 
How old are the South Shore block signal system and catenary? Are there any plans to replace it?

  by MikeF
 
The age of the catenary varies from place to place. New constant-tension catenary is planned to be installed within the next few years, although that will not necessarily involve replacing the entire catenary system in place now.

I don't know the age of the block signal system offhand. A CTC system is planned within the next few years as well. Construction of a new building at Shops to house the CTC board is expected to begin shortly.

  by BN7151
 
It would make sense, and be very interesting, if the CSS&SB decided to install a new ABS system as well as CTC. I understand that the block signal system dates from the 1920s.

  by MikeF
 
For the record, the work is being done by NICTD, not CSS -- NICTD owns and maintains the electrified part of the railroad, while CSS has trackage rights.

  by BN7151
 
Does NICTD own the electric cars?

  by MikeF
 
NICTD owns all the electric M.U. cars except 31-38, which are owned by the RTA. NICTD also owns GP38-2 locomotive 1000 and a variety of maintenance-of-way equipment, and the South Shore passenger trackage and facilities within Indiana. SouthShore Freight (CSS) owns all the freight locomotives and rolling stock and some freight-only trackage (see http://www.southshorefreight.com/ for a track map).

  by BN7151
 
Very informative. Thanks for the info.

  by MikeF
 
Construction of the new building to house the CTC equipment is currently underway. The building will be located between the Carroll Avenue station parking lot and Roeske Avenue, southeast of the old office and just north of the SouthShore Freight tracks.

  by Tadman
 
You may have noticed the Henkels and McCoy wire train at the siding along the Skyway near the Harbison Walker spur - that's likely the new catenary.

  by PRRGuy
 
Next to the skyway huh?..When do they plan on starting to string the new stuff up?

  by MikeF
 
I don't know the schedule for replacing the actual wire, but work has been underway on the new catenary system for some time. You can see parts of the constant-tension installations at substation breakers, in addition to strengthening of the catenary supports at those locations.