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 lstone19
 
Amtrak has put new crossing identification signs on the Canal Street crossing north of Union Station identifying the location as MP 468.3. Took me a bit to figure out that's the distance from Pittsburgh via the old PRR main line.
  by Tadman
 
Hey if you came all the way from Pittsburgh, I guess you can spend the extra time to go around the long way if you have to... (a little end of day levity, guys)
  by lstone19
 
But at least according to a 1980 Conrail Employee TT I have, the Panhandle (i.e. "the long way") was mileposted from Columbus. Western Ave. is listed as 311.6 and CUS 314.1 (at that time listed as the "Western Ave. Secondary Track") and notwithstanding timetable direction flipping from West to East at Western Ave. (keeping in mind that what the MILW called A-2 was Western Ave. to the PRR and C&NW). Which makes the 468.3 odd since that's the distance via the Ft. Wayne main and through CUS (which is 467.8 per that TT).

The first milepost I see when I ride on the "North Joint Tracks" (as I believe the Metra-owned tracks from end of Amtrak property at Canal Street to A-2 are known - joint I assume referring to the joint PRR-MILW ownership) is a recently installed "1.25" which appears to be the distance from CUS.
  by doepack
 
lstone19 wrote:But at least according to a 1980 Conrail Employee TT I have, the Panhandle (i.e. "the long way") was mileposted from Columbus. Western Ave. is listed as 311.6 and CUS 314.1 (at that time listed as the "Western Ave. Secondary Track") and notwithstanding timetable direction flipping from West to East at Western Ave. (keeping in mind that what the MILW called A-2 was Western Ave. to the PRR and C&NW). Which makes the 468.3 odd since that's the distance via the Ft. Wayne main and through CUS (which is 467.8 per that TT).
According to a somewhat dated (2002) track profile I have, but verified via a more recent (2010) version of CORA, Amtrak's Chicago terminal runs between 21st St. interlocking and Canal St, which encompasses just over two miles. On the south end, the distance between 21st St. and the underground bumping posts at Jackson St. is listed as 1.6 miles. Then add another 0.5 miles for the segment between the bumping posts on the north end and Canal St. Now, it's possible that the 468.3 milepost marker could either be a way of signifying the ownership change from Metra to Amtrak (while doing so with a nod to history), or there's a milepost marker 2.1 miles south (TT=east?), somewhere around the 21st St. bridge that reads 466.2. Which wouldn't make the 468.3 so odd after all, if that's indeed the case. Either way, this is definitely worth a closer look...
  by lstone19
 
I'm almost certain 468.3 is the distance from Pittsburgh via the PRR Ft. Wayne Main. The only thing "odd" about it is that was never how mileposts were done on the Panhandle / Joint North Tracks. It makes sense in that gives Amtrak consistent mileposts in the Amtrak-owned CUS territory right through CUS (you can't ride a train through CUS even though the mileposts do :-( ), even though it ends being the decidedly odd 466.2 to 468.3 which makes sense only to people who understand railroad history since it's now non-contiguous to its origin in Pittsburgh. Plus it appears that NS changed the mileposts on the Whiting to 21 Street segment to make them distance from Buffalo via the NYC rather than distance from Pittsburgh via PRR (21st Street is milepost CD521 rather than 466). And that there is an Amtrak train that passes Milepost 0 and ends in Chicago but uses very little of the intervening 467 miles (Capitol Limited using Pittsburgh to Alliance and Whiting to CUS).