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 orangeline
 
In the Metro section of today's Trib, there's a story that the LaVergne and Cicero stations will have in/outbound platforms rehabilitated and "warming" houses built starting in 2008. However, the Clyde stop will be eliminated this April. I didn't see anywhere that LaVergne's status may be upgraded to match Clyde's in terms of numbers of trains stopping there throughout the day. Does anyone have any additional information on this subject?

  by metraRI
 
Here is the story, from Chicago Tribune Online:
Cicero's Metra stop to receive makeover
Berwyn station also in renovation plans


For Chicago resident Edgar Cortez, the worst part of the daily commute to his job in Western Springs is waiting under a rusted metal canopy at the Cicero Metra commuter train stop near 26th Street and Cicero Avenue.

"The stop is awful," said Cortez, 22. "The shelter doesn't protect you from the rain or the cold. The place looks terrible with chipped paint on the ceiling and graffiti everywhere. They need to fix this station up."

On Tuesday, Metra officials announced plans for a $3 million rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Cicero station and the LaVergne station on Ridgeland Avenue and Windsor Avenue in Berwyn.

Metra Executive Director Philip Pagano and Cicero officials gathered at Town Hall to unveil the proposed designs of the stations.

The designs call for replacing inbound and outbound platforms and building a warming house and handicapped-accessible ramp at both stations

In addition, Pagano announced the Clyde Avenue Metra stop, located seven blocks west of the Cicero station, will close.

Pagano said the Clyde stop, which is expected to close in April, is dilapidated and serves only about 50 passengers a day. He suggests passengers use the Cicero or LaVergne stations.

Pagano hopes the project will begin in 2008.

An estimated $600,000 must be generated with a grant from a federal government transportation program covering the remaining funds, said Pagano.

"I have every confidence in the world that the funding will become available," he said.

State Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) said he and other officials will have to work with the governor to secure the money. "It's about time Metra paid some attention to our stations here in the western suburbs and especially Cicero," said Sandoval. "I believe the Cicero station is the most forgotten and dilapidated station of any Metra stop."

  by doepack
 
Has anyone noticed that the more dilapidated stations on Metra's system happen to be in Cook County, especially within the city itself, or among the inner-ring suburbs? It's probably not a coincidence, given that Metra has a limited presence in the city proper, but it definitely seems that the decent facilities in Hyde Park, plus along most of RI's Beverly branch are the exception rather than the norm. Still, it's nice to see Cicero getting an upgrade, because it was starting to give the Roosevelt Rd. station on MED a run for its money for the title of "Most dilapidated station on Metra's system"...

  by Tadman
 
I don't know why the powers that be don't just rip the roof and walls of the shack at Roosevelt Road, and leave it open. It doesn't hold that many people as-is, and right now it stinks and must be kept up. Doing away with the walls and side would reduce maintenance headaches on a POS building.

And as far as why the crappiest stations are in the city/inner ring, I think it's because a lot of those inner ring suburbs and outer neighborhoods of Chicago proper don't generate the tax revenue they used to. Now that the tax revenue isn't there to maintain the station, it become's Metra's problem, to be taken care of on a "we'll get to it" schedule.

  by MetraRy
 
it will be sad to see the Clyde station get shut down. But, at least Cicero is getting a much needed upgrade. With Berwyn's plans to build a parking deck next to the Oak Park Av. stop and the recent removal of a ticket office at Harlem I think it would make more sense to close both Harlem and LaVergne and centralize everything at the Oak Park Av . This would also lessen traffic problems on Harlem Av. I can see Congress Park getting the axe soon

  by doepack
 
MetraRy wrote:With Berwyn's plans to build a parking deck next to the Oak Park Av. stop and the recent removal of a ticket office at Harlem I think it would make more sense to close both Harlem and LaVergne and centralize everything at the Oak Park Av . This would also lessen traffic problems on Harlem Av. I can see Congress Park getting the axe soon
That's not a bad idea, it would definitely streamline local service, and as such, has the potential to improve running times. Which should mean a modest reduction in the current 10-12 min. "padding" in the schedule for inbound trains between Western and CUS...

  by MetraBNSF
 
doepack wrote:
MetraRy wrote:With Berwyn's plans to build a parking deck next to the Oak Park Av. stop and the recent removal of a ticket office at Harlem I think it would make more sense to close both Harlem and LaVergne and centralize everything at the Oak Park Av . This would also lessen traffic problems on Harlem Av. I can see Congress Park getting the axe soon
That's not a bad idea, it would definitely streamline local service, and as such, has the potential to improve running times. Which should mean a modest reduction in the current 10-12 min. "padding" in the schedule for inbound trains between Western and CUS...
Closing both the Harlem and LaVergne stations could actually make the rail line safer through the Berwyn area. Berwyn seems to be a hotspot for incidents involving trains and there's been way too many of them over the years. Closing the Harlem stop could lead to an underpass being built at Harlem Ave and would improve vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow not to mention increasing safety.

  by tobuadantoq
 
looks likely schedule change. My suggestions are:
1370 will add stops at Lisle to Main St. 1370 will provide Express service from Downers Grove Main Street.
1244 will add stops at Western Avenue and Halsted from 1246. 1246 will provide Express service from LaGrange Road.
1261 will remove Western Avenue stops and move to 1263. 1261 will provide Express service tp Hinsdale, then local to Route 59.
1247 will remove Halsted to Cicero stops nmd move to 1249. 1247 will provide Express service to Downers Grove Main Street.

cheerleader

  by metraRI
 
I find it highly unlikely that major schedule changes will come on April 1st. Only minor changes were made to MD-W after Grand/Cicero was added, I would expect the same to come to BNSF.

  by doepack
 
looks likely schedule change. My suggestions are:
1370 will add stops at Lisle to Main St. 1370 will provide Express service from Downers Grove Main Street
Why add those stops to 1370, when a better solution would be to push 1258's schedule back a few minutes, since it runs just 12 min. behind 1250 at the Lisle/Belmont/DG Main stations? Besides, I don't think the Aurora/Naperville folks would be too happy about losing that late rush hour express...
1247 will remove Halsted to Cicero stops and move to 1249. 1247 will provide Express service to Downers Grove Main Street
...which would put 1247 right on the heels of 1245. And remember, 1245 makes a DG Main stop, then turns to 1278 for its deadhead move back downtown, which would likely result in a minor delay to 1247 by the time it reaches DG. 1247's extra stops on the east end allows 1245 a cushion on the west end to turn back downtown without delaying 1247; or at least, that's how it's supposed to work...

  by MetraBNSF
 
doepack wrote:
1247 will remove Halsted to Cicero stops and move to 1249. 1247 will provide Express service to Downers Grove Main Street
...which would put 1247 right on the heels of 1245. And remember, 1245 makes a DG Main stop, then turns to 1278 for its deadhead move back downtown, which would likely result in a minor delay to 1247 by the time it reaches DG. 1247's extra stops on the east end allows 1245 a cushion on the west end to turn back downtown without delaying 1247; or at least, that's how it's supposed to work...
Sometimes, 1247 is subject to a minor delay if 1245 runs late or if inbound 1276 runs late. 1247's east end stops only adds 5 minutes to the schedule and if those east end stops were removed, 1247 would arrive at the same time or beat 1245 to DG and there'd be congestion at DG with 3 trains trying to occupy 2 platforms. After Cicero, 1247 stays on main 1. The only times I've seen #1247 run down the middle between Cicero and DG is if it needs to get around a freight on main 1, which happens on occasion.