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 doepack
Bridge work to shut down Rock for two weekends, starting a week from Sunday (9/22). If you've ever wanted to ride MED's Blue Island branch on a Sunday, now's your chance...
  by Amtrak7
For those passengers north of Blue Island, wouldn't going to Gresham and then taking the 87 bus to the MED or Red Line shuttle make a little more sense than going down to Blue Island? Gresham to Millenium via the detour is around 85min.

Of course, those on the first inbound of the day have no other choice.
  by doepack
Amtrak7 wrote:For those passengers north of Blue Island, wouldn't going to Gresham and then taking the 87 bus to the MED or Red Line shuttle make a little more sense than going down to Blue Island?
That would make sense only to Loop-bound passengers that would normally board at Gresham, Brainerd, or 91st St, but I doubt hardly any would transfer to MED at 87th because that means paying another fare. They could also ride a Halsted or Ashland bus north to 63rd, then take a Red line train to the loop from there (those are usually Green line stations, but CTA has changed them to Red temporarily for the duration of the Dan Ryan project).

South of 91st St., you'd either have to ride east on a CTA bus to 95th/Red line for the bustitution north to Garfield, then a Red or Green line train to the Loop. Pretty awkward and time consuming, but at least the transfers to/from shuttle buses are free. Or you could change buses at 95th to go further east to MED, but it's costlier because transferring to Metra requires another fare. So when weighing those alternatives, riding south to Blue Island then going north on the Metra BI shuttle trains via a free transfer doesn't seem so bad...
  by metraRI
The project at Englewood is steaming ahead. New NS signals are being cut over this weekend. Once this is complete, the old signal bungalows will be removed and one more concrete support will be constructed. This will allowing the bridge over the NS to be installed. On the southern section of the project, a new embankment is being built for the addition of a 3rd track. Word is the bridges over the Ryan will be installed before the Red Line resumes service. Also tomorrow the bridge at 60th Street will be removed and filled.
  by doepack
A second new in-city station for the Rock...
  by Tadman
What a crock of s***. Let's review the numbers on the new station.

$20m price. IE double that of the new Tinley Park station.

Tinley Park paid a significant portion of theirs, Illinois pays for this station - no local funds.

Tinley Park sees 2,500 riders/day, this new station could see 500 on a very good day, off in the future (IE when Pat Quinn is crowned king of all he can see).

That means every time someone gets on here, it costs $4 in station costs assuming a 40 year station life and constant peak ridership.

Here's the best part: THERE'S A BLASTED CTA RED LINE STATION LESS THAN A MILE AWAY!!!! YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!! We just spent almost half a billion for a new railroad basically a few blocks away that runs trains every 5-10 minutes and now we're going to build this $20m station so people can go downtown and, guess what, get on a freakin CTA train just like the one that's 0.7 miles away from their originating station, to get to work.

I love Illinois. Seriously, what a joke.
  by metraRI
The Auburn Park plan is not new, it has been on the 'list' since 2009... why it is making news now, I don't know. $20 Million could definitely be spent better, improving other stations... look at all the south side stations on the MED that are falling apart. The location of this station is partly why the cost is so high. The embankment is 'triple elevated' in this spot, going over streets and the NS, which is also elevated. I'm not sure what the plan is, but I'm guessing elevators will be included to make it ADA accessible (Gresham is not). Currently the track alignment zig zags around what is probably old station infrastructure. Google maps gives a pretty good idea of where the previous platform was, an old main even remains in place.

Metra fails to mention how much they estimate Gresham ridership will drop with the opening of Auburn Park. Hopefully, Metra will take a serious look at operations on the Rock to compensate the time added for yet another station. Improving the track speed between 16th Street and Englewood was washed with adding 35th Street. Improving Englewood will now be washed with Auburn Park. Making mainline and Beverly operations separate should be taken into consideration.
  by byte
Anyone here ride the Rock Island regularly?

There has been little to no progress on the Englewood flyover visible from the Dan Ryan, which I've been driving on pretty much every day as of late. I think the steel went up during a series of lifts in October and it really doesn't look like much has been done since - from the expressway. Any progress visible from RID trains going through there?
  by metraRI
I don't think much has been done with the bridges above the expressway since they were lifted into place, but progress is still being made despite the cold weather. Last week bridges above the NS were lifted in place. Most of the focus now is on the embankment to fit the new alignment.

Also on the Rock, signal work at Joliet has begun... this may be the last year UD Tower is left standing. Progress on the new platform is also well underway.
  by justalurker66
Thanks for the update ... some days it seems that Englewood would never get started - now we're just waiting (and waiting) for it to finish.
  by byte
It may be running behind schedule at this point. I remember reading somewhere that closures on the Dan Ryan were supposed to be coordinated during the Red Line reconstruction, so crews from both projects could get things done during the same window and minimize expressway delays. As it turned out, the flyover-related closures only began happening after the Red Line went back into service.
  by doepack
CTA planning a bypass at Belmont to relieve congestion and delays. Could be interesting...
  by orangeline
doepack wrote:CTA planning a bypass at Belmont to relieve congestion and delays. Could be interesting...
Before moving here I lived in NYC metro area and the subways and elevated portions, with few exceptions, were either constructed outright or modified a long time ago to avoid this kind of traffic interference. I can't help but wonder why the companies that built what became the L didn't do the same on their trunk lines and branches!
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