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
Meet Metra's newest bridge...
  by Anthony
doepack wrote: Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:41 pm Meet Metra's newest bridge...
In addition to helping Metra and CP freight trains stay on schedule, this project will benefit the proposed Chicago-Rockford Amtrak service. In fact, the 2014 Amtrak proposal included funding for this bridge replacement project. However, a few months after the Amtrak project was put on hold in 2015, funding for the bridge replacement and Amtrak line were later lost during the budget impasse. When JB Pritzker became governor and subsequently signed the new capital bill, funding for the Amtrak line was restored, putting the project back on the table. However, due to this bridge project getting funding from other sources, the Amtrak proposal no longer involves replacing the bridge, making the Amtrak project look better financially and more likely to happen than in 2014.
  by justalurker66
MetraBNSF wrote: Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:43 pm This project will not really impact rail operations but is something worth mentioning.

https://www.illinoistollway.com/project ... nsf-bridge
Interesting. I assume the shoofly shift will slow trains ... a reason not to simply build a new bridge and leave a permanent shift in tracks. I have seen it done both ways, but usually with the shoofly being temporary.

I note in the animation that the final bridge will be the existing three tracks plus one of the shoofly bridges remaining. Good for MOW vehicles but also open for the possibility of a fourth track.
  by MetraBNSF
70/45 speeds will be maintained through the shoofly.

There will be a fourth track south of the three main tracks but the fourth track will strictly be for MOW vehicles only.
  by Jeff Smith
A little dated: Streetsblog.org

If only ALL articles about railroads were as comprehensive and well-written! Brief, fair-use quote of relevant sections per forum policy:
Metra construction continues full steam (diesel, electricity?) ahead during COVID-19
Most notably, Metra is starting work on two new stations — the Peterson/Ridge station in Edgewater and the Auburn Park station in Auburn Gresham — replacing the current Union Pacific West Line’s Elmhurst station with a larger facility, adding heated platforms at BNSF Line’s Westmont station, and continued work to add a third track on most of the Union Pacific West line. But there are several notable projects that aren’t scheduled to start in the near future, both in the city and the suburbs.
Further south, Metra and the Village of Clarendon Hills are continuing work on a new station that will replace the now-demolished 1970s building. According to project architect Legat Architects, the idea is to create a visually striking and eco-friendly gateway the village’s downtown. Unlike the previous station, it will have passenger shelters and covered bike parking on both platforms.

On a smaller scale, Metra will work to replace the head house at the BNSF line’s Cicero station, which was damaged in a 2019 freight train derailment. It will rehabilitate the Milwaukee District West Line’s Bensenville station, the Union Pacific North’s Highland Park and North Chicago stations, and the Rock Island District line’s Blue Island station. The 11-week project to add wheelchair access to the Milwaukee District West’s Itasca station got underway last week, and the BNSF line’s West Hinsdale station platforms are slated to get ADA-compliant “truncated dome type surfaces” on the edges.
As I’ve noted, the Union Pacific West line sees more freight traffic than the system average, which created bottlenecks at the two-track sections between River Forest and Geneva. Since 2017, Metra and the Union Pacific Railroad have been working to add a third track, and that project will continue amid COVID-19.
  by chirailfan
This post is also posted in the BNSF forum.

Took a drive through the Hinsdale area along the BNSF Chicago Sub earlier this evening. While crossing the tracks at Monroe Street (east end of West Hinsdale interlocking) I noticed the crossovers were reconfigured. West Hinsdale is not a universal interlocking. If you're going west, mains 1 and 3 have crossovers that go to center main 2. Going east, a train can come off main 2 and go to either mains 1 or 3. About 1.5 miles to the east of West Hinsdale is another set of partial crossovers at Highlands. At that point, going west a train can come off main 2 and go to mains 1 or 3. Going east, a train can enter main 2 from mains 1 or 3.

The configuration of the crossovers was changed at West Hinsdale. Eastbound train traffic can now enter main 2 from mains 1 or 3. Westbound traffic can now enter mains 1 or 3 from main 2. I wonder if West Hinsdale is being converted into a full universal interlocking location. The area where the plant sits contains a part time train station and an at grade secondary road that crosses the tracks at the station.
  by doepack
Construction begins on the CTA flyover at Belmont junction...
Footnote: I did not know that the 2600 and 3200 series can be MU'd together in service. Don't think that was possible when the 3200's were first delivered, but then, that was almost 30 years ago (!)
  by Gilbert B Norman
West Hinsdale was closed during August for platform reconstruction. What was concrete is now asphalt. Looks great now; let's try it on in five years and see how it looks.

Funny though, to my knowledge service to the station has not yet been resumed.

Now so far as Clarendon Hills, what a boondoggle. All that was needed was a little paint on the trim of the previous station, but for now almost a year, the "station" has been a house trailer. Oh but the Village got a Federal grant for it, so they go out and build this completely out of character structure that one year later is nowhere complete. The parking lot has become a construction site.

If this project isn't done before people start riding METRA again, I hate to see the parking situation there. But oh well, wonder why I bought a house 0.6/mi from the station during '79?
  by Gilbert B Norman
OK; I think my duty, while taking my Afternoon walk, I did observe BNSF 1311 making a West Hinsdale stop.

So I guess that project has moved into the "finished" column.
  by MetraBNSF
BNSF cut over the three main tracks onto the shoofly over I-294 on the Hinsdale/Western Springs border. There is no drop in track speed through the area. Will make for some good railfanning for the next year or so.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Looks like the "boondoggle" connected to the new station (still under construction two years later) continues:

Now "The Politburu" proposes a park immediately to the West of the "main street" (Prospect Ave) and immediately North of the BNSF. This was a site - 200 Burlington Ave - where a police station was once located and has been vacant for the past ten years.

Why the new station was needed escapes me, when all the former station needed was some paint. Regular commuters, if they ever return post-COVID, show up five minutes before their train. But apparently there was a Federal Grant - and you don't look that Gift Horse in the mouth. But this "peoples park"? I pay for it.

Some kid is going to get "whacked" - and who knows - Warren, the Village, i.e. me, Amtrak, or METRA - will have to pony up - all will be on the bracketed Upper Left side of the lawsuit.

Who knows; maybe a railcam will be part of it - 140 trains by here on a weekday.
  by Gilbert B Norman
No longer able to edit; but the vacant lot is 201 Burlington, vice 200, the latter of which is "my bank"; Clarendon Hills Bank.

I can't see encouraging kids to play around the tracks; just too much "exposure".
  by Gilbert B Norman

Now I realize that an 80yo bachelor who has lived here for now 42 years "really doesn't want change" as much as would a young family, but this is "just too much".

Sure, the former station needed a little paint and some TLC, but it was just fine for the monthly pass rider who showed up five minutes before train time, and simply stood on the platform. Now they go and build this, and honestly, who cares. Yes, they got Federal $$$, but they also got MY $$$ (there's a line item on my Real Estate tax bill).

Now the latest; and not being "advertised" by the Village. While the Eastward station appears complete, the Westward "shed" is a different story. They got as far as setting up the fabricated beams for such (and to support the vegetation they will plant on the roof - apparently the "environmental thing"), but suddenly, they TAKE THOSE BEAMS DOWN. Go to Village Hall and you get "here's the Public Information Officer's card". At one business in town I use, the word is that "they messed up the fabrication so they have to do it all over again".

What a needless disruption!!!!

Again regarding their "Burlington Plaza" (which will tie up sidewalks I regularly use) to be located on a vacant lot owned by the Village on the Northwest corner of Prospect and Burlington, they'd better have good fencing around it. I just can't see little kids playing that close to the tracks - even if there are some "junior railfans" amongst them. That has the potential to become "expensive".

Here endeth the Rant.
  by Gilbert B Norman
I have now learned "from an informed source" that the matter of the Westward "shed" will take some time to resolve.

There is apparently a dispute between the architect and the subcontracting fabricator; finger pointing between those two, and nothing has been done to resolve such. Further, since the project has been delayed and Illinois DOT has some jurisdiction over such, they have imposed a $1500/da penalty. That clock is ticking, and you can be sure the two disputing parties - and their lawyers - will be fighting over that "indefinitely".

Meantime, and understandably, the General Contractor has reassigned the workers to other projects, and I guess you could say, has washed his hands of the whole debacle.

So for those of us who reside here, and like myself walk everywhere, the East sidewalk over the BNSF along Prospect will remain closed along with the Westward sidewalk along Burlington to intersect with Prospect.

Maybe by, guess on my part, next May, all will be done - three years of a project embarked upon for no reason other than to deify "the Politburo" around here.

Oh, but they got some Federal $$$$; does that make it OK?
  • 1
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18