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 MetraBNSF
metraRI wrote:So it looks like the project also includes extending the platform at Belmont.
Beside extending the Belmont station platforms (which will make holding 11 car trains feasible) it looks like a pedestrian underpass will also be built. Its badly needed too as I've seen some near misses. Main track 3 will also have to be realigned. There's a pretty wide gap between mains 2 and 3 from west to east through the station to a few hundred feet east of Belmont Rd.
  by MetraBNSF
Outside of the Belmont Road underpass project that's getting underway in 2009, BNSF has a whole plate of construction projects that are in progress or will be getting underway soon:

The north platform at Western Springs was just recently finished, which includes a "tower" at the northwest end of the platform.

The platforms at Fairview Ave are now being torn up.

Other projects that will be getting underway soon:

Highlands – Renovation of platforms with new tactile and a ped-walk. Construction expected to begin in 2009.
Aurora Platform – Contract awarded and construction to begin shortly. Improvements will include platforms, pedestrian crossings, intertrack fencing and lighting.
Lisle – The Village of Lisle plans to build an elevator down to the pedestrian tunnel in 2008.
LaGrange Stone Ave – The Village of LaGrange will undertake the renovation of the station. Metra will replace the platforms. Construction of both scheduled to begin in 2009.
Hollywood – Install additional lighting at the back of both platforms in 2008. Work to begin shortly.
Harlem Ave – Reconstruction of both platforms is expected to begin late 2008.
LaVergne – Reconstruction of platforms and shelter to begin in late 2008.

One thing I'm surprised about is BNSF not moving forward with replacing the remaining CB&Q signal bridges. The most recent signal bridge to be replaced was Cicero B.
  by metraRI
BNSF platforms can use a facelift, I've noticed most seem to be rather old and falling apart. I'm surprised the Cicero station reconstruction has not been officially announced yet, as that was part of the deal when closing Clyde in '06?/'07?

As for signal bridges, what is left to be replaced? I know they've stopped at Highlands going west, but replaced the eastbound. Same thing with the interlocking at West Hinsdale, new eastbound, old westbound signals.
  by MetraBNSF
metraRI wrote:As for signal bridges, what is left to be replaced? I know they've stopped at Highlands going west, but replaced the eastbound. Same thing with the interlocking at West Hinsdale, new eastbound, old westbound signals.
The signal bridges governing the control points at Fairview, Downers Grove, Naperville (both sets on each side of the station, except the westbound at East Naperville), and I beleive Eola still need to be replaced. Also the intermediate signals at Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Belmont, I-355 (where the old East Lisle interlocking was located), the intermediate east of the E. Naperville control point and the intermediate just west of the W. Naperville control point all need to be replaced.
  by MetraBNSF
Metra gave a presentation at the August 12, 2008 workshop in Downers Grove detailing the construction schedule for the Belmont Rd underpass...which includes temporarily reducing rail traffic to two tracks for a short period of time and the relocation of one of the mainline tracks and a boarding platform. In the past few weeks I've seen BNSF crews doing work at the station's ped crossing.

http://www.downers.us/assets/production ... 12-08_.pdf
  by metraRI
Interesting, Wish they released things like that for all station projects big and small. Should be nice when its complete.
  by MetraBNSF
Will be interesting to see how rail traffic will be affected once tracks are taken out of service. I now think about how the crossovers at I-355 were removed...they could be useful once 2-track operation begins
  by byte
I live right over there (well, not right now since I'm at school) and have seen the 99th street station more than a few times while in the area. The nice thing about the restoration is that it doesn't look too overdone or modified. If you didn't know what it looked like before, you wouldn't know it was restored. It just looks like a nice little station in a quiet neighborhood.

With 99th completed, I hope Metra can restore the rest of the old RI stations along the Beverly Branch. Some of the neatest stations on the Metra system are along that route, and a couple more of them (91st, 107th) are looking like they could use some work.
  by metraRI
Yesterday crews were doing something with the 91st Street Station... don't think they are planning to completely renovate the station, possibly some new paint.. but a lot of the stations along the branch can use some work. 111th/99th have been renovated so far. I know 95th Street has been overhauled as well, but I'm not sure of the extent that project entailed. 103rd Street has also had some work done, however I do not know if the station standing today is an original.

Plans for the new 80th Avenue station are supposed to be revealed later this month. Tinley Park chose the same architect that built the Oak Park Avenue station.
  by byte
103rd isn't an original station. As per a plaque sitting near the parking fee collection board, it was erected by the RTA in 1978. The fact that one was erected so quickly after the public funding started coming in makes me think the old station wasn't long for this world at that time.
  by metraRI
Here is the first rendering I have seen of what could become 80th Avenues new station:
Tinley sure does like having clock towers.
  by doepack
metraRI wrote:Tinley sure does like having clock towers.
I've noticed that too. Did the original station in the Rock era have them? Google has turned up nothing so far...
  by metraRI
doepack wrote:I've noticed that too. Did the original station in the Rock era have them? Google has turned up nothing so far...
This I do not know... I know the previous Tinley Park station did not, of course neither does the current 80th Avenue. I also do not know if these stations were original. I know 80th Avenue did not exist in 1972, so the current station was most likely the first and only serving 80th.
  by MetraBNSF
A lot of advance work is already being done on Belmont Rd in Downers Grove in conjunction with the underpass project. Much of the work being done now is utility relocation, storm sewer, and water main work. Trees have been cut down northwest of the existing crossing which will make way for a new parking lot. In the weeks to come I hope to have some pictures up of some of the work being done.
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