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 metraRI
 
Oak Forest has chosen a design for a new station. The village is in the middle of turning the old parking lot into a transit-oriented development, so this must be another step with that project.
Image
Oak Forest would be the 5th new station building on RI south of Blue Island within the past 5-7 years. Robbins, Midlothian, Tinley Park and 80th Avenue (Construction starts this fall) all before it. Mokena is also debating whether or not to relocate their station to the east. That would leave New Lenox and Joliet with the only 'original' stations on that section of the district.
  by doepack
 
It's cool that Oak Forest is getting a face lift, but some of those stations along the Beverly branch could use a makeover too. And I'd hate to see anything happen to Joliet, it's a classic structure dating back more than 80 years, and should be preserved...
  by doepack
 
Here's a pretty neat graphic of the proposed infrastructure improvements that the CREATE program will have on Metra's network...
  by NDW5332
 
doepack wrote:It's cool that Oak Forest is getting a face lift, but some of those stations along the Beverly branch could use a makeover too. And I'd hate to see anything happen to Joliet, it's a classic structure dating back more than 80 years, and should be preserved...
I would agree that the Beverly stations could use a makeover, but they're all protected as Chicago landmarks:

http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/Landma ... 69?disID=5

That would put restoration or fixes into a whole other category!


stan
  by byte
 
The Beverly branch stations aren't that bad. Off the top of my head:

- Brainerd: Relatively new structure, no agent, more or less just a very nice enclosed shelter (much better than an Amshack though).
- 91st St: Got a new coat of paint within the past couple years, will probably not need a total refurbishment for another decade.
- 95th St: Original station house was restored several years ago, and a new shelter was added at that time.
- 99th St: Recieved a complete overhaul about three years ago, involving jacking the whole structure up and laying a new foundation under it. Station looks brand new.
- 103rd St: The only branch station to be replaced when the RTA took over in 1977, this station is probably historic in its own right but isn't old enough to need any work. It's also light brown brick and not wood-sided. (and also where yours truly usually gets on the train)
- 107th St: Definite candidate for restoration here, wood rot is evident on the exterior siding and the interior doesn't look very different from what it probably looked like during the dark days of the Rock Island in the mid 70s. Painted in beige with brown trim.
- 111th St: Long, three-story brick station, recieved a community-sponsored refurbishment a few years ago - looks great. Probably the "grandest" station on the Beverly branch.
- 115ht St: Similar to the 107th st station (same paint colors) but in a bit better shape. Haven't seen the interior of this one yet.
- 119th St: Not very big, a one story wood-sided station in the same colors as 107th and 115th. In comparable shape to the latter.
- 123rd St: Met-shack
Praire St: I think there's just a platform here, may not even be a met-shack.


The station in the worst shape is, in my opinion, 107th. With proper upkeep 91st, 115th and 119th would probably last another 10-15 years without needing a rehab. Brainerd, 95th, 103rd, and 111th are all brick structures so I would guess they won't need serious exterior work within the next 30 years or so.
  by metraRI
 
The 99th overhall was more recent, finishing last year (by far the best station on the branch)... same with the repainting of 91st Street.

Looking at this, it doesn't look like the current 95th Street is the origonal.... if it is, they made some drastic changes to the building...however the station seems to be much closer to the street than it is today.

As byte stated, 107th and 115th are probably the next in need to be rehabbed.

Personally I'm not a fan of Vermont Street.... curious if Metra will ever decide to reconfigure the area.
  by byte
 
Yeah, I'm not sure what was done at 95th St. I think they might have rehabbed the original station, put an addition on it, and then added a new canopy shelter outside. There's a concrete tablet outside that has the original plaque that went on the side of the station building when it was first put up way back when, and then a new plaque commemorating the recent changes. I might ride by there tonight and take a look.

Vermont Street could be improved a little. I think the first, best thing they could do is relocate the MED station so it's actually across the street with the RI station, and I wonder if that was ever considered when the electric station was rebuilt a while ago. They'd have to knock down the Rail Grill that's sitting there, but crossing Vermont street from the south is borderline attempted suicide (you should see the way people drive over there...) and most of the parking is south of the street anyway. If that Amtrak service to Peoria ever takes off and the RI is utlized, Vermont Street would be an ideal stop once again and regional service at that station would help to better utilize its relatively large (and nice) waiting room, which was restored back in the 80s and still looks pretty good. Might also give Metra an incentive to replace the yellow ADA treads on the mainline side, which are pretty ratty.
  by metraRI
 
I think the platforms at Vermont Street were redone this summer... next time you are in the area, take a look. I picture Vermont Street to be something like Western Ave on MD, or even something like Clybourne on UP. The way the main and the branch reconnect isn't logical as it might have been in the past. There is definaltey room to move the branch tracks closer to the mains.
  by metraRI
 
Over the weekend Metra tore up and relaid both mains at Tinley Park 80th Avenue... most of the work seemed to have taken place overnight between 11p-6a. The last two outbound trains on Friday and Saturday ran up to Tinley Park where passengers were bussed to 80th Ave and to an awaiting train at Hickory Creek to continue to Joliet. I'm not sure if this was related to future station/pedestrian underpass construction or if the track at the station was in need of replacement.
  by neroden
 
Anyone seen the new "Museum Campus/11th Street" station at what used to be Roosevelt Road (and before that Central Station) on the Electric Line? I'm very curious, as last time I was there it was all midst-of-work.
  by byte
 
It's pretty nice. The platform material is made out of something like roofing shingles so it'll probably have to be re-decked sooner than a regular wood deck but otherwise it's a nice station. Most of the steel is painted a dark green, IIRC.

Only complaint is that although a MED schedule is posted there, a South Shore schedule isn't, even though their trains stop there as well.
  by justalurker66
 
byte wrote:Only complaint is that although a MED schedule is posted there, a South Shore schedule isn't, even though their trains stop there as well.
The South Shore changed their weekday schedules in February and May and will be changing weekend schedules on November 22nd. It would be nice to have it posted everywhere. Is it posted at the other stations (besides Randolph)?
  by ChiTownHustler
 
byte wrote:It's pretty nice. The platform material is made out of something like roofing shingles so it'll probably have to be re-decked sooner than a regular wood deck but otherwise it's a nice station.
Nah. They've had that material in use for a few years in Hyde Park. It wears nice, is resistant to salt corrosion, and offers better grip than wood in winter. Also amazing is that the old trestle is finally down. No more urine-soaked plywood...
  by metraRI
 
Next stop: Romeoville
ROMEOVILLE -- A just-awarded $4.4 million federal grant will allow Romeoville to build a new Metra train station with parking for 600 cars, Mayor John Noak announced Tuesday during the annual state of the village address.

Engineering on the project will begin this month, and the station is expected to open by 2013, Noak said.

"It is fabulous news, and it's really important not just for us but for all of the towns around here" with residents who will potentially will use the station, he said.

The building's size and features have not been determined. Noak said he expects it to be a relatively modest, enclosed structure that will protect commuters from inclement weather but won't have a lot of whistles and bells. Enhancements can always be added later, he said
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/hera ... 14.article
  by metraRI
 
It seems Gresham Tower is now part of the past. Crews were out today making the transition to the new signals. By 12:45p, some old signals were already taken down.
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