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 JamesT4
 
It begins on May 19th, this will be interesting to see. Changed the topic to reflect the start date.
http://www.transitchicago.com/redsouth/
Coming: May 19, 2013
Faster. Smoother. Better.

Beginning May 19, 2013, the CTA will rebuild the tracks along the south Red Line, from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th/Dan Ryan—a project that will provide faster, more comfortable and more reliable service for Red Line riders.

Building a New ChicagoFrom just north of the Cermak-Chinatown station to the 95th Street station, crews will replace everything in the track bed: ties, rail, third rail, ballast (the stone material that holds the ties in place) and drainage systems. Some stations will also receive improvements ranging from new canopies, paint and lighting upgrades to new benches and bike racks. Additionally, the stations at Garfield, 63rd and 87th will get new elevators, making all stations on the South Side Red Line accessible.


The south Red Line, called the Dan Ryan branch, is more than 40 years old and needs a full replacement. Because of the current track conditions, Red Line riders experience longer travel times, more-crowded trains and less-reliable service.

This project will provide faster commutes, a smoother ride, improved stations and accessibility and a better passenger experience. Additionally, the project will create hundreds of good-paying jobs.

The work is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago program, which is updating infrastructure that's critical to the city—and includes improvements that will help ensure that CTA continues to serve customers as effectively as possible.

The project is made possible by $1 billion in state and local funding announced in late 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn for the Red and Purple Lines.
  by JamesT4
 
Also indicated in the Red Eye that there is a proposel for Metra, CTA, & Pace routes, & Fare changes during the Shutdown.
http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/cta/r ... 0109.story
Red Line trains will run on Green Line tracks, and CTA riders will be able to ride for free at the Garfield Green Line station, according to the plans the CTA unveiled Thursday for its spring Red Line south shutdown--one of its biggest reconstruction projects ever.

As the CTA overhauls track, it will close nine Red Line stations from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street from May 19 through Oct. 19. The agency said it will run free shuttle buses to the Garfield Green Line stop from the 95th, 87th, 79th and 69th Street Red Line stations.

CTA spokesman Brian Steele called the shuttles "load and go." He said the CTA is testing how long it will take to ferry riders from these shuttered stations to the Garfield Green Line stop.

South of Roosevelt, the Red Line will be rerouted to elevated Green Line tracks and run to the Ashland/63rd Street Green Line station in West Englewood.

There will be regular Green Line service along Green Line tracks to the Cottage Grove station in Woodlawn though Green Line frequency will increase during off-peak hours.

"When [the project] is complete, our customers will enjoy the benefits of a brand new railroad," said Claypool, who called the temporary shutdown an inconvenience.

During the project, riders can enter the CTA for free at the Garfield Green Line, which will see its daily ridership grow from 1,300 riders to 13,000 riders, the CTA said. Extra entrances and turnstiles are being added to the station to improve the flow of traffic.

The agency is also offering a 50-cent discount on bus rides along routes south of 63rd Street.

The CTA said it expects to lose $7 million in fare revenue for the $425 million project, which is being paid for through an Illinois Department of Transportation grant.

Commutes on the Red Line, which is suffering from slow zones, will be cut by 20 minutes when the project is complete, the CTA said.

Metra and Pace are also changing service to accommodate Red Line riders. Metra will change flag stops to regular stops at the 63rd, 75th, 79th, 87th and 95th Street stations for two inbound trains during morning rush hour and two outbound trains during evening rush hour.

In addition, the agencies are offering a combined Metra-CTA farecard.

Metra Zone B riders can pay $52 for a Metra 10-ride ticket that comes with a five-day CTA unlimited pass, which is a new type of CTA fare card. The CTA only offers three- and seven-day unlimited passes.

The combo Metra-CTA fare card will cost $64.50 for Zone C riders. Zone D riders can pay $74.50 for a combo Metra-CTA-Pace card.

The cards can only be used May 19 to Oct. 19 during the shutdown.

Meanwhile, Pace is creating two express bus service routes to the Roosevelt station in the South Loop. Express buses will pick riders up from the Pace Blue Island park-and-ride lot and the Harvey Transportation Center.

The CTA created a Twitter account, @redlinesouth, to answer rider questions and provide updates to the project.
- See more at: http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/cta/r ... P5TNZ.dpuf
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Image

May 19 is rapidly approaching and since no one else has posted in a few weeks, I'll give an update. The CTA is spending $20 million on repairs to track and stations preparing for the five month shutdown of the Ryan Red Line and the reroute of the Red Line to the Green Line to Ashland/63. This weekend the Englwewood Branch of the Green line is closed for the third weekend to allow contractors to work non-stop on track renewal between the old State/59th station location and the Parnell/Englewood Station location of years gone by. The north-south alignment of the Green Line alongside the Ryan Expressway is getting most of the work. At Garfield-Green, wooden stairways are being constructed alongside both platforms to facilitate the free transfer between the 'L' and the shuttle buses from the closed Ryan 'L' stations. The stairway next to the SB platform at Garfield is shown in the photo. Contractors have also wrapped up track and tie renewal on the south incline from the State St. subway. The CTA has resumed operating out-of-service "training trains" to qualify Red line crews on the operations of the south side 'L'. As noted in a previous post, the 2600 series cars are getting red "Ashland/63" mylar roll signs but the 5000 series cars will have to use their green "Ashland/63" rollsigns evidently.

DH
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Image

Here is a photo of the south incline contractors at work. The incline was closed to service, although this did not impact revenue service as no revenue trains run over this stretch of tracks. The track renewal only included the part on the steel structure as the ballasted tracks had already been improved at some long forgotten date in the past. The contractor supervisors were keenly interested in hearing the history of this stretch of trackwork. They had already noticed the hodge-podge of engineering in the structural steel supporting the tracks. The right two tracks were the original "Alley L" dating back to 1892. Just behind the photographer the "Alley L" crossed over from the east side of the alley to the west side of the alley. When built, this two-track elevated was relatively flat and the railroad in the distance, the St. Charles Airline was a surface operation at ground level requiring only the slightest rise for the "L' to cross it. Remember, the "Alley L" was built "next to the alley" and not over the alley. The name derives from newspapers distinguishing the 'L' along the alley from a competing 'L' proposal over S. State St. When this line was "third tracked" in about 1905-1907, the railroad was also raised to an embankment. Now the 'L' needed a 16 ft. rise to clear the tracks and the new third track was added, here on the left side and behind the photographer, on the right side. Then when the subway was put in around 1942, a fourth track was added on the left, the original NB track and the '07 third track were dropped to make the incline. Thus there are three kinds of track stringers underneath the tracks. War shortages mandated that all steel be reused and new steel be kept to a minimum. In the Dan Ryan days, that railroad crossing was smacked by a crane loaded on a flat car that took the 'L' out of business for a short period. I'm spectulating that all this incline work is a precursor to a future possibility, like the Purple line in the subway.

DH
  by justalurker66
 
Chicagopcclcars wrote:I'm spectulating that all this incline work is a precursor to a future possibility, like the Purple line in the subway.
It is not a bad idea to clean it up and prepare it for revenue service. The increase in trains along the branch and relying on the incline for revenue service places a new demand on the system. I'm glad CTA is working to be ready for the demand.

It will be nice to be ready for any potential service changes beyond the shutdown ... but at this point I believe CTA just wants to make it through the shutdown without any major disruption on the replacement red line.
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
The CTA has a list of expected "outreach activities" they plan to accomplish leading up to May 19.

Below is an outline of our outreach plans for Red Line South.

2012 Completed outreach activities:

• Press conference unveiling the Red Line South reconstruction project
• Extensive meetings with elected officials
• Three job fairs for new Part-Time Bus Operators – Chicago State University, Kennedy-King College and the National Teacher Academy (attendance: 4,106 job seekers)
• Three community meetings with President Claypool and Chairman Peterson in attendance
• Seven meet-and-greet sessions held to help build relationships between potential prime contractors and DBE subcontractors (160 businesses attended)
• Government and Community Relations (GCR) representatives attended community meetings, ward nights and other events to discuss the project.

2013 Completed outreach activities:

• Joint press conference with CTA, Metra, Pace, IDOT and RTA
• Launch of www.redlinesouth.com
• Launch of Twitter account
• Release of updated project flier
• Clergy breakfasts along the project footprint (nearly 40 clergy in attendance)
• President Claypool and Chairman Peterson met with the publishers and representatives of the area’s leading African-American newspapers (Chicago Defender, Chicago Crusader, N’Digo) and, also, WVON.
• Press release related to $20M Green Line improvements/investment
• Continued briefings with elected officials and attending/speaking at community meetings

Upcoming outreach activities:

• Release of 12 zone-specific collateral pieces (include specific alternatives suggestions for defined geographic zones). Distribution to include:
o Report card stuffers (zoned pieces delivered to parents in students’ report cards)
o Churches in affected area
o Key community locations (i.e. public institutions, offices of elected officials, etc.)
o Park District locations in affected area
• Zone-specific door hangers to be distributed, door-to-door, throughout the affected areas.
• Launch “Open for Business” campaign for businesses within footprint
• Launch of “Red Line Ambassadors” in-station outreach [staff will set up temporary kiosks at affected stations (nine total)]
• Town hall meetings and pulpit announcements
• CPS robocalls to students’ homes
• Government and Community Relations representative to host “Office Hours” at selected community locations
• Continued community meetings
• Radio and print advertising
• Final press conference


Tammy Chase
Director of Communications and Media Relations
Chicago Transit Authority
(312) 681-2820 office
(312) 515-6970 mobile
www.transitchicago.com
@cta
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Two of the Budd 2200 series rail cars are spotted in the 61st St. yard, down at the south end. They've had their seats removed and tables are being installed. A wooden stairway is being built on the outside. The two cars will serve as the "trainroom" during the five month Dan Ryan closure when the Green line will use the 61st St. yard again. If crews are to report to the yard, one question is where will they park their automobiles. The area completely surrounding the yard in two blocks is almost complete desolation. There are two stairways up to the 'L' structure, one in the lower 63rd St. yard across the street and one inside the tower, but the tower is a 1/2 block walk down a desolate, unpaved alley. I'll try to get pictures.

David Harrison
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Image


Image

Two shots of the 2200 Budd cars stationed to be the "trainroom" when the five month Red Ryan closure takes place. 61st St. yard will be the entire south side storage for the Green line while Ashland Yard will be given over to the Red line. There's going to be a huge transfer of equipment between 98th St. Yard and Ashland Yard the weekend before.


David Harrison
  by Tadman
 
Any idea how that transfer will be handled? 8-car trains running close together after hours? And will they change ends in the subway or up top on the near-south-side L structure?
  by justalurker66
 
Tadman wrote:Any idea how that transfer will be handled? 8-car trains running close together after hours? And will they change ends in the subway or up top on the near-south-side L structure?
Isn't the ramp up from the subway southbound with a northbound train from Dan Ryan having no choice but to go to the subway?
Or are you thinking trains might reverse on the near-north side and travel through the loop?
  by lstone19
 
justalurker66 wrote:
Tadman wrote:Any idea how that transfer will be handled? 8-car trains running close together after hours? And will they change ends in the subway or up top on the near-south-side L structure?
Isn't the ramp up from the subway southbound with a northbound train from Dan Ryan having no choice but to go to the subway?
Or are you thinking trains might reverse on the near-north side and travel through the loop?
The original Dan Ryan route was via the Loop L and that track is still there. From just north of Chinatown to connect to what is now the Orange Line. Red Line detours "over the top" via that route are relatively common.
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Ten car trains are permitted for transfers. I would suggest NB through Chinatown/Federal JCT to 17th St. JCT to 14th St. Middle Track. Change ends, go 14th Middle to Ashlane/63.
  by justalurker66
 
lstone19 wrote:The original Dan Ryan route was via the Loop L and that track is still there. From just north of Chinatown to connect to what is now the Orange Line. Red Line detours "over the top" via that route are relatively common.
I forgot about Federal Junction. Thanks for the reminder.
  by MACTRAXX
 
P: The South Side L service during the period of the Dan Ryan Re-Construction Project looks
to be just like what used to operate before the 1993 line changes as compared to what the CTA
runs today...Even the colors are correct for the two routes remembering the A-B skip-stop service...

The Red trains running from Englewood to Howard and the Green trains running from 63/Stony Island
(Jackson Park) to Harlem/Lake...More then likely this route has excess capacity and running the added
trains will not overcomplicate matters - it would be similar to what used to run on this route...

MACTRAXX