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 Jeff Smith
 
https://www.progressiverailroading.com/ ... ion--58213
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) yesterday announced it will begin construction in fall of track foundations for the Red-Purple rail bypass, which will replace a century-old bypass north of Belmont Station.

The bypass will allow trains to operate faster on the Red, Purple and Brown lines. CTA also will be able to increase the number of trains operating during peak periods and ease overcrowding on rail cars, CTA officials said in a press release.
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The estimated $570 million bypass construction is part of the first phase of CTA’s Red Purple Modernization (RPM) project to rebuild its century-old rail system.
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  by Tadman
 
Gotta love Chicago. 100 years of running trains through here and now suddenly we need a flying junction. Never mind the train volume is lower and an entire railroad quit running through here since then.

Also this is the station where they pull 50' forward to the signal, thus rendering the platform useless to the train behind (it can't fit all the way in yet) but the leading train is 3/4 of the way off the platform and can't keep its doors open. Ergo the passengers stand and wait and miss connections to other trains.

Wish I could do my work that way.
  by GojiMet86
 
  by daybeers
 
Tadman wrote: Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:37 am Gotta love Chicago. 100 years of running trains through here and now suddenly we need a flying junction. Never mind the train volume is lower and an entire railroad quit running through here since then.

Also this is the station where they pull 50' forward to the signal, thus rendering the platform useless to the train behind (it can't fit all the way in yet) but the leading train is 3/4 of the way off the platform and can't keep its doors open. Ergo the passengers stand and wait and miss connections to other trains.

Wish I could do my work that way.
Every time a Brown Line train pulls out of Belmont, all Red & Purple line trains in both directions must stop. That destroys capacity and reliability. Isn't that why they're building the flyover for the Brown Line?

One thing I don't understand is I guess due to property acquisition limitations, as in not wanting to bulldoze too many residences and businesses, southbound Brown Line trains will still merge with the southbound Purple Line trains (westernmost track) just before Belmont.

I was in Chicago last weekend and they are doing an incredible amount of work. Aside from the train tracker estimations being messed up, the service was running fairly well considering there is so much going on right next to active tracks and temporary platforms.

I will be back in September. I imagine there will be more substantial changes to Red & Purple Line service by then after the bypass is complete, but it's not really known when that will be. Fall 2021 potentially. Will there be busing? Then they start rebuilding the southbound Red & Purple Line tracks before tackling the northbound, hopefully the whole project will be complete in 2024.
  by justalurker66
 
daybeers wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:03 amEvery time a Brown Line train pulls out of Belmont, all Red & Purple line trains in both directions must stop. That destroys capacity and reliability. Isn't that why they're building the flyover for the Brown Line?
That was the marketing pitch for the project.
  by ExCon90
 
In fact, the lack of a flyover would be precisely the reason why the train in Tadman's example is being held at the signal -- a Ravenswood train is crossing in front of it. Completion of the flyover removes that obstacle.
  by justalurker66
 
Watching the video there are a couple of times when a train is shown stopped and it is not obvious why. There are obvious blocks where a train can't move because of the left turn in front of traffic, There is also an example that won't be fixed where a purple stops for a brown to use the same platform track.

It seems that most of the work is "for the future" when the number of trains would exceed the old layout's capacity. So perhaps not needed today ... but as part of a huge project to rebuild and modernize the red/purple line it is an improvement worth doing.

I'd like to see what the traffic was like 100 years ago, long before CTA. How many trains per hour on each route through the interlocking? Was the interlocking different? There was a time when there was a third platform for southbound trains (used to force interurban passengers to go through fare gates to get to the "L" service).
  by daybeers
 
I think people forget they're going to spend three years reconstructing the Red & Purple Line tracks which will increase capacity and speed. Going through switches/an interlocking/one of the busiest rail junctions in the country wears on the tracks and cars, so this will decrease the amount of maintenance needed on those components substantially.

I'm really excited to see the flyover completed.
  by west point
 
GojiMet86 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:20 am

The problems experienced at this interlocking is almost identical to the problems at New Rochelle that will become much more prevalent once MNRR starts service to NYP. Just imagine being east of New Rochelle looking west with the Hell gate route going off to the left.
  by doepack
 
A test train for the new bypass track will be running tomorrow (Sunday) and if all goes well, Monday morning run 401 departing northbound from Belmont at 5:01am will be the very first revenue train using "track 5" flying over Clark Junction...
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
It sounds like the Clark Jct bypass will help mitigate the issues with the Brown and Red Line trains-speed and frequencies of trains. It's been 7 years since I was in CHI last and I have only been there a couple of times. In 2010, I rode the Brown Line past Belmont and remember that it was slow crossing over the right of way of the Red Line. Looking at a map of the CTA, I see that the Purple Line mainly runs as a shuttle service from Howard to Linden and back. After this flyover is finished, it would perhaps be nice for CTA to have select Purple Line trains run from Linden to the Loop and back.

Comparing the example of the CTA Clark Jct Bypass to the MNR CP216 Interlocking, I can give insight given the fact that I live in the NYC area and have passed through CP216 so many times on MNR and Amtrak trains. First off, after MNR starts running trains through the East Bronx which could be in either 2025 or 2026, things could get a little interesting at CP216 but hopefully not much of a persistent situation. It would be very tough to build a flyover at CP216 in New Rochelle. First off, I-95 runs alongside the right of way on the west side where CP216 is. Next, on the east side of the tracks west of New Rochelle, there is a lot of surrounding development. Presently at New Rochelle Station, Amtrak trains heading to DC and beyond use Track 2 to make their station stop while Amtrak trains heading points north and east run on Track 4 at the depot. Both tracks 2 and 4 serve the center island platform at New Rochelle plus connect easily to the Hellgate Line. When MNR starts running to NYP, I think many of their trains heading to there will probably end up stopping on Track 2. MNR will probably have many East Bronx trains begin and end their trips at New Rochelle where a yard will be built on the east side of the tracks just east of the station.
  by justalurker66
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Sun Nov 07, 2021 9:39 am Looking at a map of the CTA, I see that the Purple Line mainly runs as a shuttle service from Howard to Linden and back. After this flyover is finished, it would perhaps be nice for CTA to have select Purple Line trains run from Linden to the Loop and back.
Wish granted. The service already exists: "The Purple Line provides rapid transit train service between Linden (in Wilmette) and Howard (in Chicago) via Evanston. Additionally, during weekday rush-periods, express service continues to downtown Loop."
https://www.transitchicago.com/purpleline/

Linden to Loop 'L' 5:00a-9:15a and 2:10p-6:25p
Loop 'L' to Linden 5:55a-10:10a and 3:00p-7:15p

(The project is the "Red-Purple Bypass" ... although it is brown line trains that will be going over the top.)
  by doepack
 
Opening of the bypass has been pushed back again due to an unspecified delay. Remains to be seen if CTA's claim of riders being able to ride northbound Brown line trains on the flyover "this month" will still happen. Stay tuned...
  by doepack
 
The wait is over, all testing complete, and IDOT has finally signed off... presenting the Brown line flyover... (courtesy of WGN news...)