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
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 8:44 amHas there been any thoughts in the past about attempting to close or eliminate the Prospect Avenue crossing
at Clarendon Hills station? Would the Village of CH be able to function without that crossing open?
Having Metra and CH PD keep watch on the crossing and station area will be helpful - at least for now...
Doubtful the Prospect Ave crossing ever gets closed. It’s the only grade crossing in the village. About half a mile to the east is Stough Street where the part time West Hinsdale station is located. But Stough St is more or less a residential street. 1.5 miles to the west is Cass Ave in Westmont. But that street sees a high volume of traffic.

As a part of the construction going on in the area, one N/S street just east of Prospect Ave was realigned where it is more of a T-intersection instead of curving into Burlington Ave (the E/W street the parallels the tracks to the north). Maybe the main reason for that re-alignment was to eliminate essentially a 5 way meeting point at Prospect and Burlington Avenues.
  by MACTRAXX
 
M/BNSF: I agree with you concerning the importance of the Prospect Avenue grade crossing to CH Village...
Elimination of that grade crossing without a overhead bridge or underpass would split Clarendon Hills
in half with the nearest crossings in West Hinsdale and Westmont even busier then they already are...

GBN and Everyone: How many locations on the BNSF Aurora Line are quiet zones where horns are not used
except in emergency or related situations? Are bells rung by the locomotives and cab cars as I recall?
It's been a while...MACTRAXX
  by justalurker66
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 9:32 amWas this as a result of the "shock" of the impact when the train struck the truck?
Was the window in question an evacuation window with the removable window gasket?
Does the NTSB know which window failed causing the fatality?
The initial NTSB report stated that they did not know where the victim was seated in the train before impact.
The eye witness video posted by CBS showed the ejection, blurred for public airing - so there is evidence of which window she was ejected from. After the incident there were several windows missing from the car.

Ejection and window failures have been problems in previous incidents but (in my opinion) the violence of this impact would have been too much to survive.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
If of interest, how say you "drive" the Googlemobile through Westmont (one municipality to the West of CH) on Cass Ave. Be sure to note the array of traffic signals the State (that's the controlling jurisdiction) holds are necessary to protect the intersection of Burlington to the North of the tracks and Quincy to the South.

Sure, it's annoying to be "stuck at" them, but they keep motorists safe.
  by justalurker66
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 11:51 amIf of interest, how say you "drive" the Googlemobile through Westmont (one municipality to the West of CH) on Cass Ave. Be sure to note the array of traffic signals the State (that's the controlling jurisdiction) holds are necessary to protect the intersection of Burlington to the North of the tracks and Quincy to the South.
Yes, the only railroad crossing in Westmont has a nice traffic light arrangement (and a lot less space between Burlington and the tracks). Something could be worked out for Clarendon Hills. (The "no turn on red" sign crossing the tracks on Cass Ave helps with people running the red light to turn right at the second light. Hopefully people "don't block the box" at any of the intersections.)

Look to the east and you'll find Hinsdale ... with Hindsdale Ave running close to the tracks on the south side and three way stops at the four way intersections, similar to Clarendon Hills.
  by MetraBNSF
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 6:33 pm M/BNSF: I agree with you concerning the importance of the Prospect Avenue grade crossing to CH Village...
Elimination of that grade crossing without a overhead bridge or underpass would split Clarendon Hills
in half with the nearest crossings in West Hinsdale and Westmont even busier then they already are...

GBN and Everyone: How many locations on the BNSF Aurora Line are quiet zones where horns are not used
except in emergency or related situations? Are bells rung by the locomotives and cab cars as I recall?
It's been a while...MACTRAXX
Entire line from Chicago to West Eola is a quiet zone. The engine bell (or cab car bell) must be rung when passing through all grade crossings and station platforms.
  by MACTRAXX
 
BNSF: Thanks for the reply - I knew that some-but not all-of the Aurora Line was a quiet zone.

GBN: Interesting mention about the traffic signals on Cass Avenue on both sides of the crossing at Westmont
Station...I remember that there was a notorious 20 MPH speed trap on Cass Avenue to the south of Westmont
Station that was pointed out to me by my relatives-and that the Westmont Police would be watching at times...
This was especially important to know driving north towards Westmont Station to catch a train...MACTRAXX
  by eolesen
 

MetraBNSF wrote:
MACTRAXX wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 6:33 pm
GBN and Everyone: How many locations on the BNSF Aurora Line are quiet zones where horns are not used
except in emergency or related situations? Are bells rung by the locomotives and cab cars as I recall?
It's been a while...MACTRAXX
Entire line from Chicago to West Eola is a quiet zone. The engine bell (or cab car bell) must be rung when passing through all grade crossings and station platforms.
It's pretty much the same on all the Metra lines within 35 miles of downtown. Same thing on the EJ&E.


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  by Gilbert B Norman
 
NTSB Preliminary Report is "out":

https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/Pag ... MH009.aspx

About 8:16 a.m. central daylight time, on May 11, 2022, an eastbound Metra commuter train struck a northbound 2004 International commercial box truck at a grade crossing in Clarendon Hills, DuPage County, Illinois. The Metra train was operating on BNSF Railway tracks in a push–pull configuration with the cab car in the lead. The highway portion of the grade crossing consisted of two northbound lanes and one southbound lane of Prospect Avenue. (See above figure)

The highway–rail grade crossing was equipped with an active grade crossing warning system with flashing LED light units, an overhead signal cantilever over the northbound lanes, two fiberglass gate arms mounted on two signal masts, four warning bells, and four pedestrian gate arms; the system was designed to warn all directions of highway and pedestrian traffic. The roadway gate arms extended across the incoming lanes of S. Prospect Avenue to the centerline for each direction of traffic. The truck was stopped on the tracks (facing north) at the southern portion of the Prospect Avenue intersection. The grade crossing warning lights and gates activated and, as the gates lowered, the northbound gate struck the truck. The three truck occupants exited the truck cab before the train arrived at the grade crossing and struck the left front of the truck.
  by justalurker66
 
The same statement of facts that were given in the initial press conference. Perhaps less information since they did not repeat information previously given about why the truck was stopped on the tracks. But it is a statement of what is known happened not what is known did not happen.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I agree, Mr. Lurker.

There really is nothing new reported here. It seems as if they had some kind of "deadline" by which they had to "put something out". I somehow think there will nothing new learned until the Final come out - and who knows when that will be.

Meantime, the x-ing resurfacing of Prospect has now been completed; nothing remains to suggest to "the man from Mars" that a fatal incident occurred. There are no flowers or memorials; I think there are parties in interest that don't want anything like that around.

I really think had the Village moved forth timely after the station was deemed complete (it is; save some "odds and ends"), this whole sorry incident would have never occurred.

This weekend is the Chamber of Commerce's annual (save the past two years) "street fair" that they call "Daisy Days". While to me it is a disruption to my normal Saturday activities (bank, dry cleaners), I guess little kids like that stuff - and so do the merchants who get to sell some of same. I would have thought this would have been a great opportunity for the Village Poo-Bahs to dedicate the Station, and a new "People's Park" that I find a waste - on the NW corner Prospect and Burlington, but none of such has been announced.

I'm a half mile away from the "festivities", but I will hear the rock bands strumming away tonight. Oh well, live and let live - just as I have for the past forty three years around here.
  by eolesen
 
There's an expectation of a report at 30 days.

I wouldn't expect there to be any marker. The only place I've ever seen an official one is where the 1995 school bus tragedy took place in Fox River Grove, killing 7 teenagers on the way to school. That's maintained by the Village.

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  by justalurker66
 
Most of the make-shift memorials I have seen were put up by family and/or friends. For major events the general public gets involved. I have seen a few that have survived clean up crews. "Ghost bicycles" where a cyclist was killed. Some roadside crosses with flowers, wreaths or other mementos. If the displays are well maintained they may last a while. But it is up to the city (code enforcement) or property owners how long such displays remain present.

There can be a battle between the parties of interest in having a memorial and those who do not want one. I recall one story where a driver ran off the road and was killed striking a tree. Friends and family adorned the tree with a memorial but after what the property owner considered an appropriate length of time he cleaned up his yard. A couple of bitter news stories but how long should such a display be allowed? And if you answer that question, is it on your property?

I would not expect the city to create a memorial and if one was created by family/friends/public I would not expect it to last unless it was well maintained.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The "People's Park" is now as good as complete. Again, this is on the NW Corner of Prospect and Burlington on Village owned land where the police station was once located.

OK, so the Politburo took my $$$ and landscaped a small park instead of selling the land for commercial development. Now what I find lacking, at least to date, is some strong fencing along Mr. Buffett's ROW. Just too great a chance that some kid will decide to do a little exploring - and get whacked.

The subject grade X-ing incident is going to cost the Village "enough" (sharply increased insurance premiums); need we add the potential of such an incident I noted above to throw more into the insurer's pot?
  by justalurker66
 
Have you complained directly to your government or do you just tilt at windmills on the Internet?

Has any legal claim been made against the village? Any payouts or suits? Premiums do not usually increase for incidents without claims. (Normal year to year increases apply regardless of the incident rates.) It is more likely that the village will pay more for their next premium due to inflation than due to this incident.