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 Tadman
 
Given that Gary is not the traffic generator it once was, and high platforms are becoming a necessity (and hard to build at the current Metro Center), does it make sense to get rid of the 1980's-era overpass and go back to ground-level trackage in downtown Gary? I don't see what the overpass gains. The Broadway cross-street is pretty quiet. The curve and grade makes trains slow down. There is no room to expand the station or build high platforms.
  by justalurker66
 
Best option: Close it and build a station near I-65. But NICTD found that was not politically acceptable.

I would not expect to see a railroad remove a grade separation. The official traffic counts for the railroad crossing is 12,280 (with 49 trains) and Broadway is a toll road entrance - the first free one for westbound traffic headed toward Chicago (85c ezpass/90c cash less than getting on the Toll Rd westbound at I-65). Perhaps the higher toll road rates will reduce traffic.

It is possible to upgrade the platforms to high platforms and maintain the double track. Not cheap. The plan is to build platforms similar to East Chicago.
  by Tadman
 
justalurker66 wrote:Best option: Close it and build a station near I-65. But NICTD found that was not politically acceptable.
I knew the I65 station was delayed but I didn't know they gave up. What a crock of crap. I-65 is like ten minutes away from Gary, not like they were avoiding the place. God forbid they build a station that doesn't suck (IE can platform 8 cars and load quickly with plenty of parking). I boarded a train at Gary about 5 years ago and while it's acceptable, it certainly lags for a station that was once the biggest in terms of boardings.
  by JamesT4
 
Tadman wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:Best option: Close it and build a station near I-65. But NICTD found that was not politically acceptable.
I knew the I65 station was delayed but I didn't know they gave up. What a crock of crap. I-65 is like ten minutes away from Gary, not like they were avoiding the place. God forbid they build a station that doesn't suck (IE can platform 8 cars and load quickly with plenty of parking). I boarded a train at Gary about 5 years ago and while it's acceptable, it certainly lags for a station that was once the biggest in terms of boardings.
With the early proposal of the station near I-65 that it would had also closed the Miller Station, and the residents of Miller had an huge uproar and protested to the city to the point that the city government abandoned the idea near I-65 to rebuild both Miller & Metro Center instead.
  by BrianLM007
 
Yes, the Miller residents sunk the I-65 station idea more than anything else.
  by justalurker66
 
mtuandrew wrote:More reason for the stalled Valpo line to get off the ground I guess, for a station at I-65/I-94.
The last official plan for an extension to Valpo was via the "West Lake" line in Munster (branching off north of Dyer to follow the CN/GTW line). I would prefer rebuilding the "Valpo Dummy" path from western Gary to Valpo (dropping off of the existing South Shore at Clark Rd and following CSX/CFER south). Officially, all plans to build any line to Valpo are tabled until the West Lake line is completed.

(The NICTD South Shore is pushing forward with West Lake and their Double Track project, plus the recently funded realignment of tracks in South Bend. Valpo is not on the radar.)