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: metraRI, JamesT4

  by Gilbert B Norman
Chicago's CBS newsradio station WBBM 780 aired a report this morning stating that a GPS train control system is being considered, assuming FTA funding can be secured, for the METRA owned Rock Island.

As we know, there have been two fatal derailment incidents on the RI of late, one during October 2003 and the other last year. It appears that negligence on the part of the Engineer was a factor in both.


  by Rockingham Racer
That sounds all well and good, but has anyone considered modifying this mainline crossover for operations at a higher speed? It seems unusual to have a slow speed crossover like that on a main line.

  by byte
Or better yet, eliminating the need to crossover at all - why not reconfigure the mainline into LaSalle so that it's not directionally reversed as long as they're thinking of changing the signaling system?

  by doepack
I may be mistaken, but I thought Metra was going to upgrade all crossovers between LaSalle St. and the PRR/Conrail/NS crossing at 63rd St. to 40 mph, and make both of the new mains bidirectional once the mainline relocation project is done. I hope that's still part of the plan, those additional track upgrades would tie in well with the new GPS system...

  by metraRI
Metra is all ready in its 3rd year of a 5 year project to relocate the right of way between 16th and 63rd Streets onto new bridges. Crews have started laying one track, which all ready has switches for crossovers installed. RI trackage is currently bidirectional CTC. The one place on RI that could be realigned is Gresham Junction. A continues Main 1 could easily be added instead of having all mainline trains use the same single track at the junction.
  by meh
Gilbert B Norman wrote:As we know, there have been two fatal derailment incidents on the RI of late....
Not that it materially changes the importance of fixing the underlying problem(s) leading to the derailments, but I believe that only the second of these two derailments resulted in fatalities. Until then, I do not think there had been an on-board, collision-related fatality during Metra's 20+ years of existence.

No fatality is acceptable, but it's certainly remarkable to have so few fatalities compared to the millions of passenger-miles traveled aboard Metra during those years. No expressway or tollway comes close to that record.