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 Pacific 2-3-1
 
The shiny new Green/Pink Line "Morgan" station for the Lake Street Elevated is now open as of Friday, May 18.

Its previous incarnation as an "L" stop lasted from 1893 to 1948, so one could say it has been gone longer than it was there.
  by Tadman
 
It's a good looking building, and it's in a place that needed a station. I can't tell you how many times I've needed to visit that area but drove because there's no train station.

That said, it is maddening the way this city spends money on building temples for stations, while other stations rot and slow zones continue. This is similar to the IIT green line station and the nearby Rock Island Comiskey station. All fine and dandy until you consider: 1. the city is broke; 2. the McCormick place Metra station is a study in tetanus liability; 3. the Roosevelt station was urine-soaked tar paper since 1960; and 4. nothing runs on time on the CTA.

Also - any new station should result in elimination of an old station. There are plenty of stations that are way too close, especially on the far north side. There are also five duplicate stations between the Dan Ryan line and the parallel Green line.
  by Pacific 2-3-1
 
Having duplicate lines and stations can work to your advantage, if you're the CTA and you need to close the South Side Red line (Dan Ryan median) for five months of track reconstruction.

Can't do that on the North Side!
  by byte
 
Tadman wrote: That said, it is maddening the way this city spends money on building temples for stations, while other stations rot and slow zones continue. This is similar to the IIT green line station and the nearby Rock Island Comiskey station. All fine and dandy until you consider: 1. the city is broke; 2. the McCormick place Metra station is a study in tetanus liability; 3. the Roosevelt station was urine-soaked tar paper since 1960; and 4. nothing runs on time on the CTA.
- The tube at IIT was paid for by IIT themselves. The deal was that IIT was putting up a new student center, and didn't want train noise to interfere with whatever activities were going on in the structure below (I've been in the building in question - the 100+ year old "L" pillars are visible within the interior spaces).

- I very strongly suspect that aside from the track itself, the McCormick place station is completely under the jurisdiction of McCormick's owners, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Any improvements done to this station would be conducted by the MPEA, and the MPEA is broke.

Can't argue with you about Roosevelt though. In the grand scale of things, I think Metra's management really made some mistakes back in the late 80s/early 90s when transit funding wasn't so hard to get. While the CTA was busy building the Orange line, rebuilding the green, extending Blue to O'hare and making little optimizations to improve service and cut costs (elimination of conductors and re-routing the two big mainlines to the current Red/Green lines), Metra gave us the NCS and that's about it. Metra's management at that time were basically all ex-Class 1 guys and ran the system like they'd run a class 1, given that the checks from taxpayers weren't being threatened and seemed to be consistent in their delivery. Metra management was especially cozy with the C&NW people and it wasn't uncommon for catered employee specials (using Metra equipment) to make trips on all three UP lines under the guise of inspecting track conditions (when a track geometry car would work just fine). Meanwhile the wooden stations on the Electric continued to rot.
  by doepack
 
byte wrote:
Tadman wrote: Metra management was especially cozy with the C&NW people and it wasn't uncommon for catered employee specials (using Metra equipment) to make trips on all three UP lines under the guise of inspecting track conditions (when a track geometry car would work just fine).
Those Metra/UP employee specials continue to operate quarterly, normally using a 4-car set. They'll usually hit the West line first, but I've also wondered why they wouldn't employ a track geometry car for an inspection. Probably more going on than meets the eye...
  by ryanch
 
Tadman wrote:It's a good looking building, and it's in a place that needed a station. I can't tell you how many times I've needed to visit that area but drove because there's no train station.

That said, it is maddening the way this city spends money on building temples for stations, while other stations rot and slow zones continue. This is similar to the IIT green line station and the nearby Rock Island Comiskey station. All fine and dandy until you consider: 1. the city is broke; 2. the McCormick place Metra station is a study in tetanus liability; 3. the Roosevelt station was urine-soaked tar paper since 1960; and 4. nothing runs on time on the CTA.

Also - any new station should result in elimination of an old station. There are plenty of stations that are way too close, especially on the far north side. There are also five duplicate stations between the Dan Ryan line and the parallel Green line.
Yeah, but the urine was acting as a preservative.

In seriousness, I'm trying to figure out what 5 Red/Green stations you're talking about. Are you counting the Roosevelt transfer? Hard to see how you could do without that.

South of that, there's 35th, 47th and Garfield, but only the two 35th stations are truly close to each other. The remaining Green stations are actually closer to each other (ie, 47th and 43rd) than they are to the corresponding Red line stations, since Green zigs east at 40th and the Dan Ryan zags west at 46th. The problem with Green isn't the proximity to Red. The problem is depopulation. Look at Google maps in satellite view above the quadrangle of 43rd/47th/Red/Green. Many neighborhoods of Winnetka are more densely built than this inner city neighborhood.
  by Tadman
 
You make a good point about the de-population. I rode Dave Harrison's IRM charter train down there about three years ago and was shocked how many blocks were just devoid of buildings, and how many buildings were devoid of tenants. The green line will probably get really busy when the south end of the Red Line is closed down for rebuilding, but after re-opening, would it make sense to run the 63rd street branches as a shuttle off the red line?
  by justalurker66
 
Tadman wrote:You make a good point about the de-population. I rode Dave Harrison's IRM charter train down there about three years ago and was shocked how many blocks were just devoid of buildings, and how many buildings were devoid of tenants. The green line will probably get really busy when the south end of the Red Line is closed down for rebuilding, but after re-opening, would it make sense to run the 63rd street branches as a shuttle off the red line?
It would be easier if there were more platforms at Roosevelt or a turnback north of Roosevelt. It would be awkward to run a shuttle to Roosevelt and then reverse back to the Green Line. CTA could use the middle track to cross over inbound trains to the outbound platform but it seems to work better to keep the trains moving in the right direction on both sides of Roosevelt and not hold up Red and Orange outbounds for a turning Green train. A similar conflict would occur if the inbound platform were used for turning Green Line trains. A pocket north of Roosevelt would be the best solution (if one wanted to turn the Green into a shuttle).
  by Tadman
 
I meant more like having a shuttle on the two branches at the end of the green line, that trades passengers with the red line down there. No sense in running a shuttle for ten miles with no stops. A platform on the green would have to be put in place, which is no small cost.
  by justalurker66
 
Tadman wrote:I meant more like having a shuttle on the two branches at the end of the green line, that trades passengers with the red line down there. No sense in running a shuttle for ten miles with no stops. A platform on the green would have to be put in place, which is no small cost.
So Ashland to Cottage Grove with a new station at the Dan Ryan for transfer to the Red Line and no service Garfield to Bronzeville (which would also require changes to the interlocking at 61st)? Or a "T" shuttle that would run Ashland to Garfield then Garfield to Cottage Grove and back (needing a Dan Ryan station and closing Green Line stations north of Garfield)?

I don't see that happening ... especially with a restored Cermak station being added to the Green Line. Although I agree that the property along the line seems pretty desolate.