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 ExCon90
 
A point came up in the Philadelphia forum about changing names of stations, buildings, etc.; I'm wondering about Chicago, so this seems the place to post it. Do people generally use the colors today in referring to L lines, or do you still hear people speaking of Douglas Park, Ravenswood, etc.? (Reference by color never caught on in New York or Philadelphia.) Do people now refer to Ogilvie, or do you still hear North Western Station? And if they do, are they mostly older generation, who are more likely to have become acquainted with the lines under their old names?
  by CHTT1
 
The CTA lines are almost always referred by their color designations in conversations and the media. Probably the only people who call them by their old names are older railfans. As far as Ogilvie, I don't hang with the west/northwest/north suburban crowd, so I can't say.
  by orangeline
 
Its by color, although you will hear about trains on the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line or the Englewood branch of the Green Line, etc.

I have noticed that a number of native Chicagoans (many in their 40s and 50s) might tell you to take the Lake St. L or the Ravenswood L and then add Green Line or Brown line if you look like you have no clue what they're talking about.
  by doepack
 
I can adjust to the times, and refer to transit lines, stations, and terminals by their current name, but regardless if we're talking about Metra or freight, BNSF will always be "the Burlington" to me.

And that new Metra station at 35th on the Rock should be called "US Cellular/35th", or something like that. I have no idea who "Lou Jones" is (or was)...
  by sipes23
 
I'm nearly alone in referring to Ogilvie Transportation Center as North Western Station, but I'm sort of cranky about that particular point. People look at me. I'd say that most people I hear name it call it one of three things. Ogilvie, the train station, the Chicago train station. For most travelers, they only ever use one of the downtown stations, so "the train station" is good enough.

On the L, I'd say that nearly everyone uses the colors. I'm old enough that Ravenswood makes sense when someone says it, but hardly anyone does.
  by lstone19
 
doepack wrote:I can adjust to the times, and refer to transit lines, stations, and terminals by their current name, but regardless if we're talking about Metra or freight, BNSF will always be "the Burlington" to me.

And that new Metra station at 35th on the Rock should be called "US Cellular/35th", or something like that. I have no idea who "Lou Jones" is (or was)...
Hey, this is Chicago. It's alaways more important to name something for a politician most people never heard of than to give it a useful name. :-(
  by F40CFan
 
sipes23 wrote:I'm nearly alone in referring to Ogilvie Transportation Center as North Western Station, but I'm sort of cranky about that particular point. People look at me. I'd say that most people I hear name it call it one of three things. Ogilvie, the train station, the Chicago train station. For most travelers, they only ever use one of the downtown stations, so "the train station" is good enough.

On the L, I'd say that nearly everyone uses the colors. I'm old enough that Ravenswood makes sense when someone says it, but hardly anyone does.
I agree, it'll always be North Western Station. In addition, I ride the Milwaukee Road West Line to Union Station. As for the 'L', I still think of them by their names/route designations; North-South, West Northwest, Ravenswood, etc. When someone mentions the color, my mind translates them automatically into the old names.
  by MACTRAXX
 
F40CFan wrote:
sipes23 wrote:I'm nearly alone in referring to Ogilvie Transportation Center as North Western Station, but I'm sort of cranky about that particular point. People look at me. I'd say that most people I hear name it call it one of three things. Ogilvie, the train station, the Chicago train station. For most travelers, they only ever use one of the downtown stations, so "the train station" is good enough.

On the L, I'd say that nearly everyone uses the colors. I'm old enough that Ravenswood makes sense when someone says it, but hardly anyone does.
I agree, it'll always be North Western Station. In addition, I ride the Milwaukee Road West Line to Union Station. As for the 'L', I still think of them by their names/route designations; North-South, West Northwest, Ravenswood, etc. When someone mentions the color, my mind translates them automatically into the old names.
F40C and S23:

I agree with you both here - I am one of those now middle-aged people that learned how to navigate
and use the CTA system by their established route names - I am now resigned to using the color names
reluctantly now that they themselves have been in use since 1993...

For me it is personal bringing back many memories of my Chicago "visiting years" of 1973 to 1988...
I think of two songs by the band Chicago: "Take Me Back to Chicago" and "Old Days"...

I remember how North Western Station was re-named for former Illinois Governor Richard Ogilvie which
was no doubt political in nature but I would feel different if the North Western (or Madison Street) Station
building had not been torn down and replaced with a modern office building...

I will also mention Metra Electric and the South Shore Line's Millenium Station which was once known as
many here know as Randolph Street Station - I would have titled this "Millenium Station at Randolph Street"
or something similar to retain the established name alongside the new name...

Has there been any thought of renaming any rail station or terminal in the Chicagoland region by the sale of
naming rights?

I give METRA credit for retaining to some extent the old railroad names for many of their routes and they
certainly did the right thing by designating colors for each route based on historical colors of ancestral
commuter railroads that would evolve into what would become the METRA system...The South Shore Line
to northwest Indiana under NICTD has also retained and uses the old South Shore colors and logo...

In closing the names and designations for rail routes and stations may change but the memories that you
have will always be there...

MACTRAXX
  by justalurker66
 
MACTRAXX wrote:I will also mention Metra Electric and the South Shore Line's Millenium Station which was once known as
many here know as Randolph Street Station - I would have titled this "Millenium Station at Randolph Street"
or something similar to retain the established name alongside the new name...
The South Shore uses "MILLENNIUM STATION AT RANDOLPH ST (Chicago)" on their website and "MILLENNIUM STATION AT RANDOLPH" on their printed maps.

While I like the historic Randolph St name, Millennium Park is worthy of having Millennium Station as a downtown terminus.

I'd rather not see stations "sponsored" unless they served the sponsor's location and the sponsor naming did not confuse passengers. Names should help navigation, not hinder navigation. "Honorary" station naming should be secondary to location names - similar to the way most honorary streets are named without losing the grid system names.

I expect that there will be an "Obama Library" station on whatever system is closest if Chicago gets the library. I do not expect there to be a "Pullman National Historical Park" station.
  by MACTRAXX
 
JL66:

Thanks for the reply - Good to know that the South Shore Line uses the full name "Millenium Station at Randolph
Street" - Does Metra Electric do the same?

I agree with your thoughts on selling naming rights concerning transit terminals or stations because when these
changes cause confusion for riders is where I draw the line at their use...I am no fan of this type of revenue
enhancement but if a company wants to sponsor and finance upkeep of a station or terminal - and place their
advertising exclusively in it - it should be allowed as long as the location name remains the same...

A compromise for a new name when President Obama's Library is built could be something like this:
"Hyde Park - Obama Library" keeping the current name and adding this significant tourist attraction...

I feel that the Pullman Historic Site should get a alternate name mention attached to a current station
or its own station name if it was to get a new station in the future...

MACTRAXX
  by ryanch
 
CHTT1 wrote:The CTA lines are almost always referred by their color designations in conversations and the media. Probably the only people who call them by their old names are older railfans. As far as Ogilvie, I don't hang with the west/northwest/north suburban crowd, so I can't say.
I still hear some Oak Parkers talk about the Lake St. el. If all the els followed arterial streets through their routes, street-naming might have stuck. Terminal naming never had anything special going for it for the vast majority of riders who didn't ride all the way to the terminal. I do occasionally hear "the Ohare line", but that's a little different. Less a name than a grasp for a term from someone who doesn't regularly ride the Blue Line and wouldn't ever have used "Jefferson Park." They're not naming it so much as saying "I'm going to the airport on the el."
  by MACTRAXX
 
EC90 and Everyone:

When I first joined Railroad.net ten years ago this month I posted my thoughts on the CTA renaming
their rapid transit routes color names in this topic:

CTA: I JUST CAN NOT GET USED TO THE COLOR NAMES - I began this topic on 2/9/2005 and it would
generate five pages - the last recorded post was in August 2008 and for a length of time was a sticky at
the top of the Chicago commuter and transit forum page as it was known then...

See: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 61&t=10794" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This information does add to this topic and remembering this discussion I searched to find this thread
but since it was held as a sticky it took me extra time to find it...

MACTRAXX
  by ExCon90
 
Regarding the comments on literacy in MACTRAXX's link from 2005, I remember reading some years ago that CTA had commissioned a study from UI to determine how effective their graphics and signage in general were in communicating information, and found that one-third of the ridership is functionally illiterate to the point of being unable to read signs. (Another finding was that another third can't be bothered reading signs.) Anyone remember seeing that, or when it was done?
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
The local media has been known to use old or imprecise names when referring to Metra or CTA facilities and services. I think I heard the BNSF line referred to as Burlington Northern in a traffic update not too many years ago. That doesn't save time. When they say something like "Metra Milwaukee Service" and omit "North" or "West" it makes it sound like Metra goes to Milwaukee.

I've heard that this guy tends to get it right:
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/personality/bob-roberts/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Tadman
 
Bob Roberts is an avid railfan and contributes to First & Fastest under his real name (Roberts is a pseudonym for radio). I don't doubt he gets his railroad news right, he's knee deep in it. I bet his railroad library is quite good. There is a member here named Bob Roberts but it's not him.