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 Jeff Smith
 
https://www.progressiverailroading.com/ ... ice--63132
As more Chicago area residents return to work, Metra is adding service on three of its routes — the BNSF, Milwaukee District North and North Central Service lines — beginning April 12.

On the BNSF Line to Aurora, two inbound and two outbound trains will be added, and the schedules of two trains will be adjusted.

Two trains on the Milwaukee District West Line also will be slightly adjusted, Metra officials said in a news release.

On the North Central Service between Antioch and Chicago, one inbound and one outbound train will be added, and the schedule of one existing train will be adjusted.
...
  by MACTRAXX
 
Jeff: The title that you used actually confused me until I read that Metra is adding service to three lines.
When I read the title I thought it meant that there were three lines that were without trains getting a
service resumption after being cut back as a result of pandemic ridership losses. :-)

That article should in my opinion have used directions - two eastbound and two westbound trains being
added to the BNSF Aurora Line -and- one southbound and one northbound train to the North Central Line
instead of the vague description of "inbound" and "outbound"...MACTRAXX
  by justalurker66
 
Since the story is based on a Metra press release I don't fault the news site for using Metra's "inbound" and "outbound" terms that Chicago area residents are more than familiar with. I do agree that the headline could have been better. The article was clearer (as workers return services are being added). Jeff used the news site's headline.

MetraRail: Schedules expanding on three lines April 12
  by eolesen
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:54 pm That article should in my opinion have used directions - two eastbound and two westbound trains being
added to the BNSF Aurora Line -and- one southbound and one northbound train to the North Central Line
instead of the vague description of "inbound" and "outbound"...MACTRAXX
Everyone in Chicago understands inbound and outbound.

Compass direction? Not so much. Someone reading about an eastbound train would be left wondering where the east suburbs are.

Bigger issue is that railroad direction doesn't always match the compass.

In the CNW days, all of the lines out of Chicago were east-west, with Chicago being east. Milwaukee was west of Chicago... Elmhurst was east of Milwaukee. Sheboygan was west of Milwaukee. Escanaba was west of Green Bay...

UP changed that on a few lines -- Harvard and Janesville are now north of Chicago even though the line is predominantly east-west....
  by MACTRAXX
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:54 pm Jeff: The title that you used actually confused me until I read that Metra is adding service to three lines.
When I read the title I thought it meant that there were three lines that were without trains getting a
service resumption after being cut back as a result of pandemic ridership losses. :-)

That article should in my opinion have used directions - two eastbound and two westbound trains being
added to the BNSF Aurora Line -and- one southbound and one northbound train to the North Central Line
instead of the vague description of "inbound" and "outbound"...MACTRAXX
EO and JL: My device now TWICE along with the limitations of this site lost my reply posts that I was
going to use to further clarify this subject. I am not pleased with either right now to say the least... :P

I am from Long Island - growing up with the LIRR which is an "eastbound" and "westbound" railroad.
The terms "inbound" and "outbound" were rarely if ever used in any manner by the LIRR.

I will adress compass directions in a subsequent post at another time - the good news in this subject
is that riders are returning to Metra trains after the massive losses in ridership due to the pandemic
in the past year. Other incentives (a Metra fare decrease?) could help going forward for the rest of 2021.

MACTRAXX
  by MACTRAXX
 
eolesen wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:59 am
MACTRAXX wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:54 pm That article should in my opinion have used directions - two eastbound and two westbound trains being
added to the BNSF Aurora Line -and- one southbound and one northbound train to the North Central Line
instead of the vague description of "inbound" and "outbound"...MACTRAXX
Everyone in Chicago understands inbound and outbound.

Compass direction? Not so much. Someone reading about an eastbound train would be left wondering where the east suburbs are.

Bigger issue is that railroad direction doesn't always match the compass.

In the CNW days, all of the lines out of Chicago were east-west, with Chicago being east. Milwaukee was west of Chicago... Elmhurst was east of Milwaukee. Sheboygan was west of Milwaukee. Escanaba was west of Green Bay...

UP changed that on a few lines -- Harvard and Janesville are now north of Chicago even though the line is predominantly east-west....
EO: OK...Let's try this again...with my second reply attempt...

My history of ties to Chicagoland go back to my Chicago "visiting years" of 1973 to 1988.

Back in those years the terms "inbound" and "outbound" were used far less than what Metra seems to use them
today. With the geography interest that I have my personal preference has always been true compass directions.

The so-called "eastern suburbs" would be those in NW Indiana - specifically in Lake and Porter Counties.
The South Shore Line adds LaPorte and St. Joseph Counties (South Bend) to that rail service area.

What is wrong with using "Eastbound train to Chicago" or "Westbound train to Aurora" when describing
BNSF train service? (best example)

Why not use only "To Chicago" or "To Aurora" (or another intermediate line station) if compass directions
are not used? This to me would be better than the dreaded "inbound" and "outbound" terminology.

You do have a point - compass directions do not always match railroad line route directions - the best examples
are the C&NW/UP Northwest Line to Harvard and McHenry - and the Metra line I am most familiar with which is
the former N&W/NS Southwest Service to Orland Park and Manhattan remembering that my relatives once
resided one long block from what now is Wrightwood Station on Chicago's Southwest Side.

This was basically the post and reply that I actually wanted to use - before a combination of my device along
with the web site limitations made my previous attempt disappear into cyberspace.

Discovering that I am NOT allowed to post in the so-called "Help" area of Railroad.net is another frustrating
matter in solving posting problems that arise at times with this website. I am very reluctant to attempt any
post or reply that take too much time to type out or research knowing my limits here...MACTRAXX
  by justalurker66
 
Here is your Chicago puzzle.

Chicago's Metra SWS enters Chicago "Eastbound" and travels compass north to where it joins the NS Chicago Line "Westbound" and enters Chicago Union Station "Northbound".
Amtrak's eastern services on the NS Chicago Line are clearer - "Westbound" until they hit Amtrak's CUS tracks.
The Cardinal? Northbound on UP, westbound crossing BRC, eastbound on Metra, westbound on NS, northbound on Amtrak. It is Westbound from NY and DC.

Inbound and Outbound are much better indicators. :)

And yes, in the distant "pre-Metra" past each railroad made their own decisions. Under one control the lines all run "in" to Chicago and "out" to someplace else, with a "reverse commute" being someone going to work on an "out" bound train.

The South Shore (non-Metra) remains Westbound/Eastbound but they do not carry passengers between Chicago stations on the north/south portion of their run. I do not know what designations they will use on the West Lake line under construction. Possibly North/South?
  by doepack
 
justalurker66 wrote: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:44 pm The South Shore (non-Metra) remains Westbound/Eastbound but they do not carry passengers between Chicago stations on the north/south portion of their run. I do not know what designations they will use on the West Lake line under construction. Possibly North/South?
I think the Westbound/Eastbound designations can also apply to the West Lake Line. Despite it being a more north/south route compass-wise, the planned stations for West Lake are still in Indiana and therefore east of Chicago.

Bringing it back to the original topic, Metra plans to add two trains to the North Central line, one in each direction during rush (or reasonable facsimile thereof these days, to quote Moe Howard...)

Over the last few weeks, ridership numbers for Milwaukee North and Burlington (the two other lines getting more service) have shown a slight uptick, allegedly justifying the modest service increase.

The same cannot be said for North Central, ridership has been pretty flat over the same period. I'm not seeing why service should be added to this route yet...

One more thing: Up north, down south, out east or out west. Boom. Done....