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 EJ&ESDM809
One set of the new signals just east of 25th Avenue has been activated, and the signal bridge that was east of 25th has been taken down, as has the cantilever signal that was west of 25th Avenue. I also noticed a new signal bridge at Wolf Road. Also, the old Bellwood depot has been demolished, and a new one is up on the south side of the tracks,
  by Metra210
On the evening of Sunday 8/19, while waiting for an inbound UP-W Line train at the Bellwood station, I took several photos of the new platforms and the new stationhouse. New right-of-way has been laid down next to the new north platform at the station, along with new signals, and the edge of the new platforms are further away from the tall staircases leading up to the Mannheim Road bridge. This is making me wonder if more than just four cars of trains will open their doors at the Bellwood station once the renovation is complete. I am also wondering if the other stations in Zone C on the UP-W - Maywood, Melrose Park, and Berkeley - will also see complete renovations and a stretching of the length of both platforms.

Here are three photos of the Bellwood station, taken while waiting for that inbound train.
  by qboy
The way I'm understanding things right now eventually at some point Melrose Pk. and Maywood get improvements. I don't know for sure if they will get the same treatment as Berkley and Bellwood. But for now the 3rd trk will only go as far CPY011 25th Ave cause lack of funding. Eventually in the near future a couple of years the 3rd main will go all the way thru to CPY10 Vale. Thats what was explain to me when I had MTM ride out on my train a few weeks back. I would hope they can make these platforms good for at least 6 car spot that would be nice. Better than the former 4 car spot at Bellwood. But I have no idea how long the platforms will be.
  by EJ&ESDM809
UP has put in cement blocks to hold up the new absolute signals for the Wheaton control point. The EBCS signal will be right next to the Cross Street grade crossing on the west side of downtown Wheaton, and the WBCS signal will be just east of Chase Street.
  by doepack
Yep, the crews put those down a few weeks ago, just before taking off for the holidays. There's also some new apartments going up on Cross Ave., just north of the tracks, and some units should have an excellent view of tracks with all the attendant action. The home signal locations are correct, just a minor correction about Cross St; it's actually on the east end of downtown Wheaton. As information, West St. is considered the western border of the CBD, with the Metra depot on the north (Wesley St.) side, and the 7-11 on the south side (on the corner of Liberty Ave...)
  by EJ&ESDM809
It looks like UP is finally working to get rid of the hold short rule at Wheaton. They've installed new pedestrian gates throughout Wheaton, including at West Street, which is right by the station. I've been told all of these crossings will have the ATWS system put in, even the ones in downtown not near the station.
  by doepack
Getting ATWS installed at the five soon-to-be-upgraded grade crossings of Wheaton's CBD (Cross, Main, Hale, Wheaton and West) seems to be the priority right now, haven't seen much work on the new interlocking since the crossovers went in before Christmas, but I'm guessing that's probably weather related. Thinking they'll probably pick it up again in the next month or two once it starts to warm up a little...

One other side note: The new interlocking at CPY019 in Lombard has been renamed to Grace...
  by doepack
Giving this a bump...

A new signal bridge has gone up in West Chicago, which is now the new location for the westbound home signals at JB Tower (CN/ex-EJ&E crossing), UP cut the signals in about 10 days ago. The old 3 headed structure for the three mains has been replaced with 2 headed signals for each main, plus a single mast for the short industrial lead to track 66 (aka Jel Sert, manufacturers and distributors of frozen desserts). Meanwhile, work on the new interlocking in Wheaton seems to be on hold for the time being, still waiting for the other two crossovers to go in...
  by qboy
If every thing goes as planned starting next weekend the new trk 1 will be cut in between Park and Provo Jct. And the following weekend the current trk 1 will be cut in as main trk 2. Then the old trk 2 will be taken OOS to rebuild the CP Hill connection. Meaning all Bellwood loading will be done from the center platform. Till the end of August when this project is schedule to be completed. Then all 3 trks will be in service include the new and improved connection off of new main trk 3 up to CP Hill. As far as CP Wheaton I was told they are still waiting on all parts for the AWST system for all those xings. But may be done by fall but or end 2013. I was a bit surprised by that answer!
  by doepack
Lots to catch up on. Without further ado...

The new control point in Wheaton is coming along slowly, but surely. About two weeks ago, the last of the four crossovers linking all three tracks was installed, just east of Cross St, which remains closed at the RR crossing. The interlocking will span three crossings (Cross, Washington, and Chase Streets, west to east), and is laid out as follows:

--One MT3 to MT2 crossover just east of Cross St., the one most recently installed

--Two MT2 to MT1 crossovers between Washington and Chase

--One MT3 to MT2 crossover just east of Chase

The concrete bases for the signal bridge at the west end of the control point at Cross St. are still in place, but no signals are up yet. Haven't seen any concrete bases for the east end, but I'm guessing the home signals on that side will go up somewhere just west of President St. Also, Chase St. is still scheduled for closure to vehicle traffic, and it appears that the new pedestrian tunnel will be just west of the current grade crossing. No timeline/ETA available on when they'll start the heavier, more disruptive work...

Meanwhile, further east in Bellwood, the reconfigured Provo Jct. is taking shape. The new signals for MT1 & MT2 are now activated, a three headed installation for both tracks mounted on poles with UP's typical "Darth Vader" style hoods, that includes access to the new flyover to the IHB from track 1 on the west end. The old connection off what used to be track 2 is getting a makeover, the curve is being broadened to permit higher speeds, and when complete, it will hook into new MT3; which is currently being extended west from Melrose Park (or technically, from CPY011, the next control point east). Traffic will remain on tracks 1 & 2 in this area until MT3 is ready for business...

Something else I noticed, an odd observation: A new signal bridge for the east end of Park interlocking (CPY015) went up last year just west of the Berkeley station. However, it only has home signals for tracks 1 & 2, the home signal for track 3 is still on the older bridge almost a 1/2 mile west. I don't know if UP plans to eventually move the signal to the new bridge once new track 3 is switched on all the way, but as of right now, there's nothing there...
  by qboy
MT 3 will be placed into service between CP Park and CP 25th Ave on 9/14 at 0900.
  by qboy
CP College will be placed into service tomorrow evening 04/26/14 @2000. After couple of delayed cut in originally was to be in service back late January, but weather and other issues delayed it.
  by doepack
Good to know, and thanks. I've observed workers spending more time in the signal cabinets lately preparing for the cutover. I was thinking they wouldn't be ready until summer.

Any idea when the ATWS warning system will be installed for the four crossings on Wheaton's west side? They're already in at President St. and Hill Ave...
  by qboy
Not sure! Possibly once the platforms are moved west of the depot could be sooner.
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