justalurker66 wrote:Based on their locations it appears that the new connection will run through the CN crossovers from the NICTD line to CN Track 1 just north of the Kensington station platform with a new connection between CN Track 1 and Metra Track 4 north of 113th St.
That was my impression as well. I did note the concrete supports, including a few toward the north end of the depot, but if IIRC, this is where CN track 1 already jogs to the inside of the existing catenary support bridges, putting it right up against Metra track 2 through the station. Stringing up wire in this area should be pretty easy, perhaps the concrete bases in this area represent an eventual upgrade over the current bridges?
There is a catenary and signal support bridge just north of the station platform (14-37). The first new base is about 50ft south of that with an anchor point 25ft south of that. (The base has bolts to hold a beam in place - the anchor point has a beam sticking out of it with two holes in it where a guy wire from the nearby pole could be anchored.) Nothing has been done on the west side of the station (yet). I didn't even see survey markers. If they are replacing signal/catenary bridges they will need bases on both sides of the track. I'm expecting a simple L shaped one there since it is at the north end of the points where the crossover between CN Track 1 and Track 2 ends.
The next base south is only 85ft away on the crossover. The next base south of that is at the south end of the points on the crossover between CN Track 1 and Track 2. Then there is one on the north end of the points for the north crossover between CN Track 2 and Track 3. These seem to line up with the idea of using L shaped supports hanging over the end of the points in question.
The next set of bases south is just north of the old intercity staircase. One base is between CN Tracks 1 and 2, the other is on the far side of Track 4. With no room between the tracks for a base this appears to be built for a U shaped arm or two poles connected by wire. The line between these two points lines up with the south end of the points for the crossover between CN Track 2 and Track 3. The next set south lines up with the north end of the points for the crossover between CN Track 3 and Track 4.
The next base south doesn't line up precisely with anything and is outside of Track 4.
Moving south there is more of a separation between CN Track 2 and Track 3 ... there is another pair of bases - one between CN Track 2 and Track 3 and the other outside of Track 4 (right by the switch house). This one is just south of south end of the points for the crossover between CN Track 3 and Track 4. The next two are on the east inside curve of the CSS-CN freight connection (lining up nicely with all above). The last new base I see to the south is on the east side of the NICTD passenger track as it enters the current diamonds.
It lines up nicely for electrfying the path for a train going through all the east to west crossovers from the current CSS connection over to CN Track 1. The next step would be to put the switches in to cross over to the Metra lines.
The new bases north of 113th St would have to be for a new signal bridge. I could not see the bases for the west post of those bridges. (There were a few rebar frames for bases sitting at the work site so I expect we will be seeing more bases installed.)
justalurker66 wrote:I had expected a diamond track parallel to the current crossover ending on CN Track 1 but the locations of the concrete bases don't back that up.
Might be a "double-slip" switch going in here, to allow access to both the Kensington depot and the new track 4 connection...
The only place I could see a slip switch helping would be on the current diamond track ... allowing a train to slip from it to CN Track 1. Not a bad idea but the bases seem to be lined up for the other path. The CN crossovers are too close to the end of the platform for a train using them to serve Kensington. A crossover could be built into the current interlocking north of Kensington to allow CN Track 1 to connect to Metra Track 3 but that wouln't clear up the bottleneck as much as a crossover north of 113th St right to Track 4.