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 justalurker66
 
Thanks for the links ... there are a couple of good archives from last weekend plus the followup those two shots came from-
http://mononman.rrpicturearchives.net/a ... x?id=70522 Day 1
http://mononman.rrpicturearchives.net/a ... x?id=70581 Day 2
http://mononman.rrpicturearchives.net/a ... x?id=70583 Followup

Not my pictures ... I missed last weekend (other than a quick drive through town with no pictures) due to a family trip.

I noticed a lower wire or rope on the poles is on pullies ( http://mononman.rrpicturearchives.net/s ... id=2663974 for one picture ). I expect that is what is being worked on next. I don't see any major reason to close the line again but there are still four weekend outages scheduled?
  by justalurker66
 
I'm not sure what visible changes we'll see this weekend ... but the last of three weekend closures is on.

One related note: METRA will be using the NICTD platforms at Millennium Park on Sunday while wire maintenance is done on the "downstairs" tracks.
  by Amtrak7
 
Looks like the work is done early:
This is a shortened outage only affecting service on Saturday, August 27. South Shore Line will not provide train or bus service between South Bend and Dune Park Station from 2:30 a.m. Saturday, August 27 until 3:00 a.m. Sunday, August 28. Stations affected by this outage include South Bend, Hudson Lake, Carroll Ave. and 11th St. in Michigan City, and Beverly Shores.

On Saturday, August 27 all trains will run normal weekend service between Dune Park and Chicago.

On Sunday, August 28 all trains service beginning with Trains 600 and 502, will resume normal service to scheduled station stops east of Dune Park Station, including South Bend

All following weekend outages have been cancelled.
  by justalurker66
 
Frankly I don't know what they did the last weekend the line was closed. But it is good to see that it is only one more day.

With Bears games on September 11th and 25th not having closures those weekends is a good idea.
  by justalurker66
 
Apparently the work was changing out the feeder line on poles along the south side of the line. I caught the end of it as the crew crossed Carroll Ave entering the yard on Saturday. There was also some track work near Sheridan Ave, taking advantage of the line being closed for the day.

Also:

The signmakers have been out and have installed signs on the new signal cabinets, including one at "CP 3.0 (Grandview) MP 03.01".

The new bridge for SR 49 at Dune Park now has additional concrete between the original supports and the rails (which should help if there ever is a derailment). The bridge appears to be higher as well (18" or so?).
  by justalurker66
 
CTC Update
I checked out the new signals while driving to Michigan City for the open house last night ...
The new signals from Tee Lake to Karwick Rd are now in service. The signal at 300W remained covered. Once the one at 300W is put into service all the new signals from Karwick Rd to Olive East will be in use (although only in ABS mode). The old signals are darkened, covered and turned toward the field.

The sign shop needs to fix the numbers on the signs. "296" had a full height 2 and a half height 96.

The newest signals are currently not approach lit. They are very bright. It is almost as good as having a street light at night (although the neighbors will likely be glad to lose their new "night light" when they are converted to approach lit).
  by justalurker66
 
From the NICTD website news page:
TEMPORARY WEEKDAY BUSING SOUTH BEND TO CARROLL AVE. SEPT 19-OCT 13
The South Shore plans to temporarily bus mid-day passengers between South Bend and Carroll Ave. (including Hudson Lake) Monday through Thursday, September 19 through October 13. Busing will affect passengers on the following trains:
Westbound Eastbound
Train 18 Train 7
Train 20 Train 9
Passengers may experience delays of 15-20 minutes reaching their final destination because of busing. Train 11 may also be affected arriving at Dune Park and stations east.
Over this time period crews will be welding rail between South Bend and Michigan City.
NICTD apologizes for any inconvenience.
I believe this is repairing the tracks where old signals have been removed.

Last week NICTD put new signals 313/314, 295/296, 275/276, 251/252 and 233/234 into service (ABS) and took 311, 286/287, 265/266 and 245/246 out of service. Signals 148/149, 132/133 and 119/120 have previously been removed from service.

(Note: 313/314 is at the same location as the old 314 signal. It appears 314 will eventually be a westbound CP before entering the yard, similar to CP 33.0 eastbound.)
  by JLJ061
 
justalurker66 wrote:From the NICTD website news page:
TEMPORARY WEEKDAY BUSING SOUTH BEND TO CARROLL AVE. SEPT 19-OCT 13
The South Shore plans to temporarily bus mid-day passengers between South Bend and Carroll Ave. (including Hudson Lake) Monday through Thursday, September 19 through October 13. Busing will affect passengers on the following trains:
Westbound Eastbound
Train 18 Train 7
Train 20 Train 9
Passengers may experience delays of 15-20 minutes reaching their final destination because of busing. Train 11 may also be affected arriving at Dune Park and stations east.
Over this time period crews will be welding rail between South Bend and Michigan City.
NICTD apologizes for any inconvenience.
I believe this is repairing the tracks where old signals have been removed.

Last week NICTD put new signals 313/314, 295/296, 275/276, 251/252 and 233/234 into service (ABS) and took 311, 286/287, 265/266 and 245/246 out of service. Signals 148/149, 132/133 and 119/120 have previously been removed from service.

(Note: 313/314 is at the same location as the old 314 signal. It appears 314 will eventually be a westbound CP before entering the yard, similar to CP 33.0 eastbound.)
Seems a bit extreme for just a few welding locations. Not like back in the 1990's when the railroad welded the entire South Bend Division from Shops to Grandview, ending almost 90 years of jointed rail on that division.
  by justalurker66
 
JLJ061 wrote:Seems a bit extreme for just a few welding locations. Not like back in the 1990's when the railroad welded the entire South Bend Division from Shops to Grandview, ending almost 90 years of jointed rail on that division.
Busing those four trains give them from about 8:30am to 5:55pm to work uninterrupted. There are 12 signal removal locations to deal with, plus the four CPs where signal locations changed. The signal location on freight spurs has changed (although I don't see that being a place where CWR is needed).

They have 16 9 1/2 hour days of work scheduled and I agree that seems like a lot of time. Perhaps there are other places that need joints welded.
  by justalurker66
 
Signal 207/208 (at CR 300 E) was placed into service this past week. 208 was displaying advance approach (westbound) when I drove past it this afternoon. No other new signals in service (other than the ones noted above that were put into service the week before).

There are rails stacked off to the side of the track at many of the crossings between Michigan City and South Bend ... so the "rail welding" could be crossing replacements or other repairs.

BTW: I believe the new signals are numbered 313/314, 295/296, 275/276, 251/252, 233/234 and 207/208. Correction or confirmation of the numbers underlined will be appreciated.
  by ohioriverrailway
 
Right on. The pairs are 312/313 east end shops, 296/297 at 600 west, 275/276 at 400 west, 249/250 at MP25 and 233/234 at Tee Lake sub. This info from their chief dispatcher.
  by justalurker66
 
ohioriverrailway wrote:Right on. The pairs are 312/313 east end shops, 296/297 at 600 west, 275/276 at 400 west, 249/250 at MP25 and 233/234 at Tee Lake sub. This info from their chief dispatcher.
Thank you ...
I'm surprised at 312 as the signal replaced one that was close to 314. Apparently not close enough to keep the number.
(It should be "CP 31.?" by the end of the year anyways.)
  by justalurker66
 
Kensington Interlocking
It had been about a month since my last visit ... and in that time a new signal has been installed on northbound CN-IC Track 1 on the gantry at Metra MP 14.37. The old three color light has been replaced with a four light fixture (the bottom light is covered at this time) and a two color light has been mounted above the new four light fixture (the two color fixture is turned toward the east - or "to field").

Image
The signal to the left controls trains leaving platform 2 on Metra. Behind it facing north is the southbound signal for CN-IC Track 1.
  by justalurker66
 
Kensington Work
NICTD posted a notice on their news page today announcing temporary schedule changes on three trains (205 and 207 eastbound and 20 westbound) due to work being done near Kensington station. 205 to Gary will run 30 minutes late, 207 to Gary will run 16 minutes late and 20 to Chicago will run on time to Hegewisch then seven minutes late Kensington to Millennium. The new schedule starts October 10th with no end date noted ("will be in effect for several months").

These changes eliminate the three times each weekday trains meet between CP 73.8 and CP 75.3.

Last weekend I noticed that rail was laid out near CP 75.3 and it appeared some work was being done near the CP 75.3 signal. We may be seeing the beginning of the NICTD track work for the double tracking of their connection to Kensington Interlocking (track 1 to the platform, track 2 to CN-IC and eventually Metra bypassing the platform).


BTW: Normally I'd check Metra's construction page to see how their trains are affected or if there is more information but they have apparently discontinued their page (it was http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home/serv ... dules.html ).
  by justalurker66
 
Can you spot what is missing in this picture of Fischers (just east of South Bend)?
Image

NICTD has taken three more signals (each direction) out of service ... 91/92 at Sage Rd, 63/64 east of Lydick and 51/52 at Pine Rd. The new signals east of Sage Rd (78/79? I could not see the number plate) and Country Club Rd (58/59) are in service. Of the old signals, only 41/42 remains on the mainline west of Grandview.
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