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: metraRI, JamesT4

  by MetraF40C607
 
I've gotta be completely honest. Though the idea of weekend service sounds nice on the SWS, it just doesn't need it right now. I've seen how many people get on and off of the evening trains on the SWS. On the 8:24 in, you might pick up seven people on a busy night. The only gaurenteed customer is Stinky! (Inside joke) On the 9:50 out, the numbers are in the twenties, maybe the thirties on a busy night. If they ran weekend service on the SWS, at most, for now, one inbound in the morning and one outbound in the late-afternoon/early evening sounds decent. Maybe two each way. Three is too much. This is just my opinion...
  by MetraRy
 
not to get to far off topic but bones what's so bad about the RI?
  by MetraF40C607
 
Though i'm not Bones, I can start a list....

Management has gone down the toilet out there. Even Don Nelson, the "Voice of Metra" left as a trainmaster out there, because it got so bad. Management out there calls employee's cell phones to see if they're on. If they are, they get slap on the wrist. WHAT?!?!?
  by bones
 
What's so bad about the rock?

Cab signals, the 400's, the 200's, making cuts at Joliet, less pay on the night jobs, further from home, the Beverly branch, the SWS is quiet and laid back, and I am friends with alot of the passengers on the SWS.
  by MetraF40C607
 
Haha! I kinda figured you would have at least five good reasons why the RI is worse than the SWS.
  by doepack
 
Here's a thought: Weekend service on SW might stand a better chance of success if a second station for US Cellular field were to be built at 35th St, since the tracks run just a block west of the stadium. Not only would it help the proposed station on the Rock expand its SW suburban reach, but more importantly, it would provide a direct connection at CUS for the other three full service lines, and BNSF passengers heading to the game would benefit most by far. Lots of logistical and operating challenges will likely prevent this from becoming a reality, but it has the potential of at least taking a few more cars off the road...
  by metraRI
 
Three problems with building a SWS station at 35th Street: 1. Metra doesn't want to keep SWS at Union longterm. (And if SWS was to move to LaSalle... both lines would be serving the same station anyway) 2. The ROW is not owned by Metra, unlike on RID where Metra can do what they like. Metra's funky track configuration on SWS at 35th Street would also make things difficult for a station on that stretch of track. 3. Considering Metra has no idea if the new RID station, yet to even start construction, will be a success or failure... I don't think they would be ready to dish out money so quickly.
  by byte
 
The facility on the RI also opens up the possibility of a multi-modal transit plaza (using enclosed walkways) serving the Rock Island and the CTA Red & Green lines. This isn't possible from the SWS side due to a baseball field being in the way. It's basically a pipe dream at this point due to the fact that the two agencies do most of their work independent of eachother, but if that were to ever change 35th street would be a great place for an enclosed transfer point. I would be very suprised if it wasn't at least discussed during the planning stages leading up the the construction of the 35 st. station.
  by MetraBNSF
 
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Metra will be adding 6 Saturday trains to SWS beginning in March 2009. Plans call for trains to run in the morning and evening but no specifics on schedules have been worked out.
  by metraRI
 
I see they also want to test the waters for two years instead of just one, which was being said earlier. It will be interesting to see how this turns out... Hopefully ridership becomes steady.
  by doepack
 
chicagotribune wrote:Increasing commuter trains will not reduce the number of freight carriers, but it may change when they run, said Lipinski, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
(rolling my eyes, and sighs in exasperation): I find it hard to believe that adding SIX Saturday trains is going to have a significant impact on freight traffic but convincing NS and CSX that their trains won't be tied up along the BRC corridor (aka the 74th st. E/W segment which I'm assuming is the main point of contention, since they're the primary users of it) is proving to be unnecessarily difficult, IMO. They act as though all six trains will run at once...

Also, the fine print says that the $680K grant will only cover the first year, and as with all other proposed transit-related improvements around here, new funding sources have yet to be identified (no thanks to your friend and mine, Gov. Blago). But I hope they stick to the original plan, and run the entire way to/from Manhattan. Which would be ironic since Laraway Road and Manhattan would actually get more service on Saturday than they would during the week. Just one of those things, I guess...
  by Tadman
 
DP, same thing happens on South Shore weekends - all trains go to SBI, while there's only a handful on weekdays.
  by bones
 
doepack wrote
But I hope they stick to the original plan, and run the entire way to/from Manhattan. Which would be ironic since Laraway Road and Manhattan would actually get more service on Saturday than they would during the week. Just one of those things, I guess...
Train 815 (the 12:35) will go to Manhattan and 830 will start out of Manhattan. So. there will be 3 round trips a day out of Manhattan. I hate to say this but I hope this Saturday Service fails, because chances are now greater that I will have to work one of those jobs. And who's going to ride those trains besides railfans? You will be lucky to see 8 people on those trains, 22 during the Taste Of Chicago.
  by byte
 
The villages along the route have been clamoring for this improvement for years. My guess is that if the demand was so low it would be a non-issue and Lipinski's meeting last year would have never been held. The village manager of Oak Lawn actually lives in one of the condos right next to the Oak Lawn station, and told me he'd see people milling around there on weekends waiting for trains.