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 eolesen
Yes, they do, but are they using the former Soo mainline all that much? Seems they favor using the EJ&E due to the lack of commuter interference.
  by doepack
ryanch wrote: Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:08 am Does more freight move through Chicago on weekends because of the lower levels of commuter service?
Sometimes, but not always. Taken as a whole, I'd say the overall day-to-day traffic is fairly steady throughout the area, but can and does vary by railroad, location, and logistics. Here in the land of the ex-CNW for instance, I've noticed Fridays are usually UP's busiest days for freight with more bulk commodities coming and going; the uptick often precedes weekend maintenance windows. Other roads may prefer to hold back traffic until after the work is done, some areas are more conducive to this than others; again, it depends.
eolesen wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:17 am Yes, they do, but are they using the former Soo mainline all that much? Seems they favor using the EJ&E due to the lack of commuter interference.
I think there's still a CN local based out of Schiller Park that serves maybe 2-3 customers between there and Leithton Jct, the latter being the point most freight traffic hops on/off the old J. CP has used Schiller Park yard in the past to augment their nearby Bensenville operation, don't know if that's still the case, especially since Bensenville was downgraded to flat switching and its hump removed.

I keep wondering when CN is going to remove the single track from B-12 south to Forest Park. That line hasn't seen a train in years...
  by ryanch
Today's Trib updates completion to "late spring."

Waiting for this project is like looking ahead along tracks trying to anticipate when the two rails will come together. No matter how far we come that point remains exactly the same distance ahead.
  by Tadman
This people mover extension must be really for the rental car garage adjacent to the Metra station. There's what, 6 trains/day on the Antioch line? You could be downtown via Blue Line by the time the next inbound Antioch train shows up. I'm all for sending the people mover to the rental car garage, I hate riding buses to the garage. You get on, you wait and wait, then you slog through traffic.. it's not great. I wish they'd built the Midway rental car garage on the Orange line at some abandoned factory.
  by ryanch
It is primarily for the rental car center.

And no, I suspect relatively few downtowners would use it at current service levels.

But, while there are few frequencies, they're clustered in a way that could serve business travelers from the NW suburbs pretty well -- a number of options to O'Hare in the AM, and a number back near the end of the day. If I lived that way, it would be on my radar.

And it wouldn't take much additional service to make this useful for a lot of people. I think 4-5 additional day time round-trips would make this a well known option all along the route, and could justify more frequent bus service from Oak Park to, say, Galewood or Mars. It's too bad neither Mont Clare nor Elmwood Park was built on Harlem, since that would be a better transfer point.
  by Tadman
Given that the O'hare people mover is free, the savvy NW suburbs commuter that works on the north side of the city could ride in to O'Hare on the Metra, ride people mover to the CTA, then blue line to places like Wicker Park or the Cumberland office parks.
  by justalurker66
With a $50.75 difference in fare for a monthly ticket from Antioch to O'Hare vs Antioch to Western Ave it seems that such a commuter would pay more for a slower journey with more steps. ($105 for a CTA monthly.)

There may be a connection where using O'Hare Transfer to get to the Blue Line might work.
  by Tadman
Upon looking at a map, there's not much the Blue Line covers that CNW-NW doesn't. Maybe the office parks at Rosemont and Cumberland.