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 Roadgeek Adam
 
I appreciate the tips, but I would think at least, even if I don't get to see 63rd Street from the street level, 47th Street in Fuller Park is a requirement. As an Erie geek, I don't want to lose the chance to see Dearborn, 47th, 55th and 63rd Street stations at a minimum (maybe Auburn Park as well).
  by MACTRAXX
 
RGA: I will add these thoughts about your Chicago visit and to "fan" the former C&WI line:

I learned many things about the South Side of Chicago from my Chicago "visiting days" of 1973 thru 1988 and I will agree with other posters
here that Englewood is a tough neighborhood and to me the best time to go to a questionable area like the 63/Halsted vicinity is to go
there early in the morning - on a weekday during the AM rush hour or noting that you would have a Saturday open go then - the thought
is that your chances of having any unwanted encounters with local riffraff is lowest during those hours...I understand that you want to
bring your bicycle to explore the C&WI line but this could actually may be more of a hassle then it is worth - especially later in the day...

On either that Thursday or Saturday depending on how much riding you do purchase a CTA one-day unlimited pass ($10) and search these
two websites: http://www.transitchicago.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and http://www.chicago-l.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and plan out where you would like to go via the CTA...

I will also add that you may want to meet some of your fellow Chicago area Forum members and if this was me making this inquiry I
would try and meet up with at least one other member that is familiar with the South Side of Chicago and could even go and show you
around a bit - and you can even consider returning the favor in the future if that member(s) ever decided to visit North Jersey in the future...
There is safety in numbers and you may see more of what Chicago has to offer to any visitor with that option...

MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Wed May 14, 2014 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
MACTRAXX wrote:RGA: I will add these thoughts about your Chicago visit and to "fan" the former C&WI line:

I learned many things about the South Side of Chicago from my Chicago "visiting days" of 1973 thru 1988 and I will agree with other posters
here that Englewood is a tough neighborhood and to me the best time to go to a questionable area like the 63/Halsted vicinity is to go
there early in the morning - on a weekday during the AM rush hour or noting that you would have a Saturday open go then - the thought
is that your chances of having any unwanted encounters with local riffraff is lowest during those hours...I understand that you want to
bring your bicycle to explore the C&WI line but this could actually may be more of a hassle then it is worth - especially later in the day...

On either that Thursday or Saturday depending on how much riding you do purchase a CTA one-day unlimited pass ($10) and search these
two websites: http://www.transitchicago.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and http://www.chicago-l.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and plan out where you would like to go via the CTA...

I will also add that you may want to meet some of your fellow Chicago area Forum members and if this was me making this inquiry I
would try and meet up with at least one other member that is familiar with the South Side of Chicago and could even go and show you
around a bit - and you can even consider returning the favor in the future if that member(s) ever decided to visit North Jersey in the future...
There is safety in numbers and you may see more of what Chicago has to offer to any visitor with that option...

MACTRAXX
Right now, both times I'd be in at 10 AM. I want the bike cause one of the two days, I'm biking to Metra stations en masse (more likely Saturday) in either the northern suburbs or southern suburbs (more likely northern).

Let's be honest, I'm a rather annoying person, and considering I do both railfanning and roadgeeking (as in highways as well), I would bore people to death. I understand it's a wise idea, but at this point, it might be wiser to not annoy people. Asperger's Syndrome will do it to you to some degree.

I have considered the 3-day pass ($20) so I can use it on Thursday and Saturday.
  by Thunder
 
If you ride your bike down to 63rd in Englewood its been nice knowing you...Not to be mean or blunt but you would be a screwed pooch. On the SWS we blow by there and its not a fun or pretty location. Try to see it from the train is the best advice.Anywhere on the Beverly is fine as well, its just getting there by bike you have to go through the same areas. Gresham is south of Englewood and we cant drop off "light skinned passengers " ( being politically correct) at Gresham.

Is Chicago a war zone? Not everywhere. Can you have fun here? Absolutely! Get over to Dearborn for sure. That would be an easy bike ride from CUS and a safer neighborhood. The further out from the Loop you get, the worse it gets. 16th street tower is in an ok area. You do have a Chicago PD station right next to it.

My advice for being anywhere in Chicago is to walk around with your head on a swivel and act like you own everything within 40 feet of you. But then again I am a scary looking individual. Good luck and enjoy the trip.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
Well, trip is now official.

However, I realized I couldn't bring my standard frame bike since Trenton & Macomb lack baggage services. (Am I wrong?) That tends to make my life a bit harder.

As for Englewood, still not sure what my intent will be with that. At a minimum, if I have to do 63rd from a train, it would be nice to at least get to see 47th and 55th Street from the ground.
  by BrianLM007
 
Yes, it's too bad you can't take bikes on the South Shore...because if you could, you could hop a train to Hammond and bike along the Erie-Lackawanna Trail to Crown Point which is along the former Erie right-of-way. http://www.indianatrails.com/content/er ... ake-county

If you can, I'd take a ride on the South Shore, folks already mentioned the legendary Beverly Shores and Michigan City stations. I like Tadman's suggestion for Hegewisch as well, the NS is now on the old C&WI right-of-way to Torrence Avenue and if you're up to walking, the old C&WI Bridge over the Calumet River is still intact and appeared to even be in use as a road bridge when the Torrence Avenue bridge was under maintenance. Since you also mentioned roads and highways, may I offer a couple of suggestions that you can easily reach downtown (I'm bit of a highway geek myself as well a railroad geek)?

Circle Interchange: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_Interchange" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (a few blocks from Dearborn Street Station)

Lake Shore Drive Bridge over Chicago River: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Shore_Drive" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (you can get some nice distance shots from the Columbus Drive Bridge, and you can get close-up shots from the river bike trail accessible from Lower-Lower Wacker Drive and on the bridge itself as the lakefront trail uses the lower deck.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
Some highway stuff I like:
Congress Street passing through the post office is interesting, also right next to the Chicago and Alton freight station and over the Union Station throat.
The Hubbard Street "cave" on 90-94 under a bunch of railroads.
Tollway oases (used to be Fred Harvey restaurants).
Wacker Drive and all the multilevel streets.
The 88-355 convergence looks crazy.
Lincoln Highway, Dixie Highway, and all the old "plank roads".
Skyway? I don't remember going that way.
The AASHO pavement test site and old army barracks are in Ottawa. I want to check it out if I ever pass by.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:Some highway stuff I like:
Congress Street passing through the post office is interesting, also right next to the Chicago and Alton freight station and over the Union Station throat.
The Hubbard Street "cave" on 90-94 under a bunch of railroads.
Tollway oases (used to be Fred Harvey restaurants).
Wacker Drive and all the multilevel streets.
The 88-355 convergence looks crazy.
Lincoln Highway, Dixie Highway, and all the old "plank roads".
Skyway? I don't remember going that way.
The AASHO pavement test site and old army barracks are in Ottawa. I want to check it out if I ever pass by.
I have my own plans for the highway stuff. Right now I'm definitely going to get to see Dearborn for sure. I'm going to decide that day to see 47th or not.
  by theseaandalifesaver
 
Two questions:

Is the old 63 st station the same as the Englewood station I found on Wikipedia?

Also, the pictures shown are five years old. Does the station and rest of the old platforms still exist?
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
theseaandalifesaver wrote:Two questions:

Is the old 63 st station the same as the Englewood station I found on Wikipedia?

Also, the pictures shown are five years old. Does the station and rest of the old platforms still exist?
No. The 63rd Street one I am pointing at is the old Chicago & Western Indiana (conglomerate railroad).

The street view I pointed at is 2013. The pictures you saw from D. Davidson is actually from the late 1970s at most.
  by theseaandalifesaver
 
So would it be worth the trip to check out?
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
theseaandalifesaver wrote:So would it be worth the trip to check out?
Something that has been brought up in this thread, that I've been putting to debate myself. The station is located in the statistically worst neighborhood of southern Chicago, and even though I will be there on a Thursday morning-afternoon, even I'm a bit nerved.