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 doepack
 
Split off from the "accident hotspots" thread: On Metra's network, GCOR rule 6.30 is most commonly used on the Milwaukee and Rock Island districts, and the rule states:

When a passenger train is receiving or discharging traffic, a train, engine, or piece of equipment must not pass between it and the station platform being used unless safeguards are provided.

I understand Metra observes this rule for safety reasons, but I agree, it does tend to slow the trains down, especially during rush hours. One solution could be to install fences between the tracks at more stations along the Rock and Milwaukee routes, and in place of crosswalks, build underground tunnels to connect both platforms; stations like Elmhurst, Naperville, and Route 59 have this in place already. At least it'll keep the trains moving, but as always, the question becomes once again: Who's gonna pay for it?
  by amtrakhogger
 
That sounds like Norac rule 121 which in a nutshell says the same
thing.

  by qboy
 
6.30 is used on the UP lines as well. But the rule is a general rule with each railroad having its own SSI (system special instructions) or operating procedures within their own commuter territories. There are also procedures in timetables, general bulletins that will further open up 6.30 and how you are to operate for train meets. Whether if its Chicago or LA or wherever commuter and passengers service is in effect 6.30 will apply under GCOR rules.

I would agree building more underground or pedestrian bridges and building higher fence that keeps some folks from hopping over them. More patrol from local police at stations I notice it on the UP west line especially on my morning run in at Villa Park and in the evening at Melrose Park. I find that the typical everyday commuter and riders follow rules pretty good not perfect but good. A lot of it too falls on the engineers operating the trains and using good judgement when applying these rules and procedures. One of the easiest rules for me to remember is in the morning inbound has priorty in the evening its just the opposite and thats not in the GCOR.

  by bones
 
Rule 6.30 in the GCOR is for Stations with 2 or more tracks, and one platform. Example: Hermosa, Cragin, Blue Island Vermont St. Prarie, 123rd St. 99th St. Look closely at the rule

"When a passenger train is receiving or discharging traffic, a train, engine, or piece of equipment must not pass BETWEEN IT AND THE STATION PLATFORM BEING USED unless safeguards are provided."

What Metra and the CNW have done was add to rule 6.30 which states that when a "passenger train is stopped" at a station receiving and discharging passengers, no other train may enter that station unless safeguards are provided"
  by MetraBNSF
 
Good time to dust off this thread on rule 6.30. Last Friday afternoon there was a pedestrian incident on BNSF in Brookfield in which an express train struck a pedestrian. There was an eastbound train stopped at the station at the time. At the time the accident happened the westbound was due to stop at Congress Park and may have still been going at a good rate of speed before slowing down for its station stop. Gates remained down and lights were flashing for the approaching westbound.

https://www.rblandmark.com/2022/02/04/m ... rookfield/

In regards to rule 6.30 it most likely applies to BNSF between Chicago and Aurora but have never seen it being followed. There are rules in the timetable that state depending on the direction the train is going when it is stopped at a station, at least one car or the locomotive must hold the grade or ped crossing. One or more trains can pass through the station zone without having to slow down or hold back. However, at Brookfield the south platform does not connect with the main road (Prairie Ave) just east of the crossing.

After UP installed the ATWS on the west line can more than one train travel through a station zone simultaneously? Likely guessing yes, although at one point it might not have been possible.

The rule seems confusing and there seems to be inconsistencies on how it’s followed from one railroad to another.
  by doepack
 
MetraBNSF wrote: Tue Feb 08, 2022 10:43 pm After UP installed the ATWS on the west line can more than one train travel through a station zone simultaneously? Likely guessing yes, although at one point it might not have been possible.
You are correct, sir. On UP/W, ATWS allows other traffic to highball past Metra trains making station stops, freights can continue moving right along. It's also cut down on the radio traffic since freight crews don't have to call out anymore to the scoots in order to time their move through a depot after a Metra has departed.

Some of those radio conversations among the crews from the Rule 6.30 era could be quite entertaining. Days gone by...
  by qboy
 
For the most part 6.30 on the Genava Sub is not in effect. But the one exception is when they have to use track two for loading and unloading passengers. Usually 90% of time this will happen between Villa Park and Elmhurst where the Disp will run us track two to get around either an inbound or outbound going into Proviso or they are build one of those 13-15k trains out of yard 9 outta Proviso. It is nice to have ATWS but still need be aware some folks don't always pay attention regardless of the warnings. But it does keep things moving especially with the way they build some of these manifest trains or the double coal trains.
  by justalurker66
 
When a passenger train is receiving or discharging traffic, a train, engine, or piece of equipment must not pass between it and the station platform being used unless safeguards are provided.

CGOR rule 6.30 as written doesn't help when the second movement is not passing between the train and the platform serving that train. Railroads are free to modify the rules and can write one that bans movements through any station where a passenger train is loading/unloading passengers (regardless of track or direction). The rule without local modifications seems to be a no brainer ... the railroad is asking passengers to cross an active track to get between the platform and the train. The passengers should be protected. One could write a rule that stopped all railroad traffic from passing a station until five minutes after a passenger train departs. It would make it difficult to run express trains.

ATWS ... how effective have the signs been? Have the number of incidents been reduced after the installation of the system or is it just another sign people ignore?
  by doepack
 
justalurker66 wrote: Sun Feb 13, 2022 4:15 pmThe passengers should be protected. One could write a rule that stopped all railroad traffic from passing a station until five minutes after a passenger train departs.
Based on local observations, pre-ATWS that's usually how it worked out on UP/W.
justalurker66 wrote: Sun Feb 13, 2022 4:15 pm It would make it difficult to run express trains.
Probably not on a widespread, BNSF-like scale. But some expresses, like old 47 (aka the "Wheaton Rocket") were able to coexist pretty well with GCOR 6.30 due to a long express zone where it wasn't necessary to route it around any other local Metra traffic, and only one scheduled meet with an inbound Metra (58) west of Wheaton.

Didn't see this happen often, but every now and then as it would invariably catch up with 45 somewhere around Glen Ellyn, an opposing freight would have to negotiate with both 45 and 47 for a move through Wheaton. 47's engineer would normally tell the freight if it was close enough to highball since he's on train control anyway while creeping the final mile or so into the depot. It usually worked out.
justalurker66 wrote: Sun Feb 13, 2022 4:15 pm ATWS ... how effective have the signs been? Have the number of incidents been reduced after the installation of the system or is it just another sign people ignore?
When a Metra is stopped in the depot and the gates are down, I've seen folks start to cross, then think twice about it and retreat when another train activates the system. So at least locally, it's done some good to enhance safety. I would be curious to know if this has had the same effect elsewhere, can't say for sure...

Then again as we all know, when someone is intent on being reckless, no amount of signage will deter them...