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 Scotty Burkhardt
 
How would they link the Cermak branch to the loop? Via Paulina? I don't see the point in doing that.

  by byte
 
The reasoning behind it is so that it becomes its own line. When they finally do it (the connector's been rebuilt for a while now, no idea when they're going to start changing signage for making the Cermak its own line), it'll mean that people on the Cermak and Forest Park branches won't have to wait twice as long for a train (since the amount of trains coming from O'Hare is being divided by two). There's also the possibility of constructing a station on the connector at the United Center, which would undoubtedly boost ridership significantly - they can't do it now because it's not on an active line.

  by MikeF
 
Scotty Burkhardt wrote:How would they link the Cermak branch to the loop? Via Paulina? I don't see the point in doing that.
Yes, that is how it is going to be done. In addition to the reason byte cited for the new routing, the CTA's reasoning is also that the Blue Line in its current configuration is unbalanced -- that is, ridership on the O'Hare and Congress branches is approximately equal, but ridership on the Douglas branch is lower. That means inefficient operation as trains are significantly below capacity on the Douglas branch only. When the Douglas branch is removed from the Blue Line and routed onto the Loop, shorter or less frequent trains can be run, improving efficiency.

  by Scotty Burkhardt
 
Will it still be the blue line?

  by EricL
 
doepack wrote:That said, I do agree that removing the Purple line expresses' local segment south of Belmont would make the service more attractive. Indeed, it should be restored to being a mostly non-stop run from Howard to Merchandise Mart, with perhaps a transfer stop at Belmont and/or Fullerton...
It makes sense from the "express" standpoint, but considering that the Brown Line now runs on shorter intervals than it did the last time the Evanston Express was actually express, would this be realistic today? Brown Line trains currently run on 3-5 minute intervals during rush. It seems like you might see a lot of Purple Expresses just getting stuck behind Brown trains if they try to skip all those stops.

  by byte
 
Scotty Burkhardt wrote:Will it still be the blue line?
The O'Hare - Forest Park line would remain the blue line. For the potential loop - Cemak line, the color Silver has been thrown around as a potential color for it.

  by doepack
 
EricL wrote:It makes sense from the "express" standpoint, but considering that the Brown Line now runs on shorter intervals than it did the last time the Evanston Express was actually express, would this be realistic today? Brown Line trains currently run on 3-5 minute intervals during rush. It seems like you might see a lot of Purple Expresses just getting stuck behind Brown trains if they try to skip all those stops.
Since CTA is committed to providing maximum levels of Brown line service at the expense of turning the Purple line "express" trains into a local south of Belmont to provide even more service, they may as well route the Purple line express trains to the subway via the Red line. They'd terminate at Roosevelt, then use the old 14th St. portal (which was in revenue use until the 1993 realignment) to flip back north again. Granted, it'll tax the capacity of the subway, especially during rush hours, but at least it'll free up capacity on the Brown line and the Loop. I recall the idea having been kicked around awhile back, but it was never taken seriously...

  by octr202
 
doepack wrote:
EricL wrote:It makes sense from the "express" standpoint, but considering that the Brown Line now runs on shorter intervals than it did the last time the Evanston Express was actually express, would this be realistic today? Brown Line trains currently run on 3-5 minute intervals during rush. It seems like you might see a lot of Purple Expresses just getting stuck behind Brown trains if they try to skip all those stops.
Since CTA is committed to providing maximum levels of Brown line service at the expense of turning the Purple line "express" trains into a local south of Belmont to provide even more service, they may as well route the Purple line express trains to the subway via the Red line. They'd terminate at Roosevelt, then use the old 14th St. portal (which was in revenue use until the 1993 realignment) to flip back north again. Granted, it'll tax the capacity of the subway, especially during rush hours, but at least it'll free up capacity on the Brown line and the Loop. I recall the idea having been kicked around awhile back, but it was never taken seriously...
That answers the next question I was going to ask...would there be a way to run into the subway south of Belmont and then reverse somewhere south of the Loop. Would running into the subway versus around the loop be considered better or worse in terms of distributing riders downtown? To me it seems like that would provide a better option for people working further north who could use Grand or Chicago to get to Michigan Ave. Perhaps at rush hour they could run Purple Evanston Expresses to the Loop, Yellow Expresses via the subway, and then combine the Purple/Yellow express via the subway at off-peak hours.

Or maybe, since express tracks and different routing options are only a myth here where I am, I'm overthinking it.

  by JamesT4
 
MikeF wrote:
Scotty Burkhardt wrote:How would they link the Cermak branch to the loop? Via Paulina? I don't see the point in doing that.
Yes, that is how it is going to be done. In addition to the reason byte cited for the new routing, the CTA's reasoning is also that the Blue Line in its current configuration is unbalanced -- that is, ridership on the O'Hare and Congress branches is approximately equal, but ridership on the Douglas branch is lower. That means inefficient operation as trains are significantly below capacity on the Douglas branch only. When the Douglas branch is removed from the Blue Line and routed onto the Loop, shorter or less frequent trains can be run, improving efficiency.
For the blue line Cermak connection to the loop via the Paulina connector, and either build a new route or run it from the loop via the Lake St. branch on the green line. The link read about on the CTA's web site tells it that the Cermak branch will have off peak trains going to the loop, and that during rush hour half go to downtown via loop, and the other to O'Hare during the a.m., and p.m. rush hour.

This is the link that talks about what may happen to the Congress, & Douglas branches of the blue line,
http://www.transitchicago.com/news/moti ... 1wburb.pdf

As for the yellow new yellow line stop at oakton is to my view is needed, Since the last time I rode the yellow line, both cars going to and from howard was filled, and during rush hour, it is standing room only once all the seats is filled. For now I think if ridership increase when oakton is built, and open, it may gain enough ridership to go downtown, because the red line takes at least 30-40 min. for howard to get downtown, when the purple line express is not running.

If that need is there hopefully CTA can finally put more express trains going downtown during the day.

  by Tadman
 
It makes sense from the "express" standpoint, but considering that the Brown Line now runs on shorter intervals than it did the last time the Evanston Express was actually express, would this be realistic today? Brown Line trains currently run on 3-5 minute intervals during rush. It seems like you might see a lot of Purple Expresses just getting stuck behind Brown trains if they try to skip all those stops.
Naw, You could run Purple down tracks 2 and 3 between Belmont and Armitage - I don't know about the connection at Belmont, but just south of Armitage there is a crossover between the elevated and subway tracks. That way Purple would run express as Red does in that area.

  by Kablam76
 
Ah, a "new" station. It's really interesting to read about the CTA's knack for tearing stations down, only to build them back up as early as several months after demolition.

I'd love to see service run a little later on the Swift. The Park N' Ride's proximity to the Edens makes it a good ditch-your-car-and-ride alternative to driving all the way into the city, like Rosemont/Cumberland and the Kennedy.

  by MR77100
 
In reference to the "Skokie" yard, the CTA did have a yard of some sort at Dempster for the Skokie shuttle cars. Unfortunately most of this has been covered up for the parking lot. There has been talk for years about putting a station in at Oakton, and it looks like it will happen with the proposed project at Searle. The East Prarie Road platform still exists, and that could be made into a station. Are there any remains of the stations at Asbury or Dodge that could be made into stops?

  by byte
 
Making remains of platforms and such into full-use stations really isn't a viable option. The one or two partial platforms that do exist for utility purposes (I think one holds some electrical equipment, and one is right by the Skokie Shops so it's like an "employee station" if someone needs a ride to or from Howard) are both wood and that's probably a violation of ADA rules for any kind of new station. Also, even if they were long enough and whole stations still existed in either location, they haven't been maintained over the years. The CTA employees know to be careful and which planks/steps are loose, but the riding public doesn't. So even if they wanted those old platforms in their existing configuration, they'd still need to rehab them.

  by Scotty Burkhardt
 
The Crawford Ave. station is still there. It had several electrical boxes on it for awhile.

On a side note, The grinding train was on the Yellow line the other night around Midnight. I was on my way to work and got lucky/stopped by it. It was cool to see more than 2 cars on that line.
  by polish_guy_69
 
OK, my first post on this forum.

I work in Old Orchard and with big pleasure I would ditch my car to be able to get to work by EL. But it takes so long and in early morning there is no connection EL-bus or I would get late to work. Also weekend service sucks (lack of it).
I know CTA is doing "study of feasibility" to extend Yellow line to Old Orchard, but it takes them so long to decide what to do. I understand that there are big money at stake and decision cannot be made fast. But somehow it seems that in Europe things are built in much faster pace. I know that "personal transportation" ( I mean a car) plays much bigger role in urban travel in US, but without aggresive moves, CTA will stay in place where it is. And in reality it will be regress, not progress.

On the website dedicated to North Shore Line (www.northshoreline.com) you can find info about stops, which once were serving community: Ridge, Asbury, Dodge, East Prairie, Crawford, Oakton and Main St and which are abondon since 1963(?) (WHY?????)

As I see this topic had been going since a year ago and I do not see any progress in future (I hope) place of Oakton station.

Anyone has any info about the stage of this project?