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 erie910
While watching a fairly recent video of a South Shore passenger train through Gary, I noted that the train was switched from Track One to Track Two before the Hegewisch station, and it remained on Track Two until just west of Gary. Hegewisch and other stations to Gary Metro Center have platforms for Track One. This was an evening run. Is there an operational reason why trains use Track Two instead of Track One?

A related question:
In its proposed improvement plans (Michigan City relocation, double-tracking between Michigan City and Gary, etc.), NICTD estimates that the travel time between South Bend and Chicago will drop from over 2 hours to 90 minutes. That seems overly-optimistic. Does anyone know how that time reduction was determined?

  by justalurker66
The track 2 switch you saw was probably due to maintenance. The South Shore normally runs on the right hand track where double tracked.

Double tracking from Michigan City (including eliminating street running) will reduce conflicts with trains and allow them to run at faster speeds through Michigan City and in the rural area between Gary and Michigan City. Not every South Bend to Chicago train will be 90 minutes ... but NICTD will be able to run end to end limited stop trains while running slower stopping trains. The increased track speed combined with less stops help get to the 90 minute goal. Train 6 is currently 115 minutes SBN to CHI, so 90 is not impossible with the right improvements.

(The big improvement is the proposed reroute in South Bend that will cut another 10-20 minutes off the run time.)