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 Rich T
 
Is it true the South Shore is still operated by timetable and train order, and may be the last mainline railroad to do so?

  by MikeF
 
Yes, the South Shore does still operate by train order.
  by Rich T
 
Are orders and clearance cards being handed up on the fly at any locations?

  by MikeF
 
No, orders and clearances are given by radio and copied onto the forms by the engineer aboard the train.

  by walt
 
The train order dispatching system is probably the last vestage of the South Shore Line's interurban days. Most interurbans operated using the train order system, and the accidents which resulted are one reason for the relatively dismal safety record of the industry as a whole.

  by PRRGuy
 
From what I've heard from a few people that work for the NICTD. A New dispatching building is being built in Michigan City to control the entire line, up to CN/IC control.

  by MikeF
 
That's correct, the new building that will house the CTC equipment is being constructed between the Carroll Avenue parking lot and Roeske Avenue, southeast of the old office.

And for what it's worth, Metra, not the CN/IC, controls the tracks on which NICTD trains run north of Kensington.

  by PRRGuy
 
Whoops, my fault there...I thought that since the CN/IC freight main was parallel that maybe they operated both lines, freight and passenger.

  by Raakone
 
Easy enough mistake to make, those tracks WERE owned by IC until relatively recently (I think sometime in the early 80's?) Had Metra not bought them, the trackage would be owned by CN, making it ANOTHER electrified corridor owned by CN but used primarily by a commuter agency (although this line still uses the DC system that was once used in Montreal)

~Ra'akone

  by MikeF
 
Something makes me say the year was 1986, but I'm not certain of that. The former IC electric line holds the distinction of being the first line on which Metra took over the service while the previous operator (in this case, the ICG) was still in business. The Rock Island and Milwaukee lines had been under NIRC/Metra control earlier, but only because those railroads had gone bankrupt and were no longer able to provide commuter service.