ExCon90 wrote: ↑Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:15 pm
I think the most workable solution for Chicago would be to establish a true terminal station at the CN site (if there's enough land for it) and expand all Corridor services other than Rockford or wherever to start and end there, stopping at CUS en route,
Mr. ExCon, True, the trackage is all there as it is an existing METRA route over the SOO, interchanging to the MILW at Franklin Park, thence to the through tracks at CUS, and from there to any existing Chicago Corridor - including the backup move needed to access the IC.
But, as you noted, land would be an issue. While the SOO (CN in "newspeak") has a small yard in Schiller Park that could be used to service equipment, that would require a backup to get to the O'Hare Transfer station, which I guess is where you have in mind for these Corridor trains to originate.
"For better or for worse", Illinois has WAAAY relaxed their casino laws since first enacted during the 1990's. While first intended to be a riverboat excursion with table gaming incidental to the experience, they have successively been relaxed to forget the excursion, forget having a pile driven into a river, and become as land based as they are out in "The Meadows". There has never been a "Native" financial interest requirement in Illinois.
So back to point, the O'Hare perimeter, particularly within Rosemont where the station is located, has become a "magnet" for casino gaming. I'm sure the major operators are "scouting" for locations around there, as reportedly the five outlet nationwide Rivers (it has a pile driven into the Des Plaines River) "does well".
All of that means there are more "lucrative" uses for land around there than an expended passenger rail facility.