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
Engineer Spike wrote:I lived in Chicagoland in the late 1990s. I last visited in 2009, and couldn't believe how muck places like Plano have grown. I think that westward expansion will be the main focus. Doesn't the service on the C&NW go to Elburn? Maybe DeKalb will be next, and eventually Rochelle. Men dot a could be a possibility within the next 30 years.
I think UP/W service to DeKalb is a possibility within the next 25-30 years or so, especially given all the new housing construction going up in western Kane county, and its proximity to NIU. Plus, it's only about 15 miles west of Elburn, and perhaps new additional stations at Maple Park and/or Cortland could be included; and as an added bonus, the old CNW depot is still available (or, at least the building is). I'd expect light service levels in the beginning at least, probably not more than 3 or 4 trains per day during rush hours, with perhaps a midday train thrown in.

DeKalb should be the eventual western terminus of Metra service. Rochelle, like Mendota, is just too far...
  by byte
I don't think the suburban building boom will ever be like it was before the bubble popped. Lots of developments were planned but either never built, or were "started" and now consist of 2-3 homes in a subdivision with 25-30 plots (complete with unused roads, and corny names like "Pine Corners"). Note that the La Fox station on the UP-W was only one component of a development which was supposedly going to encompass commercial and residential buildings in the immediate vicinity of the station. In the end, all that was built was the station and its parking lot, along with a UP viaduct just west of the station over a proposed road that ultimately wasn't built; the private developers who would have built the residential and commercial components of that development bailed, and all that was built was the station.
  by Thunder
The ones Metra is focusing on now ( rumor mill here) is a connection from the Rock past South Chicago and down old C&EI lines to somewhere like Crete I guess. Follow that with the Southwest to connect in at Englewood with the Rock, the "Star line" and you have projects coming out the wazoo.

I will be blunt here, we do not have the equipment,locos or manpower to pull any of this off.Until we step it up a notch and get new power and equipment and bump up the hiring these ideas are moot. I was excited about the Star line as it was Waukegan to Gary on the old J. Hell I am qualified on the whole J so hook me up I said. The response? I may be retired before that ever comes to be.I still have a long way to go before I retire so I am not holding my breath.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
The "STAR" line will probably never happen, and it doesn't really need to anyway. First of all is the obvious funding issue. The key "justification" for the idea was to run trains down the median of I-90 to O'Hare, which alone would cost billions. The federal government doesn't "have" that kind of money, nevermind Illinois.

Also, the J is a single track railroad and townies will fight any capacity improvements- but hopefully that can be overcome for freight's sake. Lastly, the J is too important to CN, and they probably will not willingly cede any capacity to a public agency. I don't blame them.

One of the many conditions imposed on CN's purchase of the J was for the possibility of commuter negotiations, but anything would pretty much be on CN's terms. There's not much Metra could do if there's no room for commuter in the decades it will take for them to come up with something.
  by Thunder
I dont see it ever happening on the J. CN has turned that line to a grade A fluster cluck. The one they want to run through Chicago Heights on the C&EI line would be interesting.

But here is the problem,this agency is a government agency. We dont do anything fast ( except run) when it comes to projects. They want to build the Southwest connection to the Rock,add in this Southeast line ( which will call LaSalle home) and tell me how this is going to work. 8 tracks at capacity and a yard at 47th that is at capacity.Like I said, I will be long retired before a lot of this even happens.