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Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by znufrii on Mon May 7 14:37:44 2012

"A load of freight can make its way from Los Angeles to Chicago in 48 hours, then take 30 hours to travel across the city."

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Mon May 7 15:48:16 2012, in response to Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by znufrii on Mon May 7 14:37:44 2012.

While I applaud the effort to improve throughput, the fault for the present morass lies squarely at the feet of the big six which have abandoned or downgraded their facilities during the so-called post Staggers Act rail renaissance. Item, there used to be a viable short cut between ATSF and NYC entirely bypassing Chicago. Do BNSF and NS make use of this? The 'mixmaster' of ex PRR, ex NYC, ex B&O west of Gary was reconfigured lowering capacity.

In the recent thread on this site, lots of noise was generated concerning the Englewood flyover. The need for this is NOT increased commuter traffic, it is reduced rail capacity and slower interlocking plant function. A look at Official Guides from the 50s would show many more passenger trains passing through.

Taking another example, the Kensington interlocking which Jersey Mike carefully described/documented some months back was degraded by having only a single South Shore track cross the IC (now CN) mains. Again a half century ago IC had numerous passenger trains passing through AND freights to/from the downtown yards now part of Millenium Park, while South Shore and IC Electric (now Metra) operated more trains through the plant as well as in the early 50s several NYC/Michigan Central and Big Four passenger trains.




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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by znufrii on Mon May 7 16:31:38 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Mon May 7 15:48:16 2012.

Do you know of anywhere that has a line-diagrammed history of these changes? Would be interesting to see, I think...

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion


(1155144)

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Jersey Mike on Mon May 7 16:44:32 2012, in response to Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by znufrii on Mon May 7 14:37:44 2012.

Railroads seem to forget that St Louis is a rail hub too. They should try using that one more often.

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Rockparkman on Mon May 7 16:52:04 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Mon May 7 15:48:16 2012.

You got that right, Staggers went too far and the incompetent
freight railroad managers cut too deep.

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Dave on Mon May 7 17:28:06 2012, in response to Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by znufrii on Mon May 7 14:37:44 2012.

Sounds similar to the clog at Tower 55 in Ft. Worth. At least work has begun to alleviate the congestion:

http://www.tradecorridors.com/tower55/


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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Jace on Mon May 7 20:10:47 2012, in response to Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by znufrii on Mon May 7 14:37:44 2012.

More like projects. I was just in Chicago and was very surprised to see real progress being made. These projects have been talked about for so long that I didn't expect much. But there they were: new bridges and ramps at the east end of Proviso, new bridges and interlockings at Bensenville, survey teams all over the place...

Got to wonder what Chicago's going to look like down the road. For better or worse efficiency-wise, Chicago exists because trains have always had to stop and interhange there (for a very good history see Nature's Metropolis). When you eliminate this bottleneck, you sort of eliminate the need for Chicago. CN has taken the first steps at making it just a way station with their purchase of the J. Now with the CREATE projects potentially unclogging Chicago, combined with all the coal and intermodal just passing through, will Chicago end up more like Thunder Bay?

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by The Flxible Neofan on Tue May 8 09:40:29 2012, in response to Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by znufrii on Mon May 7 14:37:44 2012.

And there lies a potentially larger problem than anything in the steel rails that snake across the city. While some of the financing for CREATE has come from private industry and state bonds, further progress depends almost entirely on the ability of Congress to pass transportation legislation.


It always comes to this...the surface transportation bill. I haven't heard about CREATE but this seems like a great project that would be incredibly good for freight in our nation....and was long overdue, too.

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue May 8 11:40:55 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by The Flxible Neofan on Tue May 8 09:40:29 2012.

Actually the planning started over a decade ago. Much of it is IMHO good. That said, there is a legacy as I wrote earlier of RR caused bottlenecks which the bean counters created by pennywise poundfoolish "economy" moves.
And on the political side, as I watch CSX for the second time in my life (B&O the first time) increase tunnel clearances, I note that in the 60s it was we the stockholders who paid for it, now these "pillars of the private sector" are in the Federal and state troughs for the Gateway Project just as NS was for the "Heartland Corridor". As a socialist, I don't object, BUT, when CSX or others sabotage passenger services, I am livid. Cash my checks? cooperate!

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 8 13:11:45 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue May 8 11:40:55 2012.

And on the political side, as I watch CSX for the second time in my life (B&O the first time) increase tunnel clearances, I note that in the 60s it was we the stockholders who paid for it, now these "pillars of the private sector" are in the Federal and state troughs for the Gateway Project just as NS was for the "Heartland Corridor"

You can thank the government for increasing the regulation thus making it harder.

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Alan Follett on Tue May 8 13:59:35 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Mon May 7 15:48:16 2012.

> Item, there used to be a viable short cut between ATSF and NYC
> entirely bypassing Chicago. Do BNSF and NS make use of this?

Actually there were two bypass lines that meet that description. There was the ex-Michigan Central Joliet Branch, passing about twenty miles south of central Chicago; and then, about fifty miles out, there was the Kankakee Belt Line, from South Bend to Zearing, Illinois, interchanging with the Santa Fe at Streator and Burlington at Zearing. The Joliet branch is long gone, but the Kankakee Route is still moderately busy, with 8-10 trains a day connecting NS and BNSF.

As a sidelight, in the mid-1950's Santa Fe and New York Central briefly considered running a through Century-Chief bypassing Chicago via the Joliet Branch.

Alan Follett
Hercules, CA


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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue May 8 14:45:25 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Alan Follett on Tue May 8 13:59:35 2012.

Thanks for clarifying. I remembered the Kankakee Belt but not the MC branch.

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue May 8 14:54:11 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 8 13:11:45 2012.

no, I don't mind the OSHA etc regs. (and in my view Don Blankenship should be tried on multiple first degree murder charges) I just point out that the "free market", "no room on our tracks for your passenger trains", folks are always ready to stamp FDO herein named payee. When Snow ran CSX he nixed MARC baseball specials to/from Baltimore on account interfering w/ CSX freights as if they were tightly scheduled.
(long time B&O, later Chessie System, now CSX stockholder)

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Dave on Tue May 8 17:16:25 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Alan Follett on Tue May 8 13:59:35 2012.

The Century bypassing Chicago? That would have made no sense. As it was the NYC carried a Chief/Super Chief sleeper or two from 1946 - 1954 but it never was a big seller, which is why it was discontinued.

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Joe V on Tue May 8 17:24:29 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue May 8 14:54:11 2012.

If I recall, there was some concern 10 years ago that MARC trains were to be booted off the Camden line entirely a few miles out of Baltimore.

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Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue May 8 19:32:26 2012, in response to Re: Rail project is Chicago looks to ease congestion, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Tue May 8 14:54:11 2012.

I just point out that the "free market", "no room on our tracks for your passenger trains", folks

. . . are not one and the same.

When Snow ran CSX he nixed MARC baseball specials to/from Baltimore on account interfering w/ CSX freights as if they were tightly scheduled

Snow was a "free trade" type, not "free market". Not the same thing. Big NAFTA supporter.

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