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The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 21:17:43 2009

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Well, checking Chicago-L.org yesterday, I seen a link they had to an article by the Chicago Sun-Times, about a 15.5 BILLION dollar plan (The Chicago Central Area Action Plan) to bring improvements to downtown Chicago, slated to be constructed through 2020 (around the time Chicago goes for the 2016 Olympics, which they say these plans would be done with or without it). The article is below.


City plans $15.5B in downtown projects

March 31, 2009
BY DAVID ROEDER AND FRAN SPIELMAN droeder@suntimes.com fspielman@suntimes.com

A draft of Chicago's plans for the city's central area through 2020 calls for $15.5 billion in public works, mostly for transportation improvements, and asserts the projects are attainable with or without the 2016 Olympics.

The projects include a West Loop transit hub beneath Clinton Street with an estimated price tag of almost $6 billion. The hub would connect Metra and CTA rail and bus lines with a proposed Carroll Street rail line, itself a $260 million item, near the north bank of the Chicago River.

Other big-ticket items include $1.5 billion for CTA express train service to the airports and a $500 million for a landscaped roof over the Kennedy Expy. from Monroe to Washington around which new office buildings could be added. A $377 million plan foresees moving part of Lake Shore Drive east from Navy Pier to the Oak Street curve, creating space for bike and pedestrian paths.

The city's share of the total $15.5 billion cost should be in the range of $6 billion to $8 billion, the report said. Most of the money would come from tax-increment financing, a property tax source that diverts money from regular government expenses. The rest would have to be drawn from state and federal aid or corporate deals, it said.

The authors, principally officials with city planning agencies or consultants working for them, said the proposed expenses aren't out of line with recent budgets for capital projects.

Called the Chicago Central Area Action Plan, the draft has been posted on the Web site of the city's Zoning and Land Use Planning Department. Its appearance this year observes the centennial of Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago.

The report will be discussed Thursday at an open meeting. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Erie Cafe, 536 W. Erie.


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I don't get how they were able to do this, with the CTA having bad money problems....anyway, here are some of the plans mentioned in the Chapter 2: Transportation PDF on the article page:

1) The Clinton St Subway (Priced at 3 Billion) would branch off the Red Line south of North/Clyborn Station, run along the riverfront on the west side of the river, cross the river south of Grand Av, run down Clinton St, and merge unto the Red Line north of Cermak/Chinatown Station (It would merge north of 18 St and the Midway Line flyover). Stops seem to include:

Division St
Chicago Av
Grand Av
Chicago Union Station (With connections to the new transitway, bicycle station, and of course, Metra and Amtrak)
Clinton/Congress (Transfer to the current Blue Line station, I assume)
Roosevelt Road (?)


2) The 4 Transitways seem to be a mini Light Rail system, that goes around Downtown, along Clinton (would be above the the Clinton St Subway line), Monroe St, the Lakefront (with a spur heading further south than Monroe), and Carroll Av.


3) The West Loop Transportation Center at Chicago Union Station would connect the Transitway loop, Clinton St Subway, Bicycle Station, Metra, Amtrak, and other pedestrian services. Saw no sign that Ogilvie Transportation Center or Clinton Station on the Green and Pink lines would be connected


4) Also included are plans for In-fill stations on existing CTA 'L' lines:

-Morgan (Green/Pink Lines on Lake St, I mentioned this a while back, and is most likely to be built out of the In-fills; timeline of 2008-2012)
-Division (Brown/Purple Lines on the North Side 'L', timeline of 2012-2016)
-Clark/18 (Orange Line, and may be provisioned to be used for possible future Circle Line service; timeline of 2016-2020)
-Cermak Road or 18 St (Green Line, on the South Side 'L"; timeline of 2012-2016)


5) Express Rail service to O'Hare and Midway Airports along the Blue and Orange Lines, respectively


6) The CREATE program, which would remove at-grade rail crossings and certain at-grade rail crossings around Chicago(?). This would allow more expanded or reliable service to the southern suburbs (Could go hand in hand with the Southeast service mentioned below, or the Rock Island line)


Other plans included in the PDF are some we know of already:

CTA Signal and Capacity Upgrades
Metra Capacity Upgrades
CTA Extensions for the Red, Orange, and Yellow Lines
CTA Circle Line
Metra Southeast Line from Chicago LaSalle Station
STAR Line

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Below are links to the article above, and the Transportation PDF where I got this information, respectively. There are other PDFs on the article's page about the the plan as well, and are also worth the look, IMO.

ARTICLE

Transportation

Thanks for looking, and let the conversation begin! :-)

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Thu Apr 2 22:15:03 2009, in response to The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 21:17:43 2009.

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I saw it this last weekend, some of it is do-able and some of it is dreamland. What it seems to be is an all-time collection of all the transportation projects in the region to present to the selection committee of the 2016 Summer Olympics. In other words propaganda, it'll never see the light of day for the most part.

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 22:21:06 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Thu Apr 2 22:15:03 2009.

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Yeah, I thought the same too when I noticed the first few lines :-P But weren't they close to even cutting the Green Line? I don't know how they meant it, closing the entire line (AGAIN), or cutting service...

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Thu Apr 2 22:45:31 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 22:21:06 2009.

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What do you mean..."closing the entire line (AGAIN)"? Where did you read that?

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Apr 2 22:46:14 2009, in response to The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 21:17:43 2009.

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You gotta be kidding me. Just as porky as THAT Tunnel. You'd expect to see the CNS&M and CA&E rebuilt for all that dough (with underground segments in place of street running at the outlying cities too), as well as Hiawatha service plus trains to St. Louis and Detroit converted to low-platform Acela (electrified, too!) . . . and how about that rail extension to Green Bay WI?

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Newkirk Plaza David on Thu Apr 2 22:47:01 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Thu Apr 2 22:45:31 2009.

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Wasn't the eastern end of the Green line closed in the 1990's for renovations?

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by WillD on Thu Apr 2 23:00:26 2009, in response to The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 21:17:43 2009.

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So all those billions of dollars and not a dime to expand Metra's electrification? The CNW-W will be doing 80 TPD, which is damn close to NJT's NJCL, and the CNW-NW line isn't too far behind. EMUs, or at least ALP46As hauling around those Gallery cars would make it lot easier for Metra's trains to get out of UP's way, especially on the West line. Hell, the Milwaukee West line is at about 78 trains per day right now, and the Rock Island is just behind the CNW-NW line for TPD. If the NJCL justified an extension of electrification then surely Metra's lines are approaching the same level of service.

And why the hell are they persisting with this O'hare Express pie-in-the-sky scheme? They have a commuter network. Hell, they have a pretty goddamn good commuter network and the Metra North Central line passes within a quarter mile of the airport. Are they completely blind to what London, Frankfurt, and other cities have done with combined Metro/Commuter/Intercity rail connections to their airport? They need to break their fixation with one mode and explore alternate possibilities. A mile long tunnel from the NCS line under the International Terminal and on to the main terminal along with a few extra tracks and some flying junctions cannot possibly approach the extreme cost of the proposed Blue Line improvements for the express service.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Thu Apr 2 23:14:19 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by Newkirk Plaza David on Thu Apr 2 22:47:01 2009.

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Not just the eastern end but the entire Green line was shut down. From Lake/Harlem to Ashland & 63rd and Dorchester and East 63rd. The steel was completely reworked except of course east of Cottage Grove and around the Loop "L".

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 23:27:04 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Thu Apr 2 22:45:31 2009.

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I found that article off Chicago-L.org also, in one of the Chicago newspapers. I just tried to find it, but I can't remember which newspaper it was...but it mentioned Green line service possibly being in trouble, but that it was just one idea for the budgets cuts. Sorry for the foggy answer, it was a while back.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Thu Apr 2 23:38:21 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 23:27:04 2009.

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OK..not connected to this plan at all.

That was related to some of the financial failures nationwide and had to do with the financing of some of the Green line rehab and the purchase of the 3200 series rail cars. Similar scenarios happened in other cities too.

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Fri Apr 3 04:37:09 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by WillD on Thu Apr 2 23:00:26 2009.

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It could be that UP don't want catenary as it messes with their clearances for freight.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Fri Apr 3 05:40:52 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Fri Apr 3 04:37:09 2009.

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It could be that UP don't want catenary as it messes with their clearances for freight.

Interestingly, I've seen CSX double stacks run underneath the wire at Norristown on the R6, so one could argue that it's doable...

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Fri Apr 3 09:05:04 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Fri Apr 3 05:40:52 2009.

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Yeah, but a certain RR is being asinine about just this in California...

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by RIPTA42HopeTunnel on Fri Apr 3 09:39:22 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by WillD on Thu Apr 2 23:00:26 2009.

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So all those billions of dollars and not a dime to expand Metra's electrification?

Why would the Central Area Action Plan by the City of Chicago Department of Zoning and Land Use Planning have anything to say about Metra? It's a land use plan for downtown, not a TIP.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Fri Apr 3 11:36:46 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by WillD on Thu Apr 2 23:00:26 2009.

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Metra Electric doesn't have much territory it could expand into, short of a new third airport at Peotone. The new Metra Southeast line on the UP to the east boxes Metra Electric on that side and the Metra CRI&P boxes them in on that side.

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Fri Apr 3 11:46:26 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by WillD on Thu Apr 2 23:00:26 2009.

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WillD said, "And why the hell are they persisting with this O'hare Express pie-in-the-sky scheme? They have a commuter network. Hell, they have a pretty goddamn good commuter network and the Metra North Central line passes within a quarter mile of the airport."

Check your maps again. That 1/4 mile is to the outside fence...not the terminal which is over a mile away....quite a walk pulling roller baggage behind you. And please don't suggest a bus shuttle. Metra would only become a serious consideration when and if their tracks were at the terminal.

And there is NO Metra near Midway at all.

The CTA Airport Express is at least presently located at both airport terminals. Running an express/local serevice on two tracks is gimpy, but like our California contributor who loves to live in the past golden eras would surely agree, the CA&E did it on the old Garfield Park "L".

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by RIPTA42HopeTunnel on Fri Apr 3 13:29:09 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Fri Apr 3 11:46:26 2009.

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Check your maps again. That 1/4 mile is to the outside fence...not the terminal which is over a mile away....quite a walk pulling roller baggage behind you. And please don't suggest a bus shuttle. Metra would only become a serious consideration when and if their tracks were at the terminal.

There already is a bus shuttle. FWIW, the O'Hare Modernization Program calls for extending the ATS to the Metra station.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Fri Apr 3 13:29:40 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Fri Apr 3 11:36:46 2009.

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in a smarter world, Metra would be moving toward electrifying dense routes. Beyond the 'green' aspects EMU's accelerate decelerate faster/better and w/ regen braking can return some power rather than dumping heat through DB grids.
As to Metra expansion, 'Bishop Ford' via CSS&SB, and, if NICTD, State of Indiana ever get off the dime, the Valpo extension

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by RIPTA42HopeTunnel on Fri Apr 3 13:30:08 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Fri Apr 3 11:36:46 2009.

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Metra Electric doesn't have much territory it could expand into, short of a new third airport at Peotone. The new Metra Southeast line on the UP to the east boxes Metra Electric on that side and the Metra CRI&P boxes them in on that side.

He's talking about electrifying existing diesel lines, not providing any actual new service.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Fri Apr 3 13:37:31 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by RIPTA42HopeTunnel on Fri Apr 3 13:30:08 2009.

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actually ALL should look again at the (citizen not overpaid consultant) Gray Line proposal.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Fri Apr 3 17:01:08 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by RIPTA42HopeTunnel on Fri Apr 3 13:29:09 2009.

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And Metra would have what headway between trains to the downtown versus the CTA's 24 hour Blue line??

Not to mention how da Mayor gonna pay for it...right now they're barely above water trying to get the new runways finished. Oh wait a minute...I know...the city will sell the garbage cans in the alleys.....like the parking meters...like Midway....like the Toll Bridge...like (what's next on the list).

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by WillD on Fri Apr 3 23:43:05 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by RIPTA42HopeTunnel on Fri Apr 3 09:39:22 2009.

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They mention a number of Metra improvement projects which are not directly related to downtown Chicago. Improvement of Metra's network through electrification and other things could have a definite impact on the city center area.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by WillD on Sat Apr 4 00:12:59 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Fri Apr 3 11:46:26 2009.

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That 1/4 mile is to the outside fence...not the terminal which is over a mile away....quite a walk pulling roller baggage behind you. And please don't suggest a bus shuttle. Metra would only become a serious consideration when and if their tracks were at the terminal.

That's fine. I was in no way saying they should simply utilize O'hare transfer station. Instead it'd make more sense to take the existing Metra infrastructure and use it in concert with a new tunnel through O'hare to provide direct service to both the International and Domestic terminals. It's maybe a mile and a quarter from the Metra tracks to the Domestic terminal, and at more than 500 million dollars a mile for a tunnel the project could likely be completed for no more than a billion dollars. Any plan that involves the Blue line will bypass the International Terminal and keep those passengers as second class citizens. The Metra line will inevitably provide a faster trip into the city than even an express line could hope to, for less money.

And there is NO Metra near Midway at all.

No, but there's a freight line on just the other side of the CTA's Orange Line. It would not be too difficult to use that line to take a spur off the Metra Heritage Corridor Line to run down to the Midway station and integrate into an expanded terminal station.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by RonInBayside on Sat Apr 4 00:23:19 2009, in response to The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by EastSideRider on Thu Apr 2 21:17:43 2009.

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Interesting list. I like the idea of finally bringing subway service to Union Station. Having been there a few times, I must say I felt a little weird being in a major Amtrak/commuter rail station and not having a subway to which to transfer. With the exception of Miami, and Kansas City, all the big train stations I've been to have both commuter rail or Amtrak and subway service (I'm not including the ones I have not been to).

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 4 00:52:31 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Fri Apr 3 11:36:46 2009.

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I believe he's talking about electrifying Metra's diesel lines independently from Metra Electric. You know, put ALP-46s on the point of the push-pull gallery cars and all; erect 25kV 60Hz wires out of Union, LaSalle and Northwest Ogilvie stations.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 4 00:53:08 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by Jackson Park B Train on Fri Apr 3 13:29:40 2009.

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Electrification doesn't necessarily mean EMU.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 4 00:54:34 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Fri Apr 3 05:40:52 2009.

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Yes, and that happens on the Trenton Line as well.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sat Apr 4 01:08:58 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 4 00:53:08 2009.

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True, but EMU commuter trains have some operational advantages over locomotive hauled trains.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by WillD on Sat Apr 4 01:09:33 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 4 00:53:08 2009.

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It is worth noting that even an ALP46 hauled coach train would accelerate better than any equal length train with a diesel locomotive on the head end. It certainly would be a bit easier on dispatchers to have the Metra trains get out of the way of freight trains that much faster with ALP hauled trains.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 10:18:57 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by WillD on Fri Apr 3 23:43:05 2009.

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Which is a major reason why I feel the announcement was aimed at the Olympics committee judging who should win the bid for 2016. I live here. There is absolutely NO MOVEMENT, NO THOUGHT by local officials to extend electrification. You want us to look like New York?? In their minds there is nothing wrong with diesel powered trains.

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 10:32:19 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by WillD on Sat Apr 4 00:12:59 2009.

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The People Mover already connects International with the Blue line. Metra would never run the headways found on the Blue line 24 hours. Metra isn't 24 hours either.

That freight line, all surface operation mostly is a busy transfer between CN, UP, and the Belt RR's giant Clearing Yard and has no room for Metra.

Besides, Chicago doesn't think like that. Planning is governed by da mayor's private wishes and he alone diverts monies into private funds known to no one. Prsently everything is oriented to the Summer Olympics.

Now back in the 70's there was the planned I-490 Crosstown Expwy which could have have transit in the median. Don't ask me to tell you the tragedy here. I-490 would have been an Airport Express easily. From time to time the idea of a "transitway" surfaces. That would connect I-290 with I-94 and parallel the Belt Railway going pass Midway.

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 10:40:50 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by Olog-hai on Sat Apr 4 00:52:31 2009.

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Too much expense to accomplish what????

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 10:45:44 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by WillD on Sat Apr 4 01:09:33 2009.

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That is a false notion .....that Metra trains need to get out of the way of freight trains. From what I understand, freight operations are presently limited in the two rush hours. Faster accelerating commuter trains would not shorten those rush hours to any consequence, so therefore the huge expenditure for electrification would need other goals.

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 14:04:35 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by RonInBayside on Sat Apr 4 00:23:19 2009.

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Technically there is subway service...a two block WALK to the Clinton station on the Blue line. Historically it has to do with how and where Union Station was located from the beginning. That said, remember Chicago was eventually "blessed" with six downtown "Union Stations" so historically who could predict which one the survivor would be and plan transit accordingly. Remember too, the downtown transit lines were all in place by the turn of the century and the two subways, yes Chicago only has two subways downtown, were set in place in the late 1930's.

Union Station did have transit at its door before the second subway was implemented....Canal ST station on the Metropolitan "L".

Most other cities only had their one or two "Union/main stations" so transit planning was easier to predict.

Chicago transit plans since the 1950s has had an east-west Monroe ST subway that would have given door to door service to Union Station, but all those plans fell by the wayside.

I will be the first to admit that a glaring fault of CTA's "L" system is that it doesn't go to 2/3 the places people want to go to. But turning to the other thought in this thread, I don't see the fascination some have voiced over Metra, for instance saying that Metra should connect the two city airports instead of the CTA, or that Metra should be electrified.

David Harrison

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sat Apr 4 15:05:59 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 14:04:35 2009.

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Electrification??? When we get serious about energy, I would like to hope we will have gigawatts of Solar PV, wind, hydro w/o major fishkills, etc. Besides I happen to love catenary, and "juice jacks" Oh, and looking back at Chicago history, the IC was done at city demand--which is why they had freight switch motors as well. The other RR's were waivered by Depression bankruptcies, and "clean" diesels.

Now, as to Metra v CTA, this obsolete class based differential needs to disappear. To me the Metra routes are "super expresses" in the sense that they make few stops within the city limits but in many cases go via similar routes(Lake Street--Green Line for younger folks), C&NW to Evanston, and of course the ex IC. So, I believe an 'all you can eat' CTA pass should be good on any Metra train within CTA fare limits. The point here is to increase rider options/convenience, and just maybe a few more people will leave their cars parked at home more often.
As to your point about missing locations, indeed, CTA is about 50 years behind the curve. The entire west of the River office boom has been ignored other than a couple bus line changes.
Airports???, CTA could use express tracks in regular daily operations on both the Red and Blue trunks--the money isn't there and besides a West Side N-S crosstown around Western (proposed in the 50's IIRC) might well be a better investment. Maybe the old PRR Panhandle ROW which today is high voltage lines only could be used so as to minimise residential disruption.

Richard II will decide.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Kew Gardens Teleport on Sat Apr 4 16:09:26 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 14:04:35 2009.

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But turning to the other thought in this thread, I don't see the fascination some have voiced over Metra, for instance saying that Metra should connect the two city airports instead of the CTA, or that Metra should be electrified.

The direct comparator of a very large city with too many termini and commuter rail with variable electrification is London. There a lot more use is made of commuter rail as a workaround for the Underground being inadequately developed.

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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 17:09:52 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by Jackson Park B Train on Sat Apr 4 15:05:59 2009.

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Posted by Jackson Park B Train

Electrification??? When we get serious about energy, I would like to hope we will have gigawatts of Solar PV, wind, hydro w/o major fishkills, etc. Besides I happen to love catenary, and "juice jacks" ...


Ah,HAH...someone finally admits the REAL reason, LOL. You da man for dat.

Now, as to Metra v CTA, this obsolete class based differential needs to disappear. To me the Metra routes are "super expresses" in the sense that they make few stops within the city limits but in many cases go via similar routes(Lake Street--Green Line for younger folks), C&NW to Evanston, and of course the ex IC. So, I believe an 'all you can eat' CTA pass should be good on any Metra train within CTA fare limits. The point here is to increase rider options/convenience, and just maybe a few more people will leave their cars parked at home more often.

It's just that Metra never runs the headways as the CTA does.

As to your point about missing locations, indeed, CTA is about 50 years behind the curve. The entire west of the River office boom has been ignored other than a couple bus line changes.

We're in agreement then. The Franklin Street subway in the 70's would have.

Airports???, CTA could use express tracks in regular daily operations on both the Red and Blue trunks--the money isn't there and besides a West Side N-S crosstown around Western (proposed in the 50's IIRC) might well be a better investment. Maybe the old PRR Panhandle ROW which today is high voltage lines only could be used so as to minimise residential disruption.

It was Cicero, not Western, along the Belt RR. The Blue line now rebuilt and re-signaled would have a 70 MPH top speed. The Orange line could be brought up to 70 MPH too. Unfortunately the CTA has not proved capable of maintaining track at that level. I don't know what top speeds could be set in the subway. The elevated would probably remain 55 MPH. That would improve regular and any express service.

Richard II will decide.

He's only interested in 2016 and after that he's leaving. Maybe sooner if the Feds can find some mistake he's made. Anyway, he's sold just about everything in the city raising cash to be squirreled away except our garbage cans, LOL.

David Harrison






Richard II will decide.



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Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic)

Posted by Steve B-8AVEXP on Sat Apr 4 21:44:53 2009, in response to Re: The Chicago Central Area Action Plan (On-topic), posted by ChicagoPCCLCars on Sat Apr 4 14:04:35 2009.

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OTOH CSL streetcars went just about everywhere during their heyday.

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