Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

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  by qboy
 
doepack wrote:UP has selected a proposed location for one set of crossovers in Wheaton, which will require the closure of a grade crossing. For more details...
That seems to make the most since. Some of us at work were wondering how the plant would be situated east of Wheaton station. Closing that xing makes sense now with the size of typical plant.
  by JohnD1
 
Interesting that they won't work around the existing crossing...
In the linked article: "Officials said one benefit of the project is [that] the Illinois Commerce Commission wants to close as many grade crossings as possible"

In fact, this was my first thought that this location was intentionally chosen to obstruct a grade crossing.
  by doepack
 
JohnD1 wrote:
Interesting that they won't work around the existing crossing...
In the linked article: "Officials said one benefit of the project is [that] the Illinois Commerce Commission wants to close as many grade crossings as possible"

In fact, this was my first thought that this location was intentionally chosen to obstruct a grade crossing.
UP selected the Chase St. crossing as the location for the new interlocking plant because it is one of the few crossings in Wheaton that doesn't have a lot of vehicle traffic. Students and faculty at nearby Wheaton College would be most affected by the closure, but there will be a pedestrian tunnel built under the tracks as part of the project which should mitigate the disruption...
  by doepack
 
This weekend, UP is cutting over the new wayside signals between Wheaton and West Chicago. During the ongoing testing, everything is moving through here at restricted speeds, and causing delays of at least 30 min. to Metra service. The Form B limits (the area where the work is being done) is currently between MP 30.16 and MP 24.9, which leads me to believe there will be more testing next week, for the other new signals in Glen Ellyn and Lombard...
  by EJ&ESDM809
 
Have the new crossovers east of Wheaton or in Lombard been put in yet? I don't think any signals east of Wheaton would be cut over until the new crossovers are put in. All the signals from Wheaton to West Chicago seem to be intermediates so it would make sense for UP to cut those over earlier.
  by doepack
 
You could be right about that; the new crossovers still haven't gone in yet. As a side note, CPY029 (Turner interlocking) remains OOS for the time being as testing continues...
  by doepack
 
Lots of MOW work on UP/W around Lombard these days (official form B limits are between MP 19.75 and MP 19), as preparations have finally begun for the installation of the new crossovers. New ties, plus other various MOW equipment can be seen along the north side of the ROW, with the work concentrated in approx. a 1/2 mile stretch between Grace St. and the Metra Lombard depot. In fact, it's just west of where the CGW (Chicago Great Western) once crossed the CNW on an elevated ROW, and although the tracks are long gone, parts of the truncated ROW still exist to the immediate east and west at the intersection of St. Charles Road and Grace St. (with the former running parallel to the UP ROW on the south side through the eastern half of Lombard, before jogging to the north side at Grace St.) Getting pictures of the work is a challenge, however, due to the relative inaccessibility of the work area, and although there are commuter parking lots on both sides of the ROW, there are only limited vantage points available, and you really can't see that much. By far, the best views of the work can be seen from the front cab car window of any Metra train through the area.

Also, just to recap, the new intermediate signals at MP28.5 (approach for the absolutes at Turner, CPY029), plus those at 27.5, 26.5, & 25.5 were activated over the summer. The other new signals at MP23.25, 22.25 (right atop Park Blvd. in Glen Ellyn), 21.25, and 20.5 (just west of Finley Rd. in Lombard) are still dark with hoods on the masts, awaiting completion of the new interlocking...
  by doepack
 
Just a lil' update...

The form B limits have expanded, now between MP18.5 (just west of Addison Rd. in Villa Park) and MP20 (Lombard depot). There's survey work going in the vicinity of 18.5, so I'm guessing this could be where the new signals for the eastbound approach to the new interlocking will be located, can't confirm that right now, unfortunately. Also, the new ties and rail at Lombard are gradually disappearing, as they're being built into switches for the new interlocking. Speaking of which, word via a reliable source says that the new switches could be cut in by the end of the year, but that CPY019 Lombard won't actually come online until early 2011...
  by doepack
 
The hoods are coming off of the four remaining new intermediates east of Wheaton, and will be coming online this weekend, as reported here. With traffic pretty much grinding to a virtual halt due to the ensuing restricted speed delays, Metra service on BNSF & Milwaukee west will be better, and quicker alternatives. Also, the grade crossing at Grace St. in Lombard will be closed, and will remain closed for 14 days, or so the construction sign says; meaning it should reopen by Thanksgiving...
  by doepack
 
The crossovers for the new interlocking are being laid, with the first two now in place on track 3 (south main, normally signaled for westbound traffic) between 19.25 and 19.5. When traveling westbound, the first turnout at 19.25 is a facing point switch, with a trailing point switch at 19.5, and both of course are pointing toward the center track; the orientation suggests a universal crossover configuration when complete. I did see two other completed turnouts along the north side of the ROW, so these should be going in soon. Meanwhile, the center track has been frequently used for all inbound traffic during midday, roughly between 1030am & 330pm, and as such, Metra trains 44 through 52 are being affected with minor delays; however all three tracks were in use today. Also heard rumors that new intermediates for westbounds will be going up on the existing bridge at MP16.4 (currently the eastbound only approach signals for Park interlocking, just east of the Elmhurst depot), but haven't seen anything to confirm that yet.

Grace St. remains closed for the time being...
  by TrainManUPRR
 
EJ&ESDM809 wrote:Supposedly all the pedestrian gate "enhancements" are supposed to be put online on March 1st.
That's what they're saying to us also. Once they're turned on the freight trains won't have to stop and wait while a Metra train is loading/unloading in a station- we'll just be going right on through.
  by qboy
 
TrainManUPRR wrote:
EJ&ESDM809 wrote:Supposedly all the pedestrian gate "enhancements" are supposed to be put online on March 1st.
That's what they're saying to us also. Once they're turned on the freight trains won't have to stop and wait while a Metra train is loading/unloading in a station- we'll just be going right on through.
Well there will still be some exceptions to this! Bellwood, Berkley, Lombard, and Wheaton will still have GCOR 6.30 in effect till those stations receive there upgrades at later dates. Also when we run track 2 same rules will apply for the time being!
  by TrainManUPRR
 
qboy wrote:Well there will still be some exceptions to this! Bellwood, Berkley, Lombard, and Wheaton will still have GCOR 6.30 in effect till those stations receive there upgrades at later dates. Also when we run track 2 same rules will apply for the time being!
Never noticed they didn't do anything to those stations- but now that you mention it you're right. Have you heard when they expect to get those upgraded?
  by AMTKHawkeye
 
Well there will still be some exceptions to this! Bellwood, Berkley, Lombard, and Wheaton will still have GCOR 6.30 in effect till those stations receive there upgrades at later dates. Also when we run track 2 same rules will apply for the time being!
Never noticed they didn't do anything to those stations- but now that you mention it you're right. Have you heard when they expect to get those upgraded?
While I cannot claim factual knowledge on this case, my supposition would be that improvements to these stations are being held back in light of other coming improvements: new crossovers in Lombard and Wheaton, and installing a third main through Bellwood and Berkeley. Why spend the time and money now when it would just have to be ripped out again in short order?
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