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: metraRI, JamesT4

  by STrRedWolf
 
This came across Reddit: Streetsblog Chicago's article on the project.

https://chi.streetsblog.org/2021/05/14/ ... -tracking/
Friday, April 30, marked the end of an era for the city of Michigan City, Indiana. For over 100 years, South Shore Line passenger trains traveled, streetcar-like, in the middle of the street through the city center, dropping off passengers in the middle of the road at the 11th Street station. The setup dates back to the line’s origin as an interurban train, something of a tram-commuter train hybrid that treveled on the streets in some areas and on a separate right of way in others. The line used to have several street-running sections, but Michigan City section outlasted all the others.

On May 1, the station was closed to allow the North Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which runs the South Shore, to ramp up work on turning that section into something that looks more like a commuter railroad, with two tracks on separate rights of way. The stop will get wheelchair-and-bike-friendly high-level platforms and a new station house.
  by justalurker66
 
The setup dates back to the line’s origin as an interurban train, something of a tram-commuter train hybrid that treveled on the streets in some areas and on a separate right of way in others.
The South Shore was, and arguably still is an interurban railroad. But that description is somewhat insulting. The South Shore was built like a steam line. Heavier carriages than trams and not "wrapped around courthouses" like trolleys. They had street running and served city centers like the trams and trolleys. But they were built like a big railroad ... which may explain why they are still around (or were still around when NICTD was formed).

I am glad to see the South Shore be able to keep the downtown station ... and one way street next to their rails. Their other street running was in East Chicago (bypassed by the interstate side running in 1956) and South Bend (cut to the edge of the city in 1970. There are efforts underway to return the South Shore to downtown South Bend - although a few blocks south of their LaSalle St destination. It is a thriving railroad that hopefully will be around for another 100+ years. Perhaps with flying train cars, but a long history ahead.