• Update CREATE

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by Gilbert B Norman
Even if a glacier can outrun progress on the CREATE project aimed to relieve both freight and passenger train congestion in and around Chicago, the Wall Street Journal has printed an article (First Section Page 3) regarding the project. There is other related discussion to the project, but it appears under topics such as NS-CP Merger proposals and various passenger train related. Since NS-CP is "off the table', there appeared to be no other topic at which to place this material:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/traffic-ja ... 1493126761" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use:
CHICAGO—This city’s most famous poet, Carl Sandburg, called Chicago the “nation’s freight handler.” That title stands true today.

Every day, some 300,000 commuters on two dozen passenger train lines converge in Chicago, where they share limited real estate with six major railroad lines and 30,000 to 50,000 freight cars, or roughly 25% of the country’s freight rail traffic.

Chicago is the country’s No. 1 hub for freight traffic and No. 2 for commuter train lines—and its problems can bog down the whole system. Over the years, the city’s densely populated neighborhoods, grinding local politics and a host of infrastructure issues have kept trains from running on time. Road traffic and shared rail lines between commuter and freight systems have created the worst rail backlogs in the country. In 2003, it could take trains as long as 43 hours to crawl through Chicago, in some cases at five miles an hour.

That same year, city and state officials and railroad industry representatives undertook a $4.4 billion program called Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (or Create) to tackle rail congestion, point by point. Backers of the project estimate it will yield some $31.5 billion in economic benefits over the life of the project.

The program has grown to include 70 projects, 28 of them completed, including overpasses where passenger train and car traffic overlap, track upgrades and better coordination of shared tracks.
Here is an overview of the project, lest anyone, such as this author, needs to "get up to speed":

http://www.createprogram.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by lpetrich
I must say that I'm impressed with its progress. The Indiana Belt Line's projects are nearly complete, while completion elsewhere is more patchy. It looks like they are getting ready to build the north-south CSX part of the 75th St. project. The CSX tracks will be going on a flyover over 71th St. and over the east-west tracks at Forest Hill Junction. The 75th St. project even has its own home page: 75th St. CIP. Another project with its own home page is Grand Crossing Rail Project

I looked at some of the incomplete projects with Google Maps, and I found some at-grade junctions between rail lines. At least some of the projects involve building flyovers for some of the tracks. Will most of Chicago's junctions be getting flyovers?
  by eolesen
CREATE has been a success so far. There's room for more projects, such as a flyover at A2 to eliminate what's one of the busiest commuter junctions in the country.

I keep hoping I'll live long enough to see grade separation of the EJ&E/CN in Barrington show up on the CREATE list, but it's not high enough volume compared to other junctions far more deserving.
  by Gilbert B Norman
The first time I was in Chicago, save a DEN-OMA-MDW-CLE-PIT-LGA during 1957, was April 1961 on a college visit journey. I arrived on the B&O Capitol Limited (why I picked it for my "maiden voyage" I know not; Mom and Dad were prepared to pay Sleeper any train).

I was astounded and appalled at how I was coming to "The Railroad Capital" and we were "picking and thumping" our way over one "diamond" and "grade" X-ing or the other. When later in my college days. I had journeys on the Century and B'way, there were still X'ings to pick your way over, even though I must note that the flyover of the Rock Island at Englewood has alleviated things for Amtrak operations on the PRR.

In short as I noted earlier. THE ONLY access/exit from CUS thst halfway resembles what you routinely find overseas is that of the C,B,&Q with "my" MILW a close second.
  by ExCon90
I'm trying to picture Grand Crossing in the 19th century, before the grade separation there. How many diamonds? Dispatching passenger trains in Chicago must have been a nightmare day in and day out for over a century. I suppose that before CREATE there was no way of getting all the railroads together in a room to coordinate things, and almost all the choke points involved three or more.