• Moving to one terminal per big city - wise?

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by justalurker66
 
Tadman wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:13 am No it's not. It's an artificial endpoint created in 1971.
Calling it artificial doesn't make it any less of an endpoint. Perhaps not your preferred endpoint, put the truth is CUS is the end of the line for every Amtrak train entering Chicago.
Tadman wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:13 am For a mile? There's space for another track as well if that's really your hangup.
There is no space for another track. Road construction a few decades ago took away track space on the east side of the yard. The busway took away space on the west side of the yard (crossing over in a tunnel Amtrak cannot use). The only "space" is airspace and they can't build above the grade level of the park.
Tadman wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:13 am I think you're speaking in broken English now, but this is easy.
Why must you keep throwing insults in with your posts?
Tadman wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:13 am IC corridor trains go back to the lakefront - Van Buren, Roosevelt, or Randolph. Two new switches.
Detroit trains can use LaSalle, which avoids the 55th street yards. No new infrastructure.
Quad Cities new start use the Rock all the way to LaSalle, avoiding handoff to CN and 21st street. No new infrastructure.
Rockford new start is ambiguous about routing, but run it on one host all the way downtown. No new infrastructure.
Where is the connection between NS and RI?
Where does three hours from each of these endpoints get passengers?
Tadman wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:13 am Perhaps you didnt' read my post earlier but we're going to do this the exact same way the Downeaster does it. If it works there, it works here.
The question of how the trains receive their required mechanical service has not been answered in this thread.
Tadman wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:15 am Keep in mind that the point of this thread is to solve a serious problem that occurs in a space from 10 miles out to downtown. This problem will never be solved otherwise. We can address station crowding, connections, mass transit, et al... but none will fix the main problem unless the trains go back to their natural stations.
So many of the historical stations are gone.
  by mtuandrew
 
Since Philadelphia came up earlier, I can’t overstate how much of a game-changer the Center City Commuter Connection has been for eastern Pennsylvania regional rail. It’s easy to access everything from heavy subway to subway-surface to PATCO to all parts of the SEPTA Regional Rail system. (Not all of it has been optimized or made user-friendly, but the idea is very sound.)

Chicago can’t use the rail portion of the CCCC as a model, except to punch more through tracks into Union Station and run trains between MD-N/W and BNSF & NCS and HC. However, it can and should use the pedestrian arcade as a model! The Chicago Pedway System is wholly inadequate, and should be modeled more like the Chicago Tunnel Company in terms of where the pedestrian walkways extend.

I’m also imagining a moving walkway belt system like that at Atlanta-Hartsfield International (among others) that would quickly take users the two blocks between Ogilvie and Union, the four blocks from Union to LaSalle, and the ten-ish blocks to connect with Metra Electric. In the absence of a transit system that connects all the stations, that’s a reasonable way to get through the city.
  by David Benton
 
Once grand crossing is done , a connection to the Cardinal route could be done here.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2 ... 87.6137372
Probably only worth it if multiple trains to Indiana were proposed.
  by mtuandrew
 
David Benton wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:54 pm Once grand crossing is done , a connection to the Cardinal route could be done here.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2 ... 87.6137372
Probably only worth it if multiple trains to Indiana were proposed.
“Once Grand Crossing is done” could be decades from now, not to mention the Norfolk Southern yard between Englewood and Grand Crossing is blocking the potential Amtrak passenger main. NS is already effectively hobbling all Amtrak traffic from the east; to alleviate that, any Grand Crossing project will also need to include a dedicated grade-separated two-track main all the way from the Nickel Plate Flyover/Duck-Under northwest to the Chicago River. (Or Amtrak will need to reroute its eastern lines elsewhere with less freight traffic, like the former Michigan Central or the current South Shore.)

Amtrak doesn’t have a better choice than Union Station from the east. LaSalle would work as a corridor terminus, but there’s still just about the same amount of intermodal interference as with the route direct to CUS. Why camp out next door when you can walk another five minutes and be at home?

The lines coming off the ex-Illinois Central route are a harder nut to crack, and I see why Tad is arguing for them to go elsewhere.
  by justalurker66
 
David Benton wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:54 pm Once grand crossing is done , a connection to the Cardinal route could be done here.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2 ... 87.6137372
Probably only worth it if multiple trains to Indiana were proposed.
The primary beneficiary of Grand Crossing is the CoNO and Carbondale trains. The reverse move to use the air line will be gone. The Cardinal improvement would be a bonus. The cost of Grand Crossing is too much for six trains per week. Six trains a day is a better bargain.

Amtrak does need to solve the issue with NS coming out of the yard at inopportune times. There are some options that would help. A new connection around the west side of the NS yard to the Metra tracks would reduce conflicts at the south end of the yard (in trade for conflicts at CP 518). There will always be conflict points - even if only one railroad is involved.

Most of the time it seems NS does its best to get Amtrak out of the way so they can run their railroad ... but there are times where I see odd moves that don't do Amtrak any favors. I have also seen a lot of odd moves that don't involve Amtrak. (Crossing over at one crossover then crossing back at the next with no train or track out of service between the interlockings.) The worst I saw was where a train was routed through two crossovers at the same interlocking where a non-diverging track was the direct route. The train stopped - the signal was pulled - the crossovers aligned to straight and the signal was returned to allow the train to pass. Adding at least 10 minutes to the train's run time.
  by west point
 
Let us see. Tunneling how many tracks ? That would be 12 - 14 thru tracks. You will need to start tunnel south of the Chicago River to have proper slopes and not interfeer with 14th street. So we are talking about starting at 2-1/2miles south and 2 miles north to go under Clinton street CP and then the need to have cross over tunnels to the various directions both north and south of Union Station.a
A WAG that would be some 70 miles of tunnel + the wide spots for platforms. Gothard tunnel work of that approximate length cost what ? Also note the rock under Chicago is not that soft.
  by west point
 
Note: With either more tracks and platforms above or below the present traks the tracks and platforms need to be approximately 20 car lengths both north and south of the main loading area. That way the USA can start having the length of individual trains that can enable all trains to each make a []REAL[] profit.
  by justalurker66
 
NONE of the Chicago regional trains need 20 car train lengths. But I agree, additional tracks at another level (above or below) would be difficult. The current non-fantasy plans to reconstruct CUS are at least in the realm of possible.
  by mtuandrew
 
So to recap, it sounds like Chicago Union Station needs

1) much more flow-through capacity (not a fleet of 20-car platforms, sorry west point)
2) a dedicated passenger-friendly approach from the south and east (probably but not necessarily government-owned), like those from the north and west (which split the difference between government and corporate ownership without apparent operational issue)


and more controversially

3) shared ownership and control of CUS between Amtrak and Metra
  by Pensyfan19
 
If we are going with the option of having numerous terminals for Chicago, which I think we might be with the proposal for One Central pretty much bringing back Central Station, then why not restore Grand Central? I saw a proposal for Midwest high speed service terminating at a restored Chicago Grand Central Station.

http://mglmarchitects.com/?/work/instit ... l-terminal

Here is One Central by the way: https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/ ... story.html
  by west point
 
I will admit for more flow thru capacity. However if Amtrak does not plan for a future more than 5 years then what long term future will there be when capacity is again limited. The 20 car platform issue makes it possible for 2 - 10 car trains to use the same track. The possibility of a major increase of the total number of Amtrak trains in and out of CHI is certainly in the future possibilities.
That is of course if this Covid-19 problem can be solved ?
  by justalurker66
 
mtuandrew wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:40 pm So to recap, it sounds like Chicago Union Station needs
1) much more flow-through capacity (not a fleet of 20-car platforms, sorry west point)
Flow-through for Amtrak? Probably not. There is a local push to let Metra service flow through the station, creating a one train reverse commute for local passengers living on one side of the city and working on the other side of the city. Metra is generally designed for city workers living in the suburbs with some in city stations.

If there ever is a coordinated Midwest rail offering there could be run through Amtrak trains. Decentralization would not help run through plans.
mtuandrew wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:40 pm 2) a dedicated passenger-friendly approach from the south and east (probably but not necessarily government-owned), like those from the north and west (which split the difference between government and corporate ownership without apparent operational issue)
Not an impossible feat. All it takes is money and desire.
mtuandrew wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:40 pm 3) shared ownership and control of CUS between Amtrak and Metra
Cooperation is all that is needed.
  by justalurker66
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:26 pm If we are going with the option of having numerous terminals for Chicago, which I think we might be with the proposal for One Central pretty much bringing back Central Station, then why not restore Grand Central? I saw a proposal for Midwest high speed service terminating at a restored Chicago Grand Central Station.

http://mglmarchitects.com/?/work/instit ... l-terminal

Here is One Central by the way: https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/ ... story.html
Grand Central relies on a railroad that is not likely to be built and rail access over land the developer does not control. One Central is not far behind in that regard. It is over an existing rail line but not one providing the service in the plan.

Here is what is actually under construction at the Grand Central Station location.
https://southbankchicago.com/
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Well, Mr. Lurker....'bout time!!

And for ready reference, here is what was chopped down on that site, back when Mr. Lurker was a 4yo. and when site was a term within the real estate community and not the on-line:

https://images.app.goo.gl/X9D1DcCFCNtTyTsH9
  by STrRedWolf
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:45 am Well, Mr. Lurker....'bout time!!

And for ready reference, here is what was chopped down on that site, back when Mr. Lurker was a 4yo. and when site was a term within the real estate community and not the on-line:

https://images.app.goo.gl/X9D1DcCFCNtTyTsH9
And an appearance of Chessie the C&O cat! :D
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