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: JamesT4, metraRI

  by justalurker66
 
mtuandrew wrote:BrianLM: not if they put the wire high enough. CSX runs double-stacks under live SEPTA wire in Philadelphia, so CN and NICTD shouldn't have a problem.
I was wondering if a double-stack clearing high wire would lead to a speed restriction on the trains ... Searching around for some information on the topic it seems Amtrak runs the Northeast Corridor with wire heights of 22ft-24ft ... the Acela engine roof height is 14ft with a reach up to 24ft. And even with that much pantograph reach they manage to maintain decent speeds.

Nippon Sharyo lists the single level cars as 15' 11" tall and the gallery cars as 15’ 10 13/32” tall (the equipment on the roof of the single level cars must be adding height). So they would be closer to the wire. They should be able to maintain 79 MPH between stations (top speed for the current car design).

If CSX and eventually CN allow a wire over their rails catenary seems to be the way to go. Keeping the equipment consistent would certainly be a bonus.

(BTW: NICTD is looking to replace their 41 "1982" rail cars starting in 2019 and their 17 "1992" rail cars in 2029. An equipment order for the West Lake Line planned to open in 2023 would fit in nicely.)
  by mtuandrew
 
justalurker66 wrote:
mtuandrew wrote:BrianLM: not if they put the wire high enough. CSX runs double-stacks under live SEPTA wire in Philadelphia, so CN and NICTD shouldn't have a problem.
I was wondering if a double-stack clearing high wire would lead to a speed restriction on the trains ... Searching around for some information on the topic it seems Amtrak runs the Northeast Corridor with wire heights of 22ft-24ft ... the Acela engine roof height is 14ft with a reach up to 24ft. And even with that much pantograph reach they manage to maintain decent speeds.

Nippon Sharyo lists the single level cars as 15' 11" tall and the gallery cars as 15’ 10 13/32” tall (the equipment on the roof of the single level cars must be adding height). So they would be closer to the wire. They should be able to maintain 79 MPH between stations (top speed for the current car design).

If CSX and eventually CN allow a wire over their rails catenary seems to be the way to go. Keeping the equipment consistent would certainly be a bonus.

(BTW: NICTD is looking to replace their 41 "1982" rail cars starting in 2019 and their 17 "1992" rail cars in 2029. An equipment order for the West Lake Line planned to open in 2023 would fit in nicely.)
The voltage is a lot lower out in Chicago too, 1.5kV versus 12.5kV in Philadelphia. The air gap doesn't need to be quite as large to allow for safe passage. That brings up another point which doesn't belong in this thread - raise the wires on the South Bend line a few feet and you could consistently run Superliners underneath. Presto, you have a shared Amtrak and NICTD approach to Chicago.
  by justalurker66
 
mtuandrew wrote:The voltage is a lot lower out in Chicago too, 1.5kV versus 12.5kV in Philadelphia. The air gap doesn't need to be quite as large to allow for safe passage.
With modern catenary 21ft should be fine ... but it all depends on the comfort level of the host railroad.
mtuandrew wrote:That brings up another point which doesn't belong in this thread - raise the wires on the South Bend line a few feet and you could consistently run Superliners underneath. Presto, you have a shared Amtrak and NICTD approach to Chicago.
A Superliner is 16ft 2in ... clearance on NICTD at several bridges between Michigan City and South Bend is 16ft 9in. Constant tension catenary would help at those points. The concept of Amtrak on NICTD was part of the "South of the Lake" study - currently in progress. The idea has been soundly rejected.
  by justalurker66
 
The environmental impact study has officially begun on the West Lake Line, with the public input stage running through the next few months and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement due in about a year.

http://www.nictdwestlake.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by dinwitty
 
5 miles away can be enough for a different ridership demand and choice. As far as taking the same route in as Metra and terminus, nope gotta spread that out, rush hour you know. If NICTD beats them at the build tho, it might prove the metra line might not be needed...or not not needed...er, you catch my drift?



Its actually good to hear of another proposal, it tells me the what the automobile crunch is doing....oh hiya GM!!remember LA?
oh, you hadda get bailed out...wooops whuts with that?
  by mtuandrew
 
dinwitty wrote:5 miles away can be enough for a different ridership demand and choice. As far as taking the same route in as Metra and terminus, nope gotta spread that out, rush hour you know. If NICTD beats them at the build tho, it might prove the metra line might not be needed...or not not needed...er, you catch my drift?
Sorta like MD-W and UP-W - they aren't more than 5 miles distant.
  by justalurker66
 
Senate budget funds RDA, South Shore expansion

They got the train money.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a state budget proposal Thursday that directs $6 million a year for the next 30 years to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to help pay for expansion of the South Shore Line to Dyer.

If enacted into law, the state money and locally generated RDA funds, along with income tax revenue contributed by region communities, will create the $17.5 million annual local match required for the federal government to pay half the cost of the $571 million commuter rail project.

More at
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt ... 4afbe.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


My tax dollars soon to be at work.
  by mtuandrew
 
justalurker66 wrote:Senate budget funds RDA, South Shore expansion

They got the train money.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a state budget proposal Thursday that directs $6 million a year for the next 30 years to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to help pay for expansion of the South Shore Line to Dyer.

If enacted into law, the state money and locally generated RDA funds, along with income tax revenue contributed by region communities, will create the $17.5 million annual local match required for the federal government to pay half the cost of the $571 million commuter rail project.

More at
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt ... 4afbe.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


My tax dollars soon to be at work.
They might get the train money, if the House and Governor approve.

But, I'm crossing my fingers for you guys. Hope you can get a Gary-Valpo extension soon too.

EDIT: And I also hope you find enough pennies in the piggy bank to electrify to Dyer from the get-go, because it's silly to use specialized equipment for this line.
  by dinwitty
 
a new pdf came out on the route.

http://www.nictdwestlake.com/pdf/scoping-summary.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


I am not sure they planned to use the destroyed Monon bascule bridge, but it looks like a reroute.

Anything on this Ken Morrison for scrapping this bridge out lately?
  by justalurker66
 
dinwitty wrote:I am not sure they planned to use the destroyed Monon bascule bridge, but it looks like a reroute.
The option to follow the alternate route in to Illinois has been part of the planning process for a while.
I am not sure about the "Hammond Gateway" option ... it seems close to the existing Hammond station and on the Illinois border. If it is in Illinois wouldn't it become another Metra station with Metra setting fares and charging for parking? NICTD has enough problems in Hammond and East Chicago with setting fares based on Metra's Hegewisch fares. (Hammond and East Chicago need to be higher than Hegewisch plus parking or people will drive to Hammond instead of Hegeswich to ride.)
  by justalurker66
 
Every dollar helps.

A lot has changed in the past five years.
The current (final) plan is to run the trains from a new station just north of the Dyer Amtrak station along the Monon route to a new station in Hammond. Some trains would run as shuttles between Hammond and Munster - others would run through to Chicago on the current South Shore line. New bi-level/gallery rolling stock would be purchased for the main line while the remaining single level cars would be rebuilt for the West Lake line. All overhead electric and West Lake will be all passenger service (no freight) with an overpass over all other railroads (no diamonds).

NICTD's plans to double track more of the railroad (Gary to Michigan City) are also moving forward.
  by Tadman
 
Have they ever studied or even mentioned service to La Porte? CSS freight owns the line and runs a few trains per week. La Porte gets sleepier by the day, it might be a nice economic stimulus.
  by justalurker66
 
A line to Valparaiso was considered when West Lake was first proposed, however since it was based on the availability of the Monon line through Munster that line would have run south to CN then east to Valparaiso. The better path would be to restore the Dummy along the CFER/CSX (and join the NICTD main line in Gary?).

LaPorte would be interesting and trains could turn at Shops to take the line south east. I don't believe there has been any study to reject LaPorte as a possible extension - but it would need to be after the Double Track NWI project wraps up in a few years and I don't see a large demand for the service such as exists in Dyer/Munster and Valparaiso.