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 njtmnrrbuff
 
Likely a pipe dream, but LaPorte would probably be a spur route, similar to the West Lake Line. LaPorte is a little off the beaten path in relation to the existing South Shore Line.
  by justalurker66
 
Add one stop 12 miles away? West Lake will add several stations and add trains. Once the other projects are complete the Gary turn will move to Miller (storage east of the new station) and Michigan City will build a combined station downtown. The only passengers east of 11th St will be going to Hudson Lake and South Bend. Diverting a train headed for the yard down the branch to LaPorte would be possible - but probably not cost effective.

Here is a nice update and writeup about both major projects ...
https://laportecounty.life/article/nict ... -projects/
  by Tadman
 
I forgot they have that awful idea to completely move US12 and the main line. Amazing what you can do with free money. There is plenty of room for anything there, but I'm sure someone got paid $2m to do a study and decided for only $40m they could move entire highways. And now they do it.
  by west point
 
I would say go and electrify the additional tracks. It will never happen but the electrification needs the following part of installations.
1. Build the CAT as constant tension . That will reduce the probablity of CAT getting snagged causing service outages.
2. Evidently it will need to be plate "H freight clearances.
3. Build it with capability of being 25 Kv AC CAT. That might cause the support poles to be maybe 1 - 2 feet higher ? The contact wire will need to be thicke for the lower voltage DC anyway. Support and travelers will be built for DC anyway.
4. The AC impeadance bonds on the tracks would not be needed yet but track designed for them to be added if 60 Hz ever installed.
5. Signal system built for both DC and AC much like what is used at NYP and LIRR Queens.
6. DC requires substations every 5 - 8 miles. So build a DC substation at either end of the new track. Have commercial AC power supply these substations with capability to provide 12.5 / 25 Kv AC on CAT poles to 2 or 3 DC substations between ends. Space at these intermediate provided to install in future AC paralleling stations.
7. The next order for additional cars (should be for both NICTD and the IC . Cars will have in electrical cabinet switching gear. The DC will go to an inverter for it to provide proper AC for its tractiont motors, signal gear, HVAC, lighting,etc. . If NICTD ever goes to AC CAT or just maybe part AC CAT it can install a transformer rectifer for power to the inverter.

I firmly believe that the METRA and NICTD lines will be converted to 60 HZ with in the next 20 - 25 years at the most. That will depend on when some 60 HZ electric trains start to go to several CHI stations.So when the next order for cars for the agencies is made they should be dual AC DC capable. That way as the OCS is changed to AC all the operator will need to do is throw a switch to change between the two. Much as MNRR does now for their M-8s.
  by justalurker66
 
west point wrote: Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:34 pm I would say go and electrify the additional tracks. It will never happen but the electrification needs the following part of installations.
Which additional tracks? The West Lake project is already planned to be electrified and will be using the 1982/1992 single level electric rolling stock. Those cars will go through a second rebuild cycle and they will be as good as new when the service starts. New bi-level/gallery cars will be run on the South Shore main line.
  by MattW
 
west point wrote: Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:34 pm *SNIP*
7. The next order for additional cars (should be for both NICTD and the IC . Cars will have in electrical cabinet switching gear. The DC will go to an inverter for it to provide proper AC for its tractiont motors, signal gear, HVAC, lighting,etc. . If NICTD ever goes to AC CAT or just maybe part AC CAT it can install a transformer rectifer for power to the inverter.
*SNIP*
Minor correction here, the traction motors may already be AC fed from DC. HEP for lights and everything else would likewise already have an inverter for DC to AC. Whether there is an intermediate DC link that the 1500v catenary power is changed to, I don't know.
  by justalurker66
 
Correct. NICTD retrofitted all of the old cars with inverters and AC traction motors about 20 year ago. The more recent cars came with AC traction motors.