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

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  by wda4449
 
Does anyone know if the BNSF project is complete?
It would be incredible to get some photos of the new construction.
I ride the BNSF/Metra service daily, to and from Union Station. Construction has started on the Chicago sub connection at Western Ave. Track panels with concrete ties are stacked along the curve off the Western Ave. interlocking (as I remember the plant name). Off to the south, I can see grading work has started, but the CTA Pink Line bridge blocks most of the view.
  by jonnhrr
 
Anyone know of the status of the new Washington/Wabash "L" station?

According to Chicago-L.org construction was supposed to start in early 2015 with completion in 2016.
Couldn't find anything on the CTA site.

I will be in Chicago later this week and hope to check it out in person.

Jon
  by byte
 
Pretty obvious work is being done at street level (including the temporary closure of Wabash right underneath where the new station will be), but as of last week (last time I was in that area of the loop), a completed station is still pretty far off.
  by MetraBNSF
 
Haven't seen much discussion on the subject of Positive Train Control (PTC) and didn't feel like starting a new thread, but after riding the BNSF a couple of times over the past few weeks, there are some notable observations. What's most notable is on the north side of the tracks at each intermediate signal and control point, at least from Cicero "B" to Naperville are tall poles with antennas. These antennas probably comprise a portion of the wayside segment of the system which will likely send and receive signals from the onboard computer, GPS, and back office segments. From what I'm hearing, PTC testing could occur soon west of Cicero.

A separate observation (non-PTC related) is the Fairview interlocking. I think this plant was renewed to possibly support higher speeds thru the turnout. I remember this interlocking was only good for only 35mph max. When I rode train 1279 (a D.G. express) last week, the train must've been going 40-45mph switching from track 2 to track 3. It seems to me, even with limited exposure over the past few years, that BNSF has been doing a considerable amount of track work. With all the traffic the line gets, constant renewal of the line must be needed.
  by doepack
 
MetraBNSF wrote:What's most notable is on the north side of the tracks at each intermediate signal and control point, at least from Cicero "B" to Naperville are tall poles with antennas. These antennas probably comprise a portion of the wayside segment of the system which will likely send and receive signals from the onboard computer, GPS, and back office segments.
A similar setup can also be seen on the Geneva sub, particularly at the new control points of University and Grace in Metra suburban territory. Confirmed with a UP/W engineer that this hardware is indeed PTC related, though in talking about it with him, he doesn't understand what the fuss is all about. To him, it's just ATC with more bells & whistles, but I probably did a poor job explaining the differences between the two.

BTW, I think there's a de facto PTC thread in the Amtrak forum, where its possible effects, drawbacks, advantages, etc., along with its relationship to Amtrak as well as other commuter carriers are discussed in varying degrees. I thought about starting a PTC thread here too, but didn't think it would really lead to a vibrant, informative discussion around here...
MetraBNSF wrote:A separate observation (non-PTC related) is the Fairview interlocking. I think this plant was renewed to possibly support higher speeds thru the turnout. I remember this interlocking was only good for only 35mph max. When I rode train 1279 (a D.G. express) last week, the train must've been going 40-45mph switching from track 2 to track 3. It seems to me, even with limited exposure over the past few years, that BNSF has been doing a considerable amount of track work. With all the traffic the line gets, constant renewal of the line must be needed.
Bet all those oil trains from a couple of years back had a lot to do with it, although that traffic has diminished somewhat. But I'm all for any capacity improvements that can benefit both passenger and freight with minimal complications...
  by jonnhrr
 
byte wrote:Pretty obvious work is being done at street level (including the temporary closure of Wabash right underneath where the new station will be), but as of last week (last time I was in that area of the loop), a completed station is still pretty far off.
Got to see it over a long weekend (my wife and I stayed in the Loop and got to ride the "L" a few times :) ) From what I could see they are working on the steel work underlying the new station, no actual new station construction yet. The old station seems to be completely gone.

Jon
  by jpIllInoIs
 
Ive see alot of activity at the CN xing of MDN/Metra in Grayslake. Looks like on the CN line. There is a gravel access off of Rt137 but I dont dare pull onto the property.
Anyone have more info?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Possibly this project has been reported elsewhere at the Forum:

http://abc7chicago.com/travel/metra-tra ... gn/1173544" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

One of these cars, the number I could not record lest I get "mauled" by the Cubbies on their way to Wrigleyville (me: I was going to the Chicago Symphony), was in consist of BNSF #1318 (22). While the seats complete with armrests defining "myspace/yourspace" looked nice, they are fixed seating meaning half the folk ride "the wrong way", which would give me Vertigo.
  by jonnhrr
 
I see Washington/Wabash is supposed to be complete "Summer 2017" according to the CTA web site:

http://www.transitchicago.com/washingtonwabash/

Is there any unofficial rumors as to when it will actually open?

Curious because I plan to be there in August and will be staying in the Loop.

Jon
  by doepack
 
No firm date yet, but based on visible progress, "Summer 2017" seems to translate to a mid-August open. If you're visiting earlier in the month, it might be iffy...
  by jonnhrr
 
I was in Chicago last week, looks like they are putting finishing touches on Washington/Wabash. The signage is up already.
  by jonnhrr
 
Looks like Washington/Wabash is opening this week. A Chicago Tribune article didn't mention an opening date but said Randolph/Wabash was closing this Sunday (Sept. 3) so I assume it has to be before then.

Correction: it is opening Thursday. I missed that the first time I read it.

Here is the article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/colu ... olumn.html

Jon
  by orangeline
 
jonnhrr wrote:Looks like Washington/Wabash is opening this week. A Chicago Tribune article didn't mention an opening date but said Randolph/Wabash was closing this Sunday (Sept. 3) so I assume it has to be before then.

Correction: it is opening Thursday. I missed that the first time I read it.

Here is the article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/colu ... olumn.html

Jon
From CTA website -- service alerts:
New Washington/Wabash Station Opens
Special Note
The new Washington/Wabash Loop Elevated station, located on Wabash Avenue between Madison and Washington streets, will be open for service.
Thu, Aug 31 2017 to TBD
  by jonnhrr
 
The Tribune article said Randolph was closing Sunday but I see from Facebook where it was already closed last night.
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