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

  • 95 posts
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 7
  by EJ&ESDM809
 
The crossovers in Wheaton will be east of downtown Wheaton, near the college of DuPage. I would expect the pedestrian gate enhancements to go in rather soon at that station as the crossovers will be well east of there. I don't think anything would happen at the station itself due to the crossovers. I am not sure where the crossovers in Lombard are going to be, I thought I heard east of the station in that case too. I am surprised they are even bothering to upgrade anything at Bellwood since that station is going to be replaced with the new one that is supposed to go up by 25th Avenue. I guess it will temporarly relieve the 6.30 rule at the existing station until the new one is done.
  by doepack
 
EJ&ESDM809 wrote:The crossovers in Wheaton will be east of downtown Wheaton, near the college of DuPage.
As reported in the Daily Herald about a year ago, UP has selected the Chase St. crossing in Wheaton (approx. MP24.4) as the location for the new interlocking plant. The plan is to close Chase St. to vehicle traffic and to build a pedestrian tunnel in its place during construction of the crossovers. I originally posted the link to the article that discusses this in page 1 of this thread, but here it is again, for those just tuning in. And as further information, the nearby college in question is actually Wheaton College, the College of DuPage is further south and east, in Glen Ellyn...
EJ&ESDM809 wrote: I would expect the pedestrian gate enhancements to go in rather soon at that station as the crossovers will be well east of there. I don't think anything would happen at the station itself due to the crossovers.
The pedestrian gate improvements have been installed at the College Ave. and President St. grade crossings in Wheaton, which form the east and west boundaries of the College Ave. station, as it sits between these two crossings. They are also present at the Main St. and Park Blvd. crossings in Glen Ellyn, which brackets the Glen Ellyn depot. (Park Blvd. also has a new intermediate signal bridge there as well, I've read recently how some locals aren't liking it so much). At these crossings, the LED signs that will display the "second train warning" are still covered; meanwhile, no similar upgrades yet at Lombard and Wheaton, and I'm not certain about Villa Park, Elmhurst, & Winfield (though there was some recent construction near the Villa Park depot a few weeks ago, not sure what it was about, I'll take a closer look next time I ride thru). In Lombard's case, they could be going in soon, since UP is pretty well along building the new crossovers, but as for Wheaton, it could be a while yet, since there's been no construction. I'm thinking it probably won't happen until the new interlocking plant goes in, in conjunction with eventual the Chase St. closure and reconfiguration, but that's just a guess.

I'm also keeping an eye out for the new absolute signals that will go up in Lombard after all the crossovers have been installed. Haven't seen any concrete bases yet...
EJ&ESDM809 wrote:I am not sure where the crossovers in Lombard are going to be, I thought I heard east of the station in that case too.
Robby, the new interlocking plant in Lombard will be located in the vicinity of Grace St (approx. MP19.4) with universal crossovers on both sides of the crossing. One set of crossovers (east of Grace St., from MT2-MT3) have already been installed. Please see my updates on the previous page for more details...
  by MetraRy
 
Villa Park seems to be ready for activation. Ardmore Av is fully installed yet still under cover . Crossing signals, gates, fencing and ATWS signs are up, yet not activated at the new pedestrian crossing east of the platform. This will replace the crosswalk in front of the station. All that needs to be done is installing the actual crosswalk.

Elmhurst has been progressing fast over the last two weeks. Cottage Hill has new ped. gates, new lights on the cross-buck south of the tracks, and new paths and fencing. The ATWS is up, but undercover. In the last week, York Street has received new pedestrian gates at all corners. New cross-bucks with flashers on the north side, yet facing south, and 8 ATWS signs (two for each mast, facing north and south respectively) As of yesterday, no new paths or fencing is installed at this crossing.
  by EJ&ESDM809
 
Yeah I noticed the new pedestrian gates up at Elmhurst when I was there a week or two ago. It looks like they are ready to activate the ATWS system at Winfield, College Avenue, Glen Ellyn and Elmhurst for sure.

You're right, College of DuPage is in Glen Ellyn, I had the two mixed up for some reason, haha.
  by TrainManUPRR
 
ATWS has been activated on UP West as of today. Trains will be able to go through the station no matter what at all locations except Bellwood, Berkeley, Lombard, and Wheaton. For this month, trains have to go through all stations at 30mph, starting April 1 that speed restriction will be lifted.
  by AMTKHawkeye
 
I got to see the ATWS system operate in Elmhurst today, as both trains 29 and 44 arrived on time. VERY effective, although I am sure that residents in nearby apartments might find the constant "DANGER - ANOTHER TRAIN IS APPROACHING" message to be tiresome in short order.
  by MetraBNSF
 
Saw the ATWS operate in Elmhurst late last night, this time with two freight trains going in opposite directions. An eastbound intermodal came in first, shortly after a westbound mixed freight passed thru.
  by justalurker66
 
MetraBNSF wrote:Saw the ATWS operate in Elmhurst late last night, this time with two freight trains going in opposite directions. An eastbound intermodal came in first, shortly after a westbound mixed freight passed thru.
Does it sound even if the crossing is still blocked by the first train? I understand from the description on the city's website that it shouldn't sound for a single train ... it should only alert when "another train is approaching". Not sounding when the crossing is still blocked would cut down on some of the additional announcements.
  by MetraBNSF
 
justalurker66 wrote:Does it sound even if the crossing is still blocked by the first train? I understand from the description on the city's website that it shouldn't sound for a single train ... it should only alert when "another train is approaching". Not sounding when the crossing is still blocked would cut down on some of the additional announcements.
The system activated as the westbound train approached the Cottage Hill Ave grade crossing (west of the Elmhurst station) while the eastbound train was passing through.
  by EJ&ESDM809
 
I got a video of the ATWS in action, it is probably the most annoying and pointless system I have ever seen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn9LKA6iylE

They should have it set to where the system shuts off after the second train hits the crossing, the way they have it now is going to drive people insane!
  by justalurker66
 
EJ&ESDM809 wrote:I got a video of the ATWS in action, it is probably the most annoying and pointless system I have ever seen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn9LKA6iylE

They should have it set to where the system shuts off after the second train hits the crossing, the way they have it now is going to drive people insane!
I expected a third train to come through the middle. I suppose the "another train coming" is the simplest way of describing the situation - even though in this case the 2nd train is the one waiting to pull out of the station at the beginning of the clip.

If the far platform train was the only one there would the gates still be active? The first train should have been beyond the crossing circuit at that point. The second train is approaching (although stopped at the beginning of the video). The third rail would be the killer if someone assumed that the two trains they saw were the only two in the area.

I agree that once the crossing is occupied there is no need for the warning as the train is blocking the crossing (and hopefully everyone is staying behind the gates for that train - regardless of what side of the track they are on).

It seems complicated ... I can't think of an improvement for this at the moment (other than silence once the crossing is blocked).
  by doepack
 
EJ&ESDM809 wrote:I got a video of the ATWS in action, it is probably the most annoying and pointless system I have ever seen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn9LKA6iylE

They should have it set to where the system shuts off after the second train hits the crossing, the way they have it now is going to drive people insane!
Do you remember which train triggered the warning? That does need to be tweaked a little, especially in Elmhurst, where the video was shot, since there are Metra meets like that throughout the day, and I can see how that can get annoying pretty quickly. At least something to tone down the audio announcements.

I've seen ATWS in action recently at College Ave. (President St. crossing) where a stopped outbound Metra was overtaken at speed by UP double-stack freight running parallel in the same direction on the center track. The Metra train activated the gates first, then the stacker's arrival triggered the ATWS, and the announcements continued until both trains cleared the crossing (the stacker had cleared President St. about a minute before Metra left the station). I was in my car at the time, first car to arrive at the lowered crossing gate; so even though I knew that the freight activated the system, in this case, I suppose the warning could have applied to BOTH trains, depending on your perspective, and if the freight was actually the first train you saw at the crossing without seeing or hearing ATWS activate first. Before now, "parallel meets" like the one described above were rare, whether or not this system will help increase that remains to be seen, and I'm guessing situations like these are what was in mind when ATWS was installed. For now though, it's made freight traffic faster overall, and reduced radio chatter a little, since crews don't have to "call out" as often to Metra trains running in the opposite direction to ascertain a location (although many them still have to wait for a "door light out of Wheaton or Lombard", and have to adjust their speed accordingly...)
  by doepack
 
All four crossovers for the new plant in Lombard are now in, with two crossovers each on both sides of Grace St. The interlocking configuration is similar to the current setup ten miles west at CPY029 (Turner, in West Chicago, shown here for reference, crossovers in red) Also, there is a new signal bridge at MP 18.2 (Addison Rd)., with hoods over the masts; haven't heard anything yet about when they'll be activated. These could possibly be the new westbound approach signals for the new interlocking, but we'll wait and see. No sign of the absolutes going in yet.

Lately, besides the ongoing work in Lombard, there's also been additional construction activity in the DuPage county corridor between Elmhust and W. Chicago. An upgrade to the crossovers at Park interlocking has been underway for the last six weeks or so, plus additional work in Winfield around Sunset Road, about a mile or so west of the station; not sure what's going on there. This weekend however, all was quiet, no Form B activity anywhere, which is unusual. Easter holiday perhaps?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 7