Ambitious restoration and transformation in the Chicago area

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Of course Millennium Station is not viable. But I'll be punchy and suggest that while Amtrak is building all of this stuff on the St Charles Air Line, Amtrak should add a stop at McCormick Place. There's room (though all those columns supporting the building might be a problem).
Bigger problem is the ramp to cross MED which starts pretty early within the building and creating access from above to get to the platform.

For CN vs Metra tracks running parallel: can the Superliners fit under the catenary?

While it probably won't be relevant since Amtrak will use the CN tracks and I don't see electrification happening for a long time, the answer would be yes, since they Amtrak is considering using NICTD who do have a few highliners which MED uses.
 

Deni

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Yeah. It all makes sense now that I've thought about it more. However, I do think a new platform should be built at 55th-56th-57th street to serve Amtrak trains, especially if that line is about to get a lot more passenger traffic.
I do wish that Amtrak had some secondary stations that served neighborhoods in Chicago. Probably not for LD trains but it seems for corridor trains we could have some stops in farther out neighborhoods, like on the northwest side for the Hiawatha, somewhere around 35th/Archer for St. Louis trains, maybe around 95th St for Illini/Saluki, and maybe somewhere like the border suburb of Cicero for IL Zephyr/Sandburg trains.
 

toddinde

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Honestly, I think there is a much simpler solution: use Millenium Station. Sure, not all amtrak services won't be in the same place, but that's already the case in Boston. I feel there are very few people who make connections anyway. Not only that, but Millenium station is in a much more convenient location for passengers, just steps away from hotels and attractions.
Boston is a huge problem, and multiple stations aren’t an answer. We’re talking about building a bridge. I think we can do that. This isn’t hard.
 

NES28

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Correct. Platform widening can be accomplished pretty easily by removing the unused baggage platforms (a holdover from when passenger trains handled huge amounts of mail and Railway Express) and shifting alternate tracks into that space. The few widenings now proposed were identified as a "proof-of-concept" in the earlier Union Station Master Plan Study.
 

zephyr17

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Boston is a huge problem, and multiple stations aren’t an answer. We’re talking about building a bridge. I think we can do that. This isn’t hard.
Adding a station on the way out of town isn't a bad idea, though. Back in the day, most everything on NYC or Pennsy stopped in Englewood. Totally agree about having two terminal stations. Amtrak has been consolidating them for years. Such a proposal would be putting back the 21st century equivalent of Chicago Union versus Central Station, which they got rid of in like 1972.

Amtrak used to have several cities with different terminals, GCT and Penn, Galesburg Santa Fe and Burlington, Pomona Santa Fe and SP, the previously mentioned CUS and Central station come to mind. Heck, BON wasn't even an Amtrak station until after Downeaster service started. They rightfully were getting rid of multiple stations where they could, not adding them.
 

NorthShore

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I do wish that Amtrak had some secondary stations that served neighborhoods in Chicago. Probably not for LD trains but it seems for corridor trains we could have some stops in farther out neighborhoods, like on the northwest side for the Hiawatha, somewhere around 35th/Archer for St. Louis trains, maybe around 95th St for Illini/Saluki, and maybe somewhere like the border suburb of Cicero for IL Zephyr/Sandburg trains.

Historically, pre Amtrak trains stopped at Englewood, which was the real major entry point to Chicago and well trafficked, back in the day.

South Shore used to stop at 115th. With the reinvigorated Pullman destination, I think it (or an eventually renovated 111th, more likely) should be added back, with Amtrak potentially serving it, also.
 

jis

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I stumbled upon the original Chicago Union Station Master Plan document for CUS:

 
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I was there last Thursday night. Obvious that *something's* going on, but not apparent in my walk from the Metra platforms (south concourse) through the Amtrak area to Canal street.

However, once I got outside, I saw that the cab stands had been moved from the east side of Canal to the west.

Sounds good, though, doesn't it?
George K
Those cab stands were better on the east side of Canal. Now if you pull up in a limo or town car or Uber duber they have to pass all those cabs please either stop in the lane away from the curb. Also there is the elevator which is very small there and or steps for passengers going into the station. Buses are using the east side of Canal. This needs to be improved.
 

Michigan Mom

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George K
Those cab stands were better on the east side of Canal. Now if you pull up in a limo or town car or Uber duber they have to pass all those cabs please either stop in the lane away from the curb. Also there is the elevator which is very small there and or steps for passengers going into the station. Buses are using the east side of Canal. This needs to be improved.
This must have been a recent change? Last couple trips to Chicago it was easy to get a cab on the street outside the Metro lounge (is that Adams?)
 

jis

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One more CREATE project completed...

 

cirdan

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Generally, yes. Superliners on Capitol Limited have operated via the South Shore when the NS was blocked.
The NICTD also has double-decker trains. I wonder if these have more or less the same dimensions as superliners.

Now just imagine an Amtrak train running along the street running section in Michigan City. That would be a sight worth seeing.
 

cirdan

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Just wondering.

Some years ago we were hearing reports of bits of the concrete roof / ceiling over the platforms falling down and presenting a danger to passengers.

Has that been resolved by any constructional activity or repairs, or is that still an ongoing issue?
 

WWW

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Metropolitan Lounge has an outside door out to the west side of Canal on the second floor. It was locked and unused when I was there in November.
Yes there is a street side door from the upper level of the Metropolitan Lounge.
No entry exit !
Has a desk for an attendant and wiring for a computer terminal near that entrance.
HOWEVER due to staffing reduction and covid issues - have never seen it open or utilized - AND - probably never will -
BUT - the upper level is so quiet and relaxing elevator access if needed nice clean spacious restrooms and the gallery of photos !
P.S. keep it that way don't let the secret out !
 
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Now just imagine an Amtrak train running along the street running section in Michigan City. That would be a sight worth seeing.
But that's being removed. It will end up running down the street but in a separate ROW, something like Ashland VA but with street traffic on just one side.
 
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But that's being removed. It will end up running down the street but in a separate ROW, something like Ashland VA but with street traffic on just one side.
I haven't delved that deeply into the Michigan City end, but was Amtrak going to stay on NICTD through Michigan City or switch over to their current routing somewhere on the west side or downtown? I guess if they route the LSL et al via NICTD they will run on that.
 

MisterUptempo

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Just wondering.

Some years ago we were hearing reports of bits of the concrete roof / ceiling over the platforms falling down and presenting a danger to passengers.

Has that been resolved by any constructional activity or repairs, or is that still an ongoing issue?
Amtrak made some repairs to the trainshed ceilings; in some cases they installed scaffolding to provide protection against the possibility of future incidents.

The road to a more permanent solution goes through the funding request Amtrak (along with CDOT, IDOT, MDOT, Metra, and Cook County) made for Infrastructure Bill money.

A direct quote from the application -

Trainshed Ventilation Improvements (Component #3)

The Platform Level/Trainshed at CUS has ventilation concerns that stem from the absence of a coordinated mechanical ventilation system along with a deficient volume of ventilation. CUS, with below grade platforms and tracks, has over a mile of overbuild that encloses the platform/trainshed, causing stagnant smoke and diesel exhaust to accumulate. The lack of natural cross ventilation, along with insufficient mechanical ventilation, exacerbates the ventilation problem. The ventilation project would also advance Amtrak’s ability to address the urgent need to remove failing plenums. A recent ventilation study conducted in 2020 has shown true promise for rectifying the stagnant diesel exhaust and providing a code compliant emergency ventilation system. The scope of Project activities for this component includes Preliminary Engineering, NEPA, and Final Design. Please see Appendix 11 for a map of falling concrete incidents at CUS.

(In the application, several small photos of the most glaring problems accompany the paragraph above.)

Notice how the funding request is for preliminary engineering, NEPA, and final design, but not for construction funds. Responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the trainshed ceilings and ventilation systems falls on the shoulders of any of six separate entities, depending on where in either of the trainsheds you are talking about.

Just a guess, but if they get funding for this, Amtrak will likely hire an engineering firm to make a complete assessment of the work needed to get the ventilation systems and ceilings into SOGR, and hand each stakeholder a bill for them to cover their portion of the work. I can foresee that leading to lawsuits or some such nonsense.
 

MikefromCrete

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The NICTD also has double-decker trains. I wonder if these have more or less the same dimensions as superliners.

Now just imagine an Amtrak train running along the street running section in Michigan City. That would be a sight worth seeing.
The street running in Michigan City is right now being replaced. There will be a two track railroad, separated from a one-lane road.
 

DSS&A

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Amtrak has proposed new routes for its eastern trains, City of New Orleans and the Saluki trains into Chicago buy purchasing former Illinois Central tracks in Chicago and securing trackage rights from NICTD in Indiana. NICTD already has Gauntlet bypass tracks at its high-level platforms for freight trains to pass by them. If this purchase and trackage rights agreement are accomplished, this will reduce train running times and increase on-time schedule performance.

If the new NICTD West Lake Corridor stations aee built with high-level platforms, they will need gauntlet tracks too for the Cardinal and any future trains.

Here are a few links to articles:


 
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jis

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More on funding for Chicago Union Station Access Project...

 
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