- Mar 5, 2016
Rockford trains would require a backup move to even have an intermediate stop at ORD, as they will operate on the Milwaukee District West Line, which merges with the North Central Service south of the ORD stop. The Moline trains will use the same route into Chicago as the CZ, SWC, and Quincy trains, so could continue past CUS to ORD, although it would be circuitous.Don’t forget that Metra will also be moving the Southwest Service to LaSalle Street in the near future. I haven’t heard if that move is designed to free up space for Metra in Chicago South then but that could also add capacity.
I’m still wary of what would essentially be having two bases of operation for Amtrak’s operations in Chicago. Crew facilities would have to be built in the station as well as some sort of ORD-CUS connector because some trains won’t be able to go to CUS if they’re based out of ORD. For example, the Hiawatha. If you move all Midwest corridor trains to ORD, they can’t stop at CUS because they’d have to backtrack to O’Hare. Kind of negates the whole purpose. The same can be said for the new services that are supposedly starting in Moline and Rockford: they’d have to pass the airport to serve CUS, then backtrack.