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Northern Illinois complains about Amtrak expansion plans

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Northern Illinois complains about Amtrak expansion plans
Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:04 PM

He-he-he-he, watch the video.....

http://wgntv.com/2017/01/12/amtrak-seeks-expansion-but-residents-in-north-suburbs-pushing-back/

Ya know that dust on your grill just might be from grilling on it.....heh-heh.

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Posted by schlimm on Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:53 PM

Your post should be entitled "North Shore Residents..."  Big difference as the entiled North Shore folks complain about anything that might impinge on them.  If the line starts having higher speed trains (espcially Diesel), however, sound deadning barriers are the norm in cities and suburbs.

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 27, 2017 7:58 PM

CMStPnP
He-he-he-he, watch the video.....

http://wgntv.com/2017/01/12/amtrak-seeks-expansion-but-residents-in-north-suburbs-pushing-back/

Ya know that dust on your grill just might be from grilling on it.....heh-heh.

What a bunch of shallow whiners!  Close I-94 and see how that works.  When you have capacity constrained physical plant you have the situation the weenies are complaining about - build capacity and things move fluidly.

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Posted by Falcon48 on Thursday, July 27, 2017 8:14 PM

The opposition is silly.  The Amtrak Chicago-Milwaukee line in Illinois is also a full service commuter corridor (between Chicago and Roundout) and is also a major CPR freight route.  The additional trains Amtrak is proposing would likely not even be noticeable to the locals, if they weren't being stirred up by whiners.

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Posted by BLS53 on Thursday, July 27, 2017 8:39 PM

schlimm

Your post should be entitled "North Shore Residents..."  Big difference as the entiled North Shore folks complain about anything that might impinge on them.  If the line starts having higher speed trains (espcially Diesel), however, sound deadning barriers are the norm in cities and suburbs.

 

The biggest whining NIMBY's on the planet.

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Posted by BLS53 on Thursday, July 27, 2017 8:47 PM

How did the situation in Barrington turn out with CN running oil trains on the old EJ&E? I recall organized demonstrations being in the news, but I never heard much else about it.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, July 27, 2017 11:09 PM

schlimm
Your post should be entitled "North Shore Residents..."  Big difference as the entiled North Shore folks complain about anything that might impinge on them.  If the line starts having higher speed trains (espcially Diesel), however, sound deadning barriers are the norm in cities and suburbs.

That's quite a ways inland from the shore.    

Anyway, I agree in one area, they need to triple track the line from the Wisconsin border to the West line split off maybe further in towards Union Station.    The two long sidings business strikes me as a solution that won't last very long.   I don't think they need to park any trains if they spent a little more money.

I would also do a flyover at Rondout so the Northbound trains can just climb a grade and pass over the tracks on a bridge to the line to Fox Lake versus crossing them at grade.    That would at least speed things up to Western Avenue.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Thursday, July 27, 2017 11:13 PM

So here is a Amtrak Hiawatha Train trip from Chicago Union Station to Milwaukee on youtube.    Why the train slows to a crawl at Western Avenue is a mystery but this is what gets under my skin about the METRA territory........start and stop just like a METRA train when it should be a fast ride all the way in.     That's why I vote for adding a third track like the BNSF Aurora route has.   It looks like they used to have a third track but somebody ripped it up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxAV9rOcjyM

 The first set of three tracks that veer off to the left is the former Milwaukee mainline across Northern Illinois to the Mississippi and beyond.     The second single track that veers off to the left is the former Milwaukee Fox Lake line to Central Wisconsin (Madison eventually then Portage, WI).

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Posted by Buslist on Friday, July 28, 2017 1:52 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
 

 

I would also do a flyover at Rondout so the Northbound trains can just climb a grade and pass over the tracks on a bridge to the line to Fox Lake versus crossing them at grade.    That would at least speed things up to Western Avenue.

 

A multi million $ flyover to avoid how many conflict minutes? This isn't the NEC.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 28, 2017 5:21 PM

Buslist
 

A multi million $ flyover to avoid how many conflict minutes? This isn't the NEC.

 

 
No but it is in Chicago that finished the Englewood fyover.
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Posted by Buslist on Friday, July 28, 2017 5:33 PM

blue streak 1

 

 
Buslist
 

A multi million $ flyover to avoid how many conflict minutes? This isn't the NEC.

 

 

 
No but it is in Chicago that finished the Englewood fyover.
 

Englewood flyover hosts several trains per hour. A totally different kettle of fish. They are having trouble getting over NIMBY opposition to the Clark Jct. Flyover that would improve flow for trains every couple of minutes. Now how much delay at Roundout again?

If you're going to build a flyover A2 would be a far better choice, benefiting both Milw district lines, the North Central service, the UP West line as well as the Hiawatha Service.

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Posted by schlimm on Friday, July 28, 2017 8:29 PM

CMStPnP
 The first set of three tracks that veer off to the left is the former Milwaukee mainline across Northern Illinois to the Mississippi and beyond.     The second single track that veers off to the left is the former Milwaukee Fox Lake line to Central Wisconsin (Madison eventually then Portage, WI).

Amtrak rides on the Metra Milwaukee Distrct - North line. The first tracks that your Hiawatha crosses are the UP (C&NW) mainline to Omaha and beyond just before Western Ave., which also hosts Metra's UP-West line. The next set of three tracks veering to the left is the old MILW line west to Omaha, now a Metra-owned line called MD-W to Big Timber, west of Elgin. The next small branch is freight and switching, not to Fox Lake. Then you cross the UP-NW Metra Line to Harvard. A bit past Lake Forest (at Rondout) the Metra tracks to Fox Lake diverge. No delay.  I do not think the RoW was triple tracked. Does not seem that #331 was held up by your Joe "Lunchpail's" Metra commuter trains, even though it was inbound rush hour.

 

BTW, although the communities on the MD-N line aren't as toney as those on the UP-N line, they are still on the North Shore especially north of Glenview, until it branches off west to Fox Lake at Lake Forest. The speed display is in kmh.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, July 28, 2017 10:34 PM

schlimm
Amtrak rides on the Metra Milwaukee Distrct - North line. The first tracks that your Hiawatha crosses are the UP (C&NW) mainline to Omaha and beyond just before Western Ave., which also hosts Metra's UP-West line. The next set of three tracks veering to the left is the old MILW line west to Omaha, now a Metra-owned line called -W to Big Timber, west of Elgin. The next small branch is freight and switching, not to Fox Lake. Then you cross the UP-NW Metra Line to Harvard. A bit past Lake Forest (at Rondout) the Metra tracks to Fox Lake divulge.

I knew all that already except for the switching line.

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, July 28, 2017 10:39 PM

schlimm
I do not think the RoW was triple tracked.

No but at some of the passenger stations (Glenview, Technecy, Deerfield, Roundout), they had a third track and the depot was on the third track at least at Glenview.....looking at a 1959 profile.    I am guessing Metra or Milwaukee tore those out and moved the Depot closer to the tracks or the platform closer to the tracks as time went on.     Milwaukee also had a third track passing siding system in place South of Roundout in some places that is now seems to be gone, probably as the sidings were too short for anything but passenger trains.     Western Avenue station was triple tracked in 1959 but is double track now.

So they did pull up some tracks after 1959 possibly more prior to 1959.

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Posted by schlimm on Friday, July 28, 2017 10:56 PM

The line is triple-tracked from Western Ave. to where the MD-W line veers off to the west.  Look at Google or the video.

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Posted by Buslist on Saturday, July 29, 2017 9:36 AM

schlimm

The line is triple-tracked from Western Ave. to where the MD-W line veers off to the west.  Look at Google or the video.

 

and the bridges north of there show no sign of a former additional track.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, July 29, 2017 12:45 PM

Buslist
and the bridges north of there show no sign of a former additional track.

Actually there is a bridge north of there that carried a third track, it's cement.

The Milwaukee District West Line branches off at approx mark 15:11 and there is clearly a cement bridge over a road that has room for a third track (siding) at mark 16:17 before that the siding starts at 16:10 and is truncated.

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Posted by schlimm on Saturday, July 29, 2017 2:03 PM

I checked the video and Buslist is correct. At 16:07 a switching line splits left off from the double track; at 16:10 a third track diverges to the left, ending at 16:16. The concrete bridge is seen shortly after that, but the third track was pretty clearly an old industry siding, as later bridges show no evidence of the RoW once having had a third main. 

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Posted by desertdog on Saturday, July 29, 2017 2:35 PM

Falcon48

The opposition is silly.  The Amtrak Chicago-Milwaukee line in Illinois is also a full service commuter corridor (between Chicago and Roundout) and is also a major CPR freight route.  The additional trains Amtrak is proposing would likely not even be noticeable to the locals, if they weren't being stirred up by whiners.

 

 

I agree. This has always been a busy line. In fact, probably busier in the past. And a lot of it runs in open country, especially as you get closer to the Wisconsin state line.

 

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Posted by Gramp on Saturday, July 29, 2017 2:56 PM

I was looking on Google maps to see if CP freights could also use the UP (C&NW) freight line to Techny, but it looks like the connection between the two north of the Kinnickinnic River bridge in Milwaukee is a former rather than a current.  And I suppose restoring and using it would create a bottleneck for traffic there instead of Techny.

I do wish some foresight would be taken to overpass/close the grade crossings north of Rondout that is practical long term.  A stitch in time saves nine.  And now with the announcement of the Foxconn deal for the Kenosha region, if Foxconn follows through, could be a long term opportunity for Metra/Amtrak if they use imagination and action. They're talking 1,000 acres for the Foxconn plant site alone, let alone what might happen regarding ancillary suppliers.

And goodness gracious...dust on the grill, a catastrophe in the making.  They should live in Phoenix or other desert clime for awhile.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, July 29, 2017 4:11 PM

schlimm
The concrete bridge is seen shortly after that, but the third track was pretty clearly an old industry siding, as later bridges show no evidence of the RoW once having had a third main. 

Ah, so now we are talking a full blown main instead of an additional track.    Which is what I proposed as a solution but I didn't say that there was one there in the past.   I said it looked like there was and in places it does.

BTW, He said "addtional track" which also excludes  additional capacity removed, such as passing sidings or third track in places.    It does look like in several places the Milwaukee had a third track in place that has been removed.    Your guessing on industry siding vs passing siding or siding to remove the actual junction of the branch direct to the mainline.     Milwaukee practice was a passing siding then a diverging branch from the passing siding.    Up and down the Twin Cities Main they followed that practice in high traffic areas.

If you google and look at past track profiles, Milwukee built around obstacles.     The overpass at Roundout for example four tracks approaching, narrowing to two tracks underneath it due to clearence and then again four tracks.     Was that a yard, holding tracks, passing tracks or both?     Also on the Wisconsin end the Chicago to Milwaukee main again turns to three tracks in specific areas (less today than yesterday because they tore up the track).    Because it was a directional line it had passing sidings on either side of the double track every so often and at junctions.

Brookfield, WI formerly Brookfield Junction......West of Milwaukee.     Had three tracks East of the Depot for about a mile and three tracks West of the Depot for about a mile.    In later days these where used to hold cars for interchange for the Brookfield to Waukesha branch.............earlier days they were used to pass trains.    When I was a kid I saw them used for both holding cars and to pass local freights.......dual use.

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, July 29, 2017 6:35 PM

In the past, multiple track territories were configured much differently than they are today.  Back then the most commonly implemented signal system on multiple tracks was the Rule 251-252, Current of Traffic automatic block signalling.  Trains operating in the Timetable designated direction on the designated track ran on signal indication - trains operating in the opposite direction on that track ran on Train Order and Block authority, not signals.  Trains operating against the current of traffic ran at slower speeds than did trains running under signal indication.  For these reasons in high volume areas that handled both passenger and freight operations - Passing siding were put in place.  My hiring carrier used directional passing sidings that let freights enter the passing siding and let the higher speed passenger train by and then follow the passenger train out of the siding.  Other carriers used Center Sidings that could be entered from either track and exited to either track.  At the time I hired out sidings were 'normally' between 4000 & 6000 feet long (100 to 150 40 foot cars) which were adequate for the trains of that era. 

With the advent of multiple track CTC installations, allowing trains to operate at track speed on either track in either direction most directional passing sidings were removed.

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Posted by schlimm on Saturday, July 29, 2017 8:11 PM

BaltACD

In the past, multiple track territories were configured much differently than they are today.  Back then the most commonly implemented signal system on multiple tracks was the Rule 251-252, Current of Traffic automatic block signalling.  Trains operating in the Timetable designated direction on the designated track ran on signal indication - trains operating in the opposite direction on that track ran on Train Order and Block authority, not signals.  Trains operating against the current of traffic ran at slower speeds than did trains running under signal indication.  For these reasons in high volume areas that handled both passenger and freight operations - Passing siding were put in place.  My hiring carrier used directional passing sidings that let freights enter the passing siding and let the higher speed passenger train by and then follow the passenger train out of the siding.  Other carriers used Center Sidings that could be entered from either track and exited to either track.  At the time I hired out sidings were 'normally' between 4000 & 6000 feet long (100 to 150 40 foot cars) which were adequate for the trains of that era. 

With the advent of multiple track CTC installations, allowing trains to operate at track speed on either track in either direction most directional passing sidings were removed.

 

It would be great if CHI-MKE service could run on the old CNW route, as I think more of it is grade-separated now.  The MILW line is fine, but once out of the city it has many gate crossings and an HSR line cannot run safely on that. In either case, both lines carry a lot of Metra trains.  Not sure, but I think much of the CNW line is freight-free.

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Posted by BLS53 on Saturday, July 29, 2017 8:18 PM

I believe Glenview has two stations now. The original one "downtown", and one further north on Lehigh Ave., next to the redeveloped area where the old Naval Air Station was.

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Posted by schlimm on Saturday, July 29, 2017 8:29 PM

Both Glenview and Glenview/North Glenview are Metra stops (alternate on rush hour trains) but Amtrak stops at the "downtown" station.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:05 PM

BaltACD

In the past, multiple track territories were configured much differently than they are today.  Back then the most commonly implemented signal system on multiple tracks was the Rule 251-252, Current of Traffic automatic block signalling.  Trains operating in the Timetable designated direction on the designated track ran on signal indication - trains operating in the opposite direction on that track ran on Train Order and Block authority, not signals.  Trains operating against the current of traffic ran at slower speeds than did trains running under signal indication.  For these reasons in high volume areas that handled both passenger and freight operations - Passing siding were put in place.  My hiring carrier used directional passing sidings that let freights enter the passing siding and let the higher speed passenger train by and then follow the passenger train out of the siding.  Other carriers used Center Sidings that could be entered from either track and exited to either track.  At the time I hired out sidings were 'normally' between 4000 & 6000 feet long (100 to 150 40 foot cars) which were adequate for the trains of that era. 

With the advent of multiple track CTC installations, allowing trains to operate at track speed on either track in either direction most directional passing sidings were removed.

Milwaukee ran on one-directional CTC for the most part Chicago to Twin Cities.    They used the central target signal types and they only faced one direction on each main.     At specific places on the line it was kind of strange they would have a signal for the siding at re-entry to the main other places they wouldn't have any signal at all at siding end.    Other places on the mainline and for short distances they had reverse signals pointing in the reverse direction of travel but those signals would ONLY display yellow or red (never green and I doubt they even had a green lens installed) which conforms to your restricted speed in opposite direction rule.    My interpretation this was kind of a half assed reverse CTC system in places where they wanted multi-directional flow of trains on one directional main.......but I have no clue.

Interesting side note here but somewhat unrelated.   I noticed in some places DART uses centrally placed sidings between the double tracks accessed by either side, it looks neat.   Never saw that on the Milwaukee though.

After CP took over, they single tracked the double track in low density areas and went to tri color lights and reverse CTC (signals facing both directions on each line).    CP applied reverse CTC over a much larger section of the former Milwaukee than the Milwaukee had in place prior to CP take over.     CP also cleared out more of the brush away from the railroad line than Milwaukee cared to much better visibility at crossings after CP takeover than there was when Milwaukee ran the show.   CP spent a lot on upgrades after takeover of the Milwaukee, Signaling was the first step then attempting to replace the former jointed rail with welded rail on the primary main..........seemed to be the second priority after updating the signaling and traffic control.     CP also worked on grade crossing elimination in Milwaukee's Western Suburbs.    Most noticeable in the suburb of Ocnonomowoc (which was ridicuous and not sure why Milwaukee did not do this).     Wauwatosa had a few closed as well.    No idea if they did that South of Milwaukee. 

BTW, the telegraph lines Chicago to Twin Cities were operational until 1985, when the Milwaukee finally snipped them.   I think they were largely idle after the 1970s but some operators would play around on them and they were operational until 1985 until they started to remove whole sections.

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Posted by BLS53 on Sunday, July 30, 2017 9:47 PM

I recall when I lived in the area in the late 1970's-early 80's, Amtrak used to run some sort of semi-exotic looking Euro train on that MILW line. I think it was called a Turboliner or something, though I don't think it was actually powered by a turbine.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, July 30, 2017 10:00 PM

BLS53

I recall when I lived in the area in the late 1970's-early 80's, Amtrak used to run some sort of semi-exotic looking Euro train on that MILW line. I think it was called a Turboliner or something, though I don't think it was actually powered by a turbine.

Well they were very nice inside with huge picture windows and large restrooms BUT Amtrak said the fuel consumption and repairs were horribly expensive.     Passengers loved them though.     I think they were RTG Gas Turbines from France.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SNCF_Class_T_2000

The French stated the fuel economy came at higher speed and that because Amtrak was running them too slow the Engine never hit the speed where the turbo made a difference in fuel consumption.

Amtrak got rid of them when one or two of them caught fire (ha-ha) on a Chicago to Milwaukee run.    I think it was the last straw.     There was an article in Trains that one of the conductors wrote post 2000 in which one or two of the wheels disintegrated in route to Chicago back when they were in service which was I think 1975 to 1980 something.

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Posted by schlimm on Sunday, July 30, 2017 10:36 PM

CMStPnP
two of them caught fire (ha-ha) on a Chicago to Milwaukee run.    I think it was the last straw.     There was an article in Trains that one of the conductors wrote post 2000 in which one or two of the wheels disintegrated in route to Chicago back when they were in service which was I think 1975 to 1980 something.

I remember seeing them sometimes running at ground level below when I walked over the Randolph St. bridge to the CNW Madison St. Terminal.  They may have had problems but they were cool looking.

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Posted by BLS53 on Monday, July 31, 2017 1:24 AM

Wikipedia just refreshed my memory. The Turboliners were also used between Chicago and St. Louis. I remember seeing one at St. Louis Union Station. One of my last visits, before the station was closed and turned into a shopping mall.

The Turboiners were certainly modern looking, and projected an optimistic future for Amtrak. Too bad they didn't work out.

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