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Chicago - St Louis high speed rail


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#21 afigg

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 05:53 PM

Saw this article on the CHI-STL corridor status at Progressive Railroading and this thread appears to be the most on-topic for it.
 
Progressive Railroading November magazine article: The Chicago-to-St. Louis higher-speed rail project nears finish line. (well, depending on how one defines "nearing" the finish line. The funded track work will continue to 2018).

Excerpts which help to explain why the upgrades have been taking so long (think EIS and going through the local approval process to upgrade almost 300 grade crossings).
 

All the upgrades are expected to reduce the entire five-and-a-half-hour train journey from Chicago to St. Louis by about an hour. Amtrak’s Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle trains currently run at a maximum speed of 79 mph along the route, save for a 15-mile stretch between Dwight and Pontiac, Ill., where trains began running at 110 mph on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Since then, the project’s leaders have continued to forge ahead in the face of several hurdles, including pushback from local communities, difficulties associated with implementing positive train control (PTC) and stringent environmental documentation requirements. Although there’s still work left to do, they’ve logged a series of accomplishments — from the completion of track rehabilitation along the corridor to breaking ground on the line’s first new station — and stand ready to tackle the project’s final phases within the next few years.
....

“We are challenged by some of the requirements for consensus building when it comes to grade crossings, in particular,” said Phil Pasterak, who heads the Parsons Brinckerhoff team charged with managing the project.

He made the remarks during a presentation he delivered last month at Railway Interchange 2015 in Minneapolis.

The route includes nearly 300 crossings, and the project team must gain approval from each community along the way.
.....

Another challenge for project planners: implementing PTC for higher-speed trains without adequate federal guidance.

Like Class I routes, the Chicago-St. Louis passenger line will feature an Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS), but there’s one important difference: “We are now the only corridor … in the country where I-ETMS needs to operate at speeds of up to 110 [mph],” said Pasterak.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued some PTC guidelines for running trains up to 90 mph, but not yet for trains exceeding that speed. UP’s signal team is working closely with the FRA to get rules governing trains traveling beyond the 90 mph mark, Pasterak said.

In the interim, UP is installing a new fiber trunk line along the entire right-of-way to prepare for PTC implementation.

Because the federal government is covering most costs associated with the $1.9 billion project, planners also must comply with a hefty set of environmental reporting requirements.

So far, the project’s leaders have begun working on nearly 50 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Tier II documents, which examine the line’s potential impacts on wildlife, habitats and other natural resources.

The reporting process has taken “a lot more time than anybody ever imagined when we speculated and started designing this project,” Halsted said. “But we are continuing to trudge through this.”

 

BTW, calling the CHI-STL "high speed rail" project has always been a stretch. I agree with one of the comments to the article that the project and maybe even the title of this thread should be Chicago - St. Louis higher speed rail. 



#22 norfolkwesternhenry

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 09:58 AM

The Texas Eagle has Superliner cars, which can only handle 100 MPH, but the problem is most likely the engine does not have the remote signaling needed for speeds above 79 MPH, according to US law


Empire Builder MSP-CHI (2) CHI-MSP (2) MSP-PDX (1) MSP-CBS (5.5 H late) (1) MKE-MSP (1) MSP-SEA (1) Coast Starlate PDX-EMY (1.5H late) (1) California Zephyr DEN-SLC (1H late) (1) Hiawatha CHI-MKE (1) NE Regional WAS-BAL (1) WAS-NYP (1) Acela Express BAL-WAS (1) BOS-WAS (1) Late Shore (Limited service) CHI-BOS (On Time) (1) Capitol Limited WAS-CHI (1) Texas Eagle SAS-CHI (1.5 HR late, 1 HR late) (2) CHI-SAS (1) (55 min early) Wolverine DET-DER-ARB-CHI (35 Min late) (1) Cascades SEA-VAC (1)
Non-Amtrak: VIA: Corridor Service Q.C.-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Windsor (1) Canadian: VAC-Winnipeg 4.5 H late (1) D. C. metro, Montreal Metro, Toronto subway, Portland streetcars, BART, Metra, NYC subway, Boston subway, Twin cities Blue/Green line
train cars travelled in: Superliner: Coach, Sleeper, Diner, CCC, SSL. Amfleet: LD Café, Café/Business, coach. Viewliner: Sleeper, Diner. Acela: Café, Business, quiet car. Horizon: Coach. Talgo: coach, diner, café; non Amtrak: ex CP Via Canadian Manor cars, Park car, diner,sleeper, Skyline lounge. LRC trainset: coach (tilt de-activated)

No trees were killed to make this, but a number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

My apologies if I offend you, or seem stubborn, it's simply my nature. I am 14 after all, and my English isn't exactly perfect.


#23 norfolkwesternhenry

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 10:02 AM

not quite, one P42 can pull the Texas Eagle at 100 MPH, because they roll very well, it does not have the signaling needed for speeds 79+ MPH, according to US law


Empire Builder MSP-CHI (2) CHI-MSP (2) MSP-PDX (1) MSP-CBS (5.5 H late) (1) MKE-MSP (1) MSP-SEA (1) Coast Starlate PDX-EMY (1.5H late) (1) California Zephyr DEN-SLC (1H late) (1) Hiawatha CHI-MKE (1) NE Regional WAS-BAL (1) WAS-NYP (1) Acela Express BAL-WAS (1) BOS-WAS (1) Late Shore (Limited service) CHI-BOS (On Time) (1) Capitol Limited WAS-CHI (1) Texas Eagle SAS-CHI (1.5 HR late, 1 HR late) (2) CHI-SAS (1) (55 min early) Wolverine DET-DER-ARB-CHI (35 Min late) (1) Cascades SEA-VAC (1)
Non-Amtrak: VIA: Corridor Service Q.C.-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Windsor (1) Canadian: VAC-Winnipeg 4.5 H late (1) D. C. metro, Montreal Metro, Toronto subway, Portland streetcars, BART, Metra, NYC subway, Boston subway, Twin cities Blue/Green line
train cars travelled in: Superliner: Coach, Sleeper, Diner, CCC, SSL. Amfleet: LD Café, Café/Business, coach. Viewliner: Sleeper, Diner. Acela: Café, Business, quiet car. Horizon: Coach. Talgo: coach, diner, café; non Amtrak: ex CP Via Canadian Manor cars, Park car, diner,sleeper, Skyline lounge. LRC trainset: coach (tilt de-activated)

No trees were killed to make this, but a number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

My apologies if I offend you, or seem stubborn, it's simply my nature. I am 14 after all, and my English isn't exactly perfect.


#24 Eric S

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 10:04 AM

not quite, one P42 can pull the Texas Eagle at 100 MPH, because they roll very well, it does not have the signaling needed for speeds 79+ MPH, according to US law

 

Are you responding to a particular question or comment?

 

It's been over 6 months since there was a comment in this thread, until yours.



#25 Steve4031

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 04:53 PM

At least it addresses the topic to some degree. It's about trains operating on the Lincoln service route. This is unlike most of the posts on AU.

#26 norfolkwesternhenry

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 10:19 AM

not quite, one P42 can pull the Texas Eagle at 100 MPH, because they roll very well, it does not have the signaling needed for speeds 79+ MPH, according to US law

 
Are you responding to a particular question or comment?
 
It's been over 6 months since there was a comment in this thread, until yours.
I did not look at dates, I mainly use the app, which does not show info on what topics are "hot"

Empire Builder MSP-CHI (2) CHI-MSP (2) MSP-PDX (1) MSP-CBS (5.5 H late) (1) MKE-MSP (1) MSP-SEA (1) Coast Starlate PDX-EMY (1.5H late) (1) California Zephyr DEN-SLC (1H late) (1) Hiawatha CHI-MKE (1) NE Regional WAS-BAL (1) WAS-NYP (1) Acela Express BAL-WAS (1) BOS-WAS (1) Late Shore (Limited service) CHI-BOS (On Time) (1) Capitol Limited WAS-CHI (1) Texas Eagle SAS-CHI (1.5 HR late, 1 HR late) (2) CHI-SAS (1) (55 min early) Wolverine DET-DER-ARB-CHI (35 Min late) (1) Cascades SEA-VAC (1)
Non-Amtrak: VIA: Corridor Service Q.C.-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Windsor (1) Canadian: VAC-Winnipeg 4.5 H late (1) D. C. metro, Montreal Metro, Toronto subway, Portland streetcars, BART, Metra, NYC subway, Boston subway, Twin cities Blue/Green line
train cars travelled in: Superliner: Coach, Sleeper, Diner, CCC, SSL. Amfleet: LD Café, Café/Business, coach. Viewliner: Sleeper, Diner. Acela: Café, Business, quiet car. Horizon: Coach. Talgo: coach, diner, café; non Amtrak: ex CP Via Canadian Manor cars, Park car, diner,sleeper, Skyline lounge. LRC trainset: coach (tilt de-activated)

No trees were killed to make this, but a number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

My apologies if I offend you, or seem stubborn, it's simply my nature. I am 14 after all, and my English isn't exactly perfect.


#27 CCC1007

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 10:31 AM

not quite, one P42 can pull the Texas Eagle at 100 MPH, because they roll very well, it does not have the signaling needed for speeds 79+ MPH, according to US law

 
Are you responding to a particular question or comment?
 
It's been over 6 months since there was a comment in this thread, until yours.
I did not look at dates, I mainly use the app, which does not show info on what topics are "hot"
I'm also using the app and the feature I use is the "unread topics" as it keeps everything straight...

#28 penguinflies

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 05:00 PM

An update:

 

Tons of track work being done between SPI and DWT.  We were an hour late on 301 yesterday because of the slowdowns and stops with workers on tracks.  Lots of weekend train cancellations to accommodate the work this season.

 

DWT's new station looks to be almost ready.  Tons of parking, brightly lit.  Approaches and other roadwork in the area looks to be progressing well.

 

Work on Lincoln station rehab looks to be in full swing.

 

Work on BNL's second platform is progressing.  Looks like the roof is going up next.

 

301 doesn't stop in DWT, I'm on 304 in a few days, will see if we stop in old downtown or if they stop at the new station.



#29 penguinflies

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 06:01 PM

article on DWT.  It is open!
 

http://www.daily-jou...cf0adb1dc3.html



#30 grover5995

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 12:35 AM

Latest word from IDOT is that the Joliet-Alton section will be completed in 2017 which will cut roughly 60 minutes from previous running times for Lincoln Service.  Next step would be double-tracking from Joliet-Bloomington and possibly further south which would permit additional frequency and eventual service to Peoria.  

 

Joliet Union Station project is moving ahead with a new platform for METRA/Rock Island in operation east of the crossover.  At the same time, a new north/south center platform for AMTRAK and Heritage Corridor is under construction. Pedestrian subways and escalators will connect to the original station building and eliminate foot traffic across a busy BNSF freight line.


Edited by grover5995, 09 January 2017 - 12:37 AM.


#31 penguinflies

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:23 AM

Nice!  BNL and CRV 2nd track platforms are moving right along.

 

BNL looks have more progress as the cover is also erected and it looked to be electrified.

 

CRV both platforms are poured and heavy equipment is pushing more dirt next to the parking spots.

 

Lincoln looks to be a project in work, though much visual progress is hidden.



#32 Everydaymatters

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:04 AM

In today's Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) it states that there will be busing due to more work on the high speed rail.  Some trains will be shut down from BNL to CHI indefinitely starting April 3.


Routes Traveled: Desert Wind, Southwest Chief, Missouri Mule, Empire Builder, Capitol Ltd., Lincoln Service, Lake Shore Ltd., Missouri River Runner, City of New Orleans, Cardinal, Silver Meteor, Texas Eagle, Cascades, Broadway Ltd., Acela, Downeaster, Sunset Ltd., Coast Starlight, California Zephyr, Hiawatha, Capitol Corridor, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express 76,745 Amtrak miles.    Via Rail Vancouver to Toronto 2775 Miles.


#33 Bob Dylan

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:40 AM

Does this,mean a reroute for the Texas Eagle Betty???
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#34 Everydaymatters

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 11:52 AM

Does this,mean a reroute for the Texas Eagle Betty???

Jim, I believe the Pantagraph might have made an error in that it says "Trains 321 and 322 will be canceled".  It states that "northbound train 22/422 and southbound train 21/421 won't stop between Chicago and St. Louis,  Also, "The Texas Eagle may encounter delays of up to 45 minutes traveling on the detour".

 

There are other inconsistencies in the Pantagraph's article, so I'd advise someone check with Amtrak.


Routes Traveled: Desert Wind, Southwest Chief, Missouri Mule, Empire Builder, Capitol Ltd., Lincoln Service, Lake Shore Ltd., Missouri River Runner, City of New Orleans, Cardinal, Silver Meteor, Texas Eagle, Cascades, Broadway Ltd., Acela, Downeaster, Sunset Ltd., Coast Starlight, California Zephyr, Hiawatha, Capitol Corridor, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express 76,745 Amtrak miles.    Via Rail Vancouver to Toronto 2775 Miles.


#35 Bob Dylan

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:35 PM

Thanks Betty, guess the Eagle will be using the regular "Amish Country" Detour between Chicago and St. Louis.
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#36 Steve4031

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:04 AM

321/322 are the train numbers for chi-stl reservations iirc. 21/22 are running through to Texas. I think this is done to discourage chi-stl bookings in coach on 21/22. I have successfully booked sleepers on 21/22 detours to avoid bus rides.

#37 VentureForth

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 02:58 PM

After riding the TE through the STL - CHI detour (and them still insisting we'd be on time), I'll continue to relish 79 MPH. 54 MPH for nearly 5 straight hours going straight and flat - it's about the most boring ride I've ever been on with Amtrak.

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Completed Routes: Capitol Limited, Palmetto
Also Ridden: Carolinian, Crescent, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, Southwest Chief, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Texas Eagle


#38 Steve4031

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 07:20 PM

Same scenery as on any Midwest route. Cornfields and small towns. I enjoyed it because my grandfather worked on the C&EI which 21 and 22 run over on the detour. He used to always talk about Woodlawn jct. It was cool to ride over it on Amtrak.

#39 XHRTSP

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 04:26 AM

 Next step would be double-tracking from Joliet-Bloomington and possibly further south which would permit additional frequency and eventual service to Peoria. 

 

Has there been serious talk about service to Peoria?  I haven't really been following progress on the Illinois trains since leaving Chicago.



#40 VentureForth

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 07:42 AM

Same scenery as on any Midwest route. Cornfields and small towns. I enjoyed it because my grandfather worked on the C&EI which 21 and 22 run over on the detour. He used to always talk about Woodlawn jct. It was cool to ride over it on Amtrak.

 

I don't disagree with that, but a 25 MPH difference in speed makes a LOT of difference, not to mention the typical route between Chicago and St. Louis has 7 stops which breaks up the monotony.  I can't think of anywhere else on the Texas Eagle, SWC or the CZ where the train travel more more than a couple hours without stopping, the longest legs being in the middle of the night.

 

Again, I enjoyed the rare mileage (becoming not so rare mileage over the past decade), but it got REAL boring for me after the first three hours.  Now, I will say that when I was there, the refrigeration in the dining car went out and so there was no food service.  We all got little snacklets which were nice. 


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Completed Routes: Capitol Limited, Palmetto
Also Ridden: Carolinian, Crescent, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, Southwest Chief, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Texas Eagle





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