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Poll: Chicago Area

Will Metra Electric ever extend all the way to Kankakee?

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Will Metra Southeast Service to Crete ever operate?

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Will South Shore Line ever extend all the way to Lowell?

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#1 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 06:11 PM

1. Do you think Metra Electric will ever extend to Kankakee?

2. Do you think Metra Southeast Service to Crete will ever operate?

3. Do you think South Shore Line will ever extend to Lowell (or just to Dyer)?

By "ever", I mean whether any of these will ever operate (maybe in 15, 20, 30 years) or whether they most likely will never happen. What is the order of likelihood for these three?

Thank you.


Edited by Swadian Hardcore, 04 March 2017 - 09:20 PM.

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#2 MikefromCrete

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 08:28 PM

1. South of University Park everything is still pretty rural. IF, and that's a big if, a new  airport is ever built in the Peotone area, then the Electric will run to it, but I don't see any need for any additions.

 

2. Even I though I live in Crete, I don't  think the Southeast Line will ever be built. Metra Electric serves the area quite well. The Southeast service area is right between the Electric and the South Shore addition (see below), so it's basically redundant. 

 

3. Work on the South Shore Dyer extension is under way. I expect it to be in operation within 5-10 years. Eventually, even the Hoosiers will see the need to run to Lowell. 



#3 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:16 PM

1. So, even if the Peotone Airport is built, the Metra Electric probably won't go to Kankakee, as it's farther than Peotone?
2. Some people on other forums seem to think this will get built for "political" reasons, but I agree, it seems redundant to me.
3. Do you think South Shore will really go all the way to Lowell? There isn't that many people in Lowell - only 9k population.

 

Cheers.


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#4 MikefromCrete

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 01:11 AM

1. As I said, the area is pretty rural and there's not a lot of development going on, so I doubt if there is much demand. The Kankakee bus authority for a while ran a bus from Kankakee to University Park, but it was  canceled due to a lack of riders.

2. The state of Illinois' fiscal status is horrible right now, I can't see the legislature allocating any money to the Southeast Line.  The further north the line goes, the closer the Southeast Line is to the Electric. Even in Crete, it's less than15 minutes to get to Richton Park. 

3. Northwest Indiana is a hot place to live right now, with a lot of people moving from Illinois due to lower taxes and other concerns. St. John, just south of Dyer, is growing rapidly, along with nearby Crown Point. Lowell will eventually follow. 



#5 John Bredin

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 12:04 PM

2. The state of Illinois' fiscal status is horrible right now, I can't see the legislature allocating any money to the Southeast Line.  The further north the line goes, the closer the Southeast Line is to the Electric. Even in Crete, it's less than15 minutes to get to Richton Park.

The Southeast Service proposal looks a lot like the North Central Line, which languished in the planning stage for years but was finally done. The North Central runs parallel to the Milwaukee North line and in fact crosses it near Libertyville* and many North Central suburbs (Prospect Heights, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove) are convenient to the Union Pacific Northwest Line but that didn't stop the North Central Line in the end.

 

And the nature of the Chicago commuter lines, where all the Chicago terminals are within a few blocks of the Loop, is that they all get closer together or even merge as they get closer to their Chicago terminals, so that by itself is hardly an argument against the Southeast Service. 

 

*After the Milwaukee North turns more northwesterly at Rondout, to preclude any wiseguy who would point out that parallel lines don't cross.  :P



#6 Eric S

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 01:04 PM

It does sorta/kinda seem like the service areas of the SouthEast Service proposal and NICTD's West Lake proposal overlap somewhat. And given the outlook for transit funding at the local, state, and federal levels, I'd be surprised if both projects go forward to construction anytime soon. I'd hope that there would be a coordinated effort to push whichever one makes more sense in terms of costs and expected ridership, but I'm not really sure how likely that is either.



#7 Andrew

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 08:13 PM

What would be a good route for the proposed O'Hare Express Train?

 

Should it be electrified or DMU?



#8 Eric S

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 08:26 PM

What would be a good route for the proposed O'Hare Express Train?

 

Should it be electrified or DMU?

No route. It would be a waste of transit resources. There are far more important priorities for transit expansions and improvements than adding a third rail service between O'Hare and downtown Chicago.



#9 Andrew

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 07:17 AM

Mayor Emanuel wants the O'Hare Express Train.

 

It could be either be a DMU service (similar to the Toronto Airport rail link) or a fast, electrified train (I'm thinking the Keisei Skyliner in Japan).



#10 Eric S

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 08:15 AM

The Mayor wants an O'Hare express train, yes. So did Daley. That doesn't mean it will get built, nor that it should be built.



#11 MattW

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 09:22 AM

I'm surprised daley wanted an airport anything considering how much he seems to hate airports :angry2:


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#12 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:57 PM

Mayor Emanuel wants the O'Hare Express Train. It could be either be a DMU service (similar to the Toronto Airport rail link) or a fast, electrified train (I'm thinking the Keisei Skyliner in Japan).


The Keisei Skyliner is a private intercity service from Narita to Tokyo that travels much further and faster than anything which would be necessary or appropriate for an ORD-Loop trip. How many trains does ORD really need anyway? If it were up to me I'd simply add more people movers to whisk travelers between the Blue line station and the primary terminal areas. I'd also work to make it extremely simple and easy for tourists to purchase Blue line access as part of their airline ticket instead of having to mess with the ticketing machines. If someone is going to handout taxpayer funded upgrades and extensions maybe they should start with MDW first. Being casually dumped into the elements on the outskirts of a parking garage is a bit of a joke for a major airport in a city like Chicago.

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#13 jis

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:13 AM

Just a regular express service to O'Hare Transfer and an extension of the people mover to the station eliminating the annoying shuttle bus ride would be a good and relatively inexpensive start. The people mover extension is already in the works, so most of the work would be on METRA side.

#14 Steve4031

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:46 PM

Half hourly off peak service on all Metra lines would be a huge improvement. This includes the route to ohare transfer.

#15 Palmetto

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 05:59 AM

Rhetorical question:  why do other countries value fast, frequent and convenient service from their major cities' airports, and here we settle for either a slow ride, or a two seat ride between the two?



#16 dogbert617

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 06:30 AM

1. As I said, the area is pretty rural and there's not a lot of development going on, so I doubt if there is much demand. The Kankakee bus authority for a while ran a bus from Kankakee to University Park, but it was  canceled due to a lack of riders.

2. The state of Illinois' fiscal status is horrible right now, I can't see the legislature allocating any money to the Southeast Line.  The further north the line goes, the closer the Southeast Line is to the Electric. Even in Crete, it's less than15 minutes to get to Richton Park. 

3. Northwest Indiana is a hot place to live right now, with a lot of people moving from Illinois due to lower taxes and other concerns. St. John, just south of Dyer, is growing rapidly, along with nearby Crown Point. Lowell will eventually follow. 

I took a look at River Valley Metro's website, and actually it looks like the only bus they suspended(besides all Sunday service) were routes #11 and #12. The Kankakee-University Park shuttle does still operate as of now, per RVM's page listing all routes: http://www.rivervall...com/?page_id=22

 

I agree with you, that the Metra Southeast Service proposal is unlikely to happen. The STAR Line was never built, and ditto with the Amtrak Blackhawk(Chicago-Dubuque) and Chicago-Davenport(and Moline) service proposals. Like you said with IL's state financial budget impasse, I won't hold my breath Metra Southeast Service will happen anytime soon, if ever.  I agree with you it'd be redundant, if the South Shore West Lake line is built to some extent. Wherever it's built to in the end, since I'm not 100% sure if it'll go to Dyer or Lowell.

 

 

Just a regular express service to O'Hare Transfer and an extension of the people mover to the station eliminating the annoying shuttle bus ride would be a good and relatively inexpensive start. The people mover extension is already in the works, so most of the work would be on METRA side.

The freight railroad that owns the tracks the Metra North Central Service(NCS) runs on(I forget who it is, Canadian Northern or Canadian Pacific? I always get the 2 mixed up), is to blame with how VERY limited service is on this line. To the point that the last southbound weekday Antioch train(departing at 7:02pm) running south on this line, is cruelly rerouted at the Prairie Crossing junction(south of Grayslake-Washington Street) over to the Milwaukee District North tracks, to get back to Chicago Union Station! It only stops at Libertyville and Lake Forest, then runs express(this is no joke!) back to downtown Chicago.

 

This same company also owns the tracks the Heritage Corridor(Chicago-Joliet, with service to Summit, Willow Springs, Lemont, Lockport, and soon also Romeoville), dragged their feet for years on Metra's request to add a 4th pre-rush hour outbound train on Heritage. This new train run ONLY began service just over a year ago, if I recall correctly. Previously the only way you could ride this line and spend a little time at any of the stops(and when you were done at whatever stop, ride Heritage one more time to Joliet, then transfer there for an inbound Rock Island train to Chicago), was when Metra ran adjusted earlier outbound schedules on certain holiday weekends(i.e. December 24th, New Year's Eve(12/31), July 3rd, etc.).

 

As for the people mover between the terminals, I heard somewhere that there was going to be an extension constructed between where it ends now, up to the O'Hare Transfer Metra station. I have no idea of the timetable of this extension, though. The O'Hare Express train has always been a pet dream project of Mayor Emanuel for many years, though I doubt it'll ever occur. Since AGAIN, I go back to (sadly) knowing that whatever freight railroad owns the track NCS runs on, will likely make it very tough to approve any commuter rail expansion proposal over those tracks. :( Knowing how the current 7:02pm Antioch train going southbound doesn't run on the NCS tracks between Grayslake-Washington St and Franklin Park-Belmont Ave, but that instead at Prairie Crossing junction it's rerouted to the Fox Lake line to run into Chicago.



#17 MikefromCrete

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 09:59 AM

The North Central line runs over the Canadian National between Franklin Park and Antioch. When the service was started from scratch, the line was owned by Wisconsin Central. If CN had owned the line at the time, it would ever have never gotten  beyond the talking stage. Several years ago, Metra approached CN about starting weekend service, but was turned down. 

An express train to O'Hare is a nice idea, but I don't see how it can be accomplished without spending several tons of money. Expanding the existing CTA Blue Lilne from two to four tracks would be just about impossible.  Running express trains over the North Central would be easier, but CN is standing in the way and the route would require a transfer to an extended PeopleMover or a tunnel into the terminal area which would mean the line would have to be electrified. Midwest High Speed Rail Association is pushing a plan to connect Metra Electric to North Central, but this would require a tunnel under downtown Chicago or a routing along the St. Charles Airline through Union Station. Either way, the challenge is daunting and I'm not holding my breath to see it come to fruition. 


Edited by MikefromCrete, 28 May 2017 - 10:00 AM.





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