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John Bredin

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    suburban Chicago (Des Plaines)
  1. They seriously started out with the "money-losing" trope?! It's a startup, of sorts. Not making money for investors *at the beginning* (as the article quotes an analyst) is par for the course. I bet no news story about the tech giants when they were money-losing *started off* with that fact. Also, they seem to have missed that this is as much a real-estate "play" as a transportation one, which you'd think a business news source would pick up on. They had the perfect place to mention it in the paragraph on Flagler. Not a hatchet job, but not fair reportage either, IMHO.
  2. John Bredin

    Getting from Chicago Union to Chicago O'Hare?

    Not quite correct but functionally so for this purpose. Jackson and Clark/Lake *are* the only accessible downtown Blue Line stations, and the next one between downtown and O'Hare is Western Avenue, which is nowhere near downtown for these purposes. But there *are* more accessible Blue stations between Clark/Lake and O'Hare than Logan Square: Western, Addison, Jefferson Park, Harlem, Cumberland, and Rosemont. Actually, mentioning Jefferson Park gives me an idea for a third alternative if accessibility is an issue but the Metra North Central doesn't work: Metra UP Northwest from Ogilvie (north of Union Station) to Jefferson Park, then an accessible transfer to the Blue Line to O'Hare. Much less frequent than the subway, but a better schedule than North Central, including weekend service. At Jefferson Park, there's a ramp down from Metra track level to ground, and an elevator inside CTA fare control from ground down to subway track level.
  3. John Bredin

    Getting from Chicago Union to Chicago O'Hare?

    If you're not traveling during rush-hour when every seat is needed, the seats flip in most Metra cars so you can take up four seats (really two benches) and put your luggage there. The rack is the proper place, of course, but not everyone can lift luggage above their head. As to frequency, the Metra North Central Service schedule is here (pdf).
  4. John Bredin

    Canadian freight train derails, explodes

    When I saw this thread revived, I thought it was going to be about the Bird Box controversy: that the show used video of the Lac-Megantic disaster as news video of a fictional disaster. Linky Another link.
  5. John Bredin

    It’s Time We Stood Up to Amtrak

    Did we get 40 more Congressmen?
  6. John Bredin

    Long anti Anderson Article

    Well, that Pandora ad I mentioned came up twice during my commute this morning. It's for Amtrak, period. No mention of Chicago, or Illinois (or any other state), or even the Midwest. Doesn't tell people to ride corridor trains and ignore long-distance trains. Is it possible Illinois or some other Midwest state paid for the ad? Possible but not likely. The written material I've seen advertising or promoting Amtrak in Illinois had "Amtrak Illinois" and an IDOT logo on it.
  7. John Bredin

    Long anti Anderson Article

    I hear Amtrak ads on Pandora all the time, to the effect of "don't put up with the hassles of driving, take the train, sit back, look out the window, eat something." Now maybe they come up for me because of my Internet usage & searches, but even if that's so, it shows that Amtrak hired an internet spying marketing firm to do that. Not calling you out in particular, but I've seen the "Amtrak doesn't advertise at all/enough" meme pop up on this board from time to time, and I suspect what many people mean is Amtrak doesn't do highly-visible network television ads, including Madison Avenue jingles, as in decades past. Television advertising isn't the alpha and omega of marketing,* never was, and even less so now. *Plenty of brands and organizations don't advertise on television, but they sure as heck advertise and market themselves.
  8. Bad example. For now, the Republic-North border is a soft intra-EU border despite the UK not being in Schengen. Lots of people in Ireland (North and south) *are* greatly worried about that border hardening post-Brexit, albeit for reasons *much* bigger than the Dublin-Belfast railway.
  9. I don't carry balances (ever ever ever!) or incur fees, either, but the credit card companies seem to like me just fine.
  10. John Bredin

    30-42 connection in Pittsburgh

    As to where to eat near Pittsburgh station, when I asked at the ticket window during my trip in early April 2018, the agent had a map or list (one-sheet photocopy) of nearby restaurants. Very handy. Ended up eating breakfast at an Einstein's Bagels a couple of blocks from the station.
  11. Counters were on my line, UP Northwest. I don't think this was targeted at the Electric Line, but just periodic (annual?) Metra counting time.
  12. https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/a22573029/seth-rogen-voice-vancouver-public-transit/?src=nl&mag=esq&list=nl_enl_news&date=072718 The gig was going to go to Morgan Freeman -- talk about the Voice of God during your morning commute -- but he got me-too'd, so hometown-boy-made-good Seth stepped up.
  13. http://digitaledition.chicagotribune.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=1a50f198-c311-46e2-b71a-0f8f5a31ec42 The article mentions a station that'll be hairy to make accessible, Damen/North Blue Line, but I would love to see a plan for installing elevators at North/Clybourn Red Line. I have a hard time when I'm there even visualizing where the platforms are in relation to the station-house and the mezzanine-ish not-level (a few steps) corridors connecting the platforms to the station-house.
  14. Why is it incompetent for a state dep't of transportation, responsible for investing in ALL modes of transportation in the state, to speed up intercity trains used by people from that state?! Are you under the impression the new commuter trains are only for Connecticutters and the Amtrak trains are only for out-of-staters? I don't think Metra trains can exceed 80mph, but I wouldn't consider IDOT incompetent if they spent money to increase the speed of the Hiawathas on the Metra Milwaukee-North or the Lincoln Service on the Metra Heritage Corridor even though the Metras running alongside the Amtraks couldn't take full advantage of it. Far from incompetent, in fact.
  15. Or at least the City of Chicago accepted the Boring Company bid. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/99494771-132.html I'd love to see this come to fruition, and Musk seems to be the type who can attract investors, *except* that using 16-passenger [del]vans[/del] vehicles make this sound: (1) less than viable, as it would seem to lack sufficient capacity or through-put, and (2) a conscious effort by Musk to *not* resemble old-fashioned [del]boring[/del] trains.