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JayPea

Midway to Union Station via CTA

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The Seattle airport has a similarly long walk from the Link light rail stop through a parking garage, which I find long and annoying, but the line now extended one stop South to Angle Lake it make sense, to not make the airport a stub-end terminal. BARTs SFO Airport Station is one Ill never understand since you have to transfer to their Airtrain to get to most of the terminals anyway.

I was waiting for someone to mention Seattle. I just did that walk from the terminal to the Link station about 2 weeks ago.

 

 

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At SFO it was either going to be the automatic people mover or a bunch of long travelator, since there is no way that BART was going to visit every terminal.

 

Seatac could consider putting in a travelator at least through the parking garage.

 

If you have ever done the walk at London Heathrow from various terminals to the corresponding Tube Station or even the Heathrow Express station, or at FRA to even the people mover connecting the various terminal concourses, you would probably not be super distressed with the walk in Seatac.

Edited by jis

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The walk between the terminals at Midway and the Orange Line is so long and laborious that I cannot help but think one or more taxi/shuttle/limo/parking/paving related companies/associations must have bribed someone to create such a tedious weather exposed mess out of it. If that's not the case then it's even more embarrassing to think this was the best they could manage. I tend to balk at people who complain about the relatively short walk/ride between SAC and the train platforms, but in my view MDW's poorly implemented Orange Line connection is well deserving of criticism and derision.

The Orange Line was always intended to terminate not at Midway but a couple miles south at Ford City shopping center. Ford City isn't what it was back in the late '80s when the Orange Line was planned, but the CTA still has plans for a Ford City extension if they ever get funding. The Orange Line was thus designed and built to serve Midway using an existing railroad right-of-way and then continue south in the same right-of-way to Ford City. Much of the Orange Line was similarly built on railroad right-of-way.

 

As Jis already alluded it's fairly rare for a conventional heavy metro line to reach deep into the terminal areas of a major airport. It's much more common for enclosed heated/cooled walkways with travelators and/or automated people movers to connect passengers between their terminal and the nearest metro station. That would honestly be enough for me. The connection between MDW and CTA has improved over time but it still has a long way to go before it's as quick and practical as it should be for a major airport servicing a massive metro. Hopefully they'll eventually get that rectified.

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My father was much more knowledgeable about politics than I am, and also had a small bit to do with the planning of BART (we lived in the Bay Area 1965-1967). He led me to believe that there was a conspiracy by the taxi companies to keep transit out of airport terminals.

 

For example, at SeaTac, why didn't the light rail go above (or even below) the roadways in front of the terminal? Why on the far side of the parking garage?

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At SFO Ill never understand why they didnt just build

The Airtrain to Milbrae so Caltrain riders could also get a one transfer ride, today Caltrain riders have a 3 transfer ride (during weekdays).

1. At Milbrae board a RIC red line train, ride one stop

2. At San Bruno transfer to an SFO Airport Train, ride one stop

3. Get off at SFO Airport and take the Airtrain to your terminal.

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Because the Airtrain is a remarkably slow mode of transport.

 

 

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Because the Airtrain is a remarkably slow mode of transport.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

It can't be that much slower than the multi-transfer option that currently exists (though, in theory, one riding BART to the airport doesn't need to then take Airtrain, as it is possible to walk from the BART stop to any terminal, entering through the International terminal; it requires a bit of a walk, but it's doable...I do it once every month or two).

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The Best Rail Transport to/from the Airport in the US IMO are Philadelphia,Denver,Chicago O'Hare and Portland,OR. with Dallas/Ft Worth making excellent progress on getting to DFW.

 

I'm not up to date with the Asian and European Systems, but in Canada, Vancouver and Toronto have very good systems.

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The Honolulu rail transit station at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport I think is going to be fairly close to the terminals.

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The Best Rail Transport to/from the Airport in the US IMO are Philadelphia,Denver,Chicago O'Hare and Portland,OR. with Dallas/Ft Worth making excellent progress on getting to DFW.

In my opinion, MSP is at least as good as O'Hare for urban rail connections (there's no commuter rail to MSP, but ORD's is rather infrequent at best.) Especially once travel time to the downtown core is accounted for, MSP has perhaps one of the most convenient rail options to compete against private automobile, at least if you're going to downtown Minneapolis. Of course, some of that is simply due to the location of the airport, but it's about as fast as a taxi to downtown overall.

 

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I feel like it's the same distance from the Blue Line to O'Hare's Terminal 3 (my most frequently used) as compared to the distance from the Orange Line to the gates at Midway, but the trek to and from the Orange Line simply feels longer and is 10x more annoying.

 

I believe part of that is due to much of it being exposed to the elements (though, they do try to heat that section). Additionally, O'Hare has moving walkways, elevators, and escalators. Midway has an escalator going up, but you have to navigate stairs to go down. Midway also has doors that do not open automatically. The entire thing is a right pain in the rear.

 

The next time I'm in Chicago and have scads of unstructured free time, I might do a comparison walk at both airports. I measured the walk from the Metropolitan Lounge to my Seattle sleeper on the EB a few years ago, so why not? :)

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The Best Rail Transport to/from the Airport in the US IMO are Philadelphia,Denver,Chicago O'Hare and Portland,OR. with Dallas/Ft Worth making excellent progress on getting to DFW.

 

I'm not up to date with the Asian and European Systems, but in Canada, Vancouver and Toronto have very good systems.

I think Newark does fine too, specially with direct Amtrak connection. Milwaukee also comes to mind. JFK is in principle no different from Newark or SFO, with the Air Train taking you to the main rail/subway connection.

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If you count light rail, St. Louis Lambert Field has pretty good service. And Boston Logan has the Blue Line a shuttle bus away, as well as the direct-into-the-subway, hybrid, dual-mode Silver Line to South Station....

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MARTA’s ATL stop is steps away from bag claim and check-in services and is served by both Red and Gold lines for a functional 6 min peak frequency. I’d put that in a list of top rail-air connections.

 

 

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You may notice that we’re not simply listing airports with rail connections, but discussing the setup and relative convenience of them.

 

To help fill out your list, I can speak to DCA and BWI.

 

DCA is among the best, as long as you aren’t flying out of the A terminal. Frequent WMATA Blue and Yellow line service drops you off a short walk from the terminal. It’s enclosed the entire way, and provides moving walkways to speed the trip.

 

BWI has two connections. The Light Rail terminates at the international end of the terminal, from there you can walk all the way around to the Southwest side in a few minutes. The Amtrak/MARC Station is a ~5 minute shuttle bus ride away. Bus frequency could be better, but it’s mostly effortless. The bus does make sever stops at the air terminal, so walking is minimal.

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You may notice that were not simply listing airports with rail connections, but discussing the setup and relative convenience of them.

 

To help fill out your list, I can speak to DCA and BWI.

 

DCA is among the best, as long as you arent flying out of the A terminal. Frequent WMATA Blue and Yellow line service drops you off a short walk from the terminal. Its enclosed the entire way, and provides moving walkways to speed the trip.

 

BWI has two connections. The Light Rail terminates at the international end of the terminal, from there you can walk all the way around to the Southwest side in a few minutes. The Amtrak/MARC Station is a ~5 minute shuttle bus ride away. Bus frequency could be better, but its mostly effortless. The bus does make sever stops at the air terminal, so walking is minimal.

Thank you for the additional info. Most of the ones on my list I have never actually been to so just wanted to open them up to discussion for those that have.

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And Boston Logan has the Blue Line a shuttle bus away, as well as the direct-into-the-subway, hybrid, dual-mode Silver Line to South Station

 

Logan to South Station is not bad at all. Direct Silver line. Logan to the closer North Station? Terrible. Airport shuttle, transfer to blue line. Transfer to orange line, Transfer from North Station (subway) to North Station (rail). Sucks. Last time I had to make this connection, I gave up, and asked a stranger to split a taxi.

 

LIke said above DCA is great. I wish the Dulles subway extension would happen in my lifetime. We flew out of Dulles once just to see what is (IMO) the best museum in the DC area. But the bus ride was long and unpleasant, we agreed to never do that trip again until the subway is finished.

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Logan to South Station is not bad at all. Direct Silver line. Logan to the closer North Station? Terrible. Airport shuttle, transfer to blue line. Transfer to orange line, Transfer from North Station (subway) to North Station (rail). Sucks. Last time I had to make this connection, I gave up, and asked a stranger to split a taxi.

 

LIke said above DCA is great. I wish the Dulles subway extension would happen in my lifetime. We flew out of Dulles once just to see what is (IMO) the best museum in the DC area. But the bus ride was long and unpleasant, we agreed to never do that trip again until the subway is finished.

Hope your expected lifetime extends to 2020. The construction of the DC Metro Silver Line Phase 2 extension is well along. The Dulles Airport station appears to be mostly built-out as are most of the Phase 2 stations, tracks have even been laid down in the median and elevated guideway for parts of the 11.5 mile Phase 2 extension. The reports are that the project is still on the (revised) schedule with Phase 2 supposed to open sometime in 2020 (hopefully early 2020).

 

The Metro station at Dulles, however, will be some distance from the front of the main terminal building. There was a major dispute on where the station and tracks would go at the airport terminal. Locating the station and tracks under and near the front of the terminal building was going to be quite expensive; the decision was to save around $500 million and put the Dulles station on elevated tracks on the far side of the short term parking lot from the terminal. From the Dulles Metro station platform, the route will be to take an escalator or elevator down to a pedestrian tunnel that runs under the parking lot. The hike will be about 550' to the front of the terminal, but there are slidewalks in the existing tunnel. Then from go up into the terminal to the check-in counters and security checkpoint. Dulles airport is a rather spread out setup, so there can be a lot of walking and towing your suitcase to the checkpoints, then the Aerotrain to get to the gate even from the front entrance.

Edited by afigg

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And Boston Logan has the Blue Line a shuttle bus away, as well as the direct-into-the-subway, hybrid, dual-mode Silver Line to South Station

 

Logan to South Station is not bad at all. Direct Silver line. Logan to the closer North Station? Terrible. Airport shuttle, transfer to blue line. Transfer to orange line, Transfer from North Station (subway) to North Station (rail). Sucks. Last time I had to make this connection, I gave up, and asked a stranger to split a taxi.

 

LIke said above DCA is great. I wish the Dulles subway extension would happen in my lifetime. We flew out of Dulles once just to see what is (IMO) the best museum in the DC area. But the bus ride was long and unpleasant, we agreed to never do that trip again until the subway is finished.

 

Can't you just go Silver-Red-Green to get to North Station? Yes it's two transfers, but it's by no means terrible.

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Silver - Red - Green would involve way less walking for sure. :)

 

I have used the Silver Line Connector bus service from IAD to Wiehle-Reston East many times, and it is really quite usable, and while not as convenient as the train dropping you off on the other side of the Parking Lot (which is what it will be when Silver Line is built out to Dulles), it is not unusably inconvenient either, even with some amount of baggage.

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I'm surprised this thread has gone on so long. One thing to keep in mind about Midway is it's the secondary (if older) Chicago airport and the route from the Orange Line into the terminal has been changed several times (which of course, has been mentioned). I think I just read, however, that there are going to be some new improvements in the terminal, but I can't remember when, but that they included improving the route, yet again, from the station into the terminal.

 

Two bits of airport subway trivia:

 

1. In the ancient annals of Chicago subway plans (of which there are, well, many many many) there was supposed to be a subway under Archer out to Midway in the 30's, if not late 20's.

 

2. Cleveland was the first American city with a subway connection to it's airport.

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And Clevelands airport connection is super easy! with the train arriving right in the terminal (Ive used it).

 

Had a funny moment involving the light rail on a 3 hour layover at the MSP airport a few years ago. A friend who lives there - who I hadnt seen in a few - decided to pick me up so we could spend some tougher. I arrived at a gate right across from the exit to the bridge directly to the Light rail station (and other connecting buses) unforchunately since she was picking me up in her private vehicle I had to take the tram (our walk/use moving walkways) to the main terminal area and baggage claim to go to the main arrivals curb.

 

MSP is a great Airport (particularly if not checking luggage) for light rail connections.

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Two bits of airport subway trivia:

 

1. In the ancient annals of Chicago subway plans (of which there are, well, many many many) there was supposed to be a subway under Archer out to Midway in the 30's, if not late 20's.

 

 

In addition, there have been various plans off and on to extend the Englewood (now Ashland/63 Green Line) branch to Midway.

 

Also, one extra bit of odd trivia, the photograph in post #16 can be dated to some time between April 2007 and December 2008, when the Purple and Brown Lines temporarily shared the same track around the Loop (otherwise, the Purple Line would not be at that entrance).

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Unfortunately, Cleveland's airport is as far away as you can get to the Amtrak station. There is good Rapid service to downtown but then you would need a cab to get to the CLE on the shoreway. There is a Rapid line that runs past the Amtrak station but it does not operate when Amtrak trains arrive at 1-2-3am in the morning. Go figure. :P

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