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So I was in CUS almost a week ago, and I remember there were a lot of fumes, and a suprising number got into the station, which didn't bother me, but I'm sure it bothered others. What if (yeah, I know it's real unlikely) third rail electrification was mandatory on all regular trains (perhaps exceptions can be made for excursions, as they are rare and pose no threat to regular conditions), like in Manhattan, so as to eliminate issues with fumes in the station. Also, overhead wire would work, but I know people will complain about Superliner clearances, but if they are moving everything to Viewliner, there shouldn't be an issue onve they switch, just slap a 5 MPH restriction on the Superliners in the station.

Edited by norfolkwesternhenry

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No chance, unless the whole suburban network of metra and all of the Chicago based state supported lines had either dual mode engines or were replaced with EMU's.

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This has been a complaint for years that brought the attention of the Chicago Tribune, EPA and Sen. Durbin. The owner of the old post office building above the tracks was taken to court for failing to provide proper ventilation. The main offenders appear to be the much older and higher polluting Metra locomotives, and Metra.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/ct-union-station-air-testing-met-20151105-story.html

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So I was in CUS almost a week ago, and I remember there were a lot of fumes, and a suprising number got into the station, which didn't bother me, but I'm sure it bothered others. What if (yeah, I know it's real unlikely) third rail electrification was mandatory on all regular trains (perhaps exceptions can be made for excursions, as they are rare and pose no threat to regular conditions), like in Manhattan, so as to eliminate issues with fumes in the station. Also, overhead wire would work, but I know people will complain about Superliner clearances, but if they are moving everything to Viewliner, there shouldn't be an issue onve they switch, just slap a 5 MPH restriction on the Superliners in the station.

 

Electrification, especially just within terminal areas, is not really a practical solution even if there were a severe problem with exhaust. Regardless, improved ventilation would be far less expensive.

 

Where did you ever get the (mistaken) idea Amtrak was "moving everything to Viewliner" ?

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I was just through CUS twice in the last two weeks and I was amazed at the LACK of fumes out in the platforms. I figured they had some good ventilation in place.

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I think they forced the owner of the old Post Office to fix the ventilation.

 

I still think partial electrification (with overhead catenary) is a good long-term idea, particularly for the high-frequency BNSF Line. There are very few overbridges on that line so the catenary could be put up high enough to clear any freight trains. I suspect BNSF wouldn't complain. But it would have to be funded by Metra.

 

Metra is not only short on money, it's a notorious stick-in-the-mud organization, unwilling to do anything to improve its operations.

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I think they forced the owner of the old Post Office to fix the ventilation.

 

The Old Post Office was sold in March, 2016 to a developer called 601W, and is currently in the middle of a $500 million multi-year renovation of the building, which will eventually house offices and retail.

 

The prior owner, Robert Davies, was a derelict landlord and, for all intents and purposes, just a squatter, never intending on developing the property, merely waiting for the area to become more desirable so he could sell the property off at a sizable profit. In addition to not maintaining the ventilation fans properly, several fires had broken out in the building and he was in arrears in his property taxes to the tune of $600,000 or so. The city was on the verge of taking the Post Office away from him, when he finally made a deal to sell it off to 601W.

 

The new developer is probably receiving either TIF money or some sort of property tax abatement, and keeping the ventilation system working properly was no doubt a condition for receiving that assistance. I understand that Union Station's Phase I plans would require that the developers of the Post Office also remove two elevators shafts in order to convert the former mail platform into passenger platforms for the anticipated through tracks.

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Where in the world would you get the idea that Amtrak is moving away from Superliners? If the Midwest/California car order is ever built, it will be a bi-level design, so the number of two-level cars would increase, not decrease. Electification of CUS will only happen if Metra embraces electric service on its routes. I won't say that this would never happen, but I wouldn't bet any money on it. In that case what would Amtrak do? Invest in a fleet of bi-modal locomotives for all its LD and Midwest short hauls? Seems very far fetched.

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Where in the world would you get the idea that Amtrak is moving away from Superliners? If the Midwest/California car order is ever built, it will be a bi-level design, so the number of two-level cars would increase, not decrease. Electification of CUS will only happen if Metra embraces electric service on its routes. I won't say that this would never happen, but I wouldn't bet any money on it. In that case what would Amtrak do? Invest in a fleet of bi-modal locomotives for all its LD and Midwest short hauls? Seems very far fetched.

 

Not to mention that Superliners fit under the wires on the NEC. The issue with them on the NEC is the Tunnels.

 

peter

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I think they forced the owner of the old Post Office to fix the ventilation.

 

The Old Post Office was sold in March, 2016 to a developer called 601W, and is currently in the middle of a $500 million multi-year renovation of the building, which will eventually house offices and retail.

 

The prior owner, Robert Davies, was a derelict landlord and, for all intents and purposes, just a squatter, never intending on developing the property, merely waiting for the area to become more desirable so he could sell the property off at a sizable profit. In addition to not maintaining the ventilation fans properly, several fires had broken out in the building and he was in arrears in his property taxes to the tune of $600,000 or so. The city was on the verge of taking the Post Office away from him, when he finally made a deal to sell it off to 601W.

 

The new developer is probably receiving either TIF money or some sort of property tax abatement, and keeping the ventilation system working properly was no doubt a condition for receiving that assistance. I understand that Union Station's Phase I plans would require that the developers of the Post Office also remove two elevators shafts in order to convert the former mail platform into passenger platforms for the anticipated through tracks.

 

Thanks for the information!

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I sincerely doubt electrification will ever be considered as long as METRA needs to expand service. Currently, the State of Illinois has no money for anything and will have less in the future if they raise the income tax, etc. Last month, I just drove around the suburb area, though a few areas like Crystal Lake look hit hard, many are doing well in McHenry, Lake, Dupage, and Cook counties. I just do not see a project like this even in the distant future.

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Wait. Why would they have less money if they raised the income tax?

Because obviously if taxes increase people will just give up and stop working. It’s totally logical that people would rather sit at home and have no money (but not have to pay any taxes!) then to have money but subject themselves to having their hard-earned money stolen by Big Government.

 

Or something.

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Wait. Why would they have less money if they raised the income tax?

Because obviously if taxes increase people will just give up and stop working. It’s totally logical that people would rather sit at home and have no money (but not have to pay any taxes!) then to have money but subject themselves to having their hard-earned money stolen by Big Government.

 

Or something.

 

 

 

Exactly. At least, that's what they believed in Kansas, so they did the opposite. Worked wonders for them.

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Actually, I have had countless amusing conversations with various, um, down to earth people. Whenever the find out that I ran my own business that handled largely cash transactions, they couldn't shut up falling all over themselves telling me how I could hide my income from the government, which is obviously the good part of running ones own business.

 

Funnily enough, I never hid a penny. Not saying I wouldn't have at some point where the numbers got big enough that I might have had room to do it. But it never seemed pointfull as I was mostly interested in demonstrating to various stakeholders that I had a solid, fast growing company. And in the end, when a fire burned down the market I was running it in, those complete and accurate records are a major part of why I got a large and quick insurance payout. I could prove my 48% year/year growth meticulously. And that greatly increased my LOBI payment.

 

Honestly, I fondly wish for the day when I write a million dollar quarterly tax estimate to the IRS. That would mean I made a lot of money.

 

And as for hiding money- first we figure out how to make large profits. Then we can worry about how to route them to the Caymans.

 

But there really are a large number of imbeciles who would happily spend 20% of their income to avoid giving 15% to the government. I don't get it, but there it is. However expecting that effect to be large enough to reduce tax revenue from a reasonable tax increase is nuts.

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The reason those imbeciles fight so hard to keep from paying taxes is summed up by one word: GREED!

 

In addition to Patriotism and Religion being the Last Refuge of Scoundrels,Tax Advoidance and Evasion are the way to roll for far too many!

 

Good to know you are honest and didn't let those "advisors" talk you into an appearance on "American Greed"!😉

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I was just visit several people in Illinois earlier this summer. Several stated that they were actively looking at leaving Illinois with the prospect of increased taxes. So if Illinois raises taxes, but fewer pay the taxes by not working or by moving to another state (individuals and businesses), how is Illinois ahead? Wouldn't they stay at the same level or possibly worse?

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Anecdotes are not data and talk is cheap.

 

This also has nothing to do with electrification at CHI. Take your debunked economic theories elsewhere.

Edited by Ryan

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I was just visit several people in Illinois earlier this summer. Several stated that they were actively looking at leaving Illinois with the prospect of increased taxes. So if Illinois raises taxes, but fewer pay the taxes by not working or by moving to another state (individuals and businesses), how is Illinois ahead? Wouldn't they stay at the same level or possibly worse?

 

We've been told that won't happen. So there. But let's take a look at the same practice in microcosm. Last year Cook County IL put a sin tax on pre-sweetened beverages. After a lengthy delay for implementation and a court challenge with several extensions, it finally went into effect this past week. The chair of the county commission was wailing how much the delay in implementation was costing the County because they had already worked the expected future revenues into the current budget. Before any tax was even collected. How much do you want to bet that the expected revenues will decrease over the coming months, particularly since many shoppers in Cook County can go to the collar counties without the tax and purchase their naughty drinks?

 

The City & County Of Philadelphia already implemented a similar tax last year. Revenues are down over projections. The powers that be are shocked, particularly since they, too, are relying on the sinful beverage tax as a cash cow (while at the same time desiring to decrease consumption). But expect more governmental bodies to follow suit nonetheless.

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Driving a County over to buy something is different than moving there. Heck, Philadelphians have been shopping at Christiana Mall in Delaware (0% sales tax) instead of Neshaminy Mall (8% sales tax) for years. There are a lot reasons people want to move out of Philly (and very few good reasons not to move out of that hell hole) but I can assure you that taxes are not a primary one on residents minds.

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