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Old 06-28-2013, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Earth
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I noticed as I drove up from Indy that the CTA tracks were removed entirely between the concrete barricades along the Dan Ryan. At first I was thinking could this be permanent. The ridership that bad? What happened here? After reading the notice at the CTA site I learned that they are renovating the line and stations at the moment for improvement. I was wondering if other cities like the MTA in NYC or the Metro in DC ever shut down entire lines to replace aging tracks and stations. This must be a common practice in Chicago with the other CTA lines or was the Red Line the first in all of CTA's existence to do this kind of renovation?
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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Luckily the Green lines runs parallel to the south Red line for over half of the shut down portion and is less than one mile to the east of the Red line. The alternative was to do construction on weekends only, which would string out the work (and the benefits of reconstruction) for several years and cost more money.

BTW, the Green line was the first line to be totally shut down for reconstruction 20 years ago. It parallel the Red and Blue lines allowing alternatives while it was down. The north branch of the Red line has no parallel line and carries a much higher passenger load so shutting it down for reconstruction (which it will soon need) will not be possible.

Most of the CTA lines run above ground unlike in NYC and DC, so they require more frequent maintenance/reconstruction due to exposure to the elements.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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The entire line isn't shut down, it's only part of it. The entire line from Roosevelt and north is still in operation - which is 24 stops. They changed the route south of Roosevelt to run on the Green Line which runs parallel to the Red Line for a little bit. In reality, only 7 of the 31 stops are "out of order" right now. That's 22.5% which is a large percentage, BUT not huge. Still sucks for some residents, but the CTA offered some alternative at least.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Good to see they are redoing this. May be the ride may be smooth and quite like a MARTA train ride.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Eastchester, Bronx, NY
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It sounds like CTA is making good progress with the rehab project. Come mid-October when they're done, the Dan Ryan section should be much smoother and much faster.

Since we're on the subject, how are the South Siders coping so far?
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:14 AM
 
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The south side continues to have lower ridership, so they could pull this off since the green line offered some redundancy. However, when they did work on the heavily-traveled north side Red/Purple/Brown line a few years ago, they just reduced the number of active tracks from four to three along that main trunk. It seemed to take forever, but that branch of service is really improved now.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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Default Same model for "heavy rail" rehabilitation too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
The south side continues to have lower ridership, so they could pull this off since the green line offered some redundancy. However, when they did work on the heavily-traveled north side Red/Purple/Brown line a few years ago, they just reduced the number of active tracks from four to three along that main trunk. It seemed to take forever, but that branch of service is really improved now.
The same basic strategy is how the various Metra lines do track maintenance -- re-route onto the existing rails and remove the steel rails, rebuild the track bed, lay new ties, replace the steel. The sections where their are wide right of way / multiple parallel tracks mean this happens almost seamlessly. The sections where there is only a single track are much harder to orchestrate and the time between rehabilitions is much longer. I think that too many aficionados of high-speed rail are blind to just how distruptive maintenance can be. Even with welded rails and concrete rail ties the wear and tear on the actual steel rails is immense. Chicago's harsh climate that salt that sprays onto tracks from adjacent roadways is brutal... Very costly maintenance.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanologist View Post
Good to see they are redoing this. May be the ride may be smooth and quite like a MARTA train ride.
They are basically doing it because the CTA ordered a few billion dollars of new series of rail cars to start delivery in 2016. The track in some areas (pretty much all track for what they're replacing) couldnt work with the new cars - so they're replacing it.

Also it's been proposed to extend the Red Line over 5 miles south to 130th street (currently goes to 95th street) which would go through Washington Heights, Morgan Park, and into Blue Island. Not sure of what the status of this is. IMO they should be spending the money to make more E-W stuff. It would be nice to make an E-W line that connect says Lincoln Park or Lakeview to Logan Square/Avondale/Humboldt Park/etc and things in between. No offense to the far far south side.

http://www.transitchicago.com/redeis
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
They are basically doing it because the CTA ordered a few billion dollars of new series of rail cars to start delivery in 2016. The track in some areas (pretty much all track for what they're replacing) couldnt work with the new cars - so they're replacing it.

Also it's been proposed to extend the Red Line over 5 miles south to 130th street (currently goes to 95th street) which would go through Washington Heights, Morgan Park, and into Blue Island. Not sure of what the status of this is. IMO they should be spending the money to make more E-W stuff. It would be nice to make an E-W line that connect says Lincoln Park or Lakeview to Logan Square/Avondale/Humboldt Park/etc and things in between. No offense to the far far south side.

http://www.transitchicago.com/redeis
I also hear there would be an extension of the South Shore Line branching off towards Valporaiso,IN. Apparently, the Munster extension is off the table.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanologist View Post
I also hear there would be an extension of the South Shore Line branching off towards Valporaiso,IN. Apparently, the Munster extension is off the table.
That has been discussed for years, but I haven't seen anything even resembling progress toward actually doing it. One plan that I saw did actually go to Munster (or near there, anyway), then to Merrillville/CrownPoint to Valparaiso. It would make sense, given how much of the population of NWI (particularly the middle and upper middle class suburban/commuter type population) has shifted south and southeast over the past few decades.

Interestingly, there was a commuter train between Valpo and Chicago pretty much continuously from 1869(!) to 1991. It's ironic that the service stopped right about when population started to really shift out that direction more.

Calumet (train) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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