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2200SeriesFan

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  1. Thanks for explaining all of thsee issues, very well. Cam see your point about those freight railroads not wanting to approve more Metra service, and give more rights for passenger Metra service (sigh). I forget it had been like 10ish years, since the idea to expand UP-NW McHenry branch trains to Johnsburg was first proposed. Also, I've assumed like you that the STAR line proposal is dead. Sorry I wasn't more clear about intersuburabn travel, since you are right Metra mainly is only useful if you're going to downtown Chicago, or to other communities also on that same route. Save for very rare exceptions (i.e. between North Central and Milwaukee North at Prairie Crossing), you are correct that generally riders can't connect between Metra lines out in the suburbs. Also to clarify, I never brought up a Roundout to Wadsworth Metra extension. I'm not sure if many riders would use that, since except for a forest preserve by there and limited suburban residential developments/subdivisions, I don't know if that'd get a lot of ridership. NOT against this idea by any means, if Metra(and Wadsworth) ever wanted to do that though. I do still wish Metra's UP-W line to Elburn could be expanded to DeKalb, with a few intermediate stops possibly (mainly Maple Park and Cortland). I concede that short of DeKalb County joining the RTA, city of DeKalb ponying up a lot of new sales tax funds to pay for station construction, and getting Union Pacific to not oppose this idea, it probably won't occur. Ditto with any Metra BNSF expansion to Kendall County, which of course has been discussed very well (and including the 907 Pace feeder bus elimination) on other threads.
  2. Historic New Lenox station facing demolition

    Thanks for posting all these pics of the move, Pace831! I'm glad someone stepped up to preserve this building, and that it wasn't demolished. That was always a depot building I liked a lot, from those times I either rode Metra on a weekend pass trip to Joliet, or (once) went to New Lenox on a weekend pass trip of various RI line stops. The redevelopment around the New Lenox building of retail buildings makes me wonder if it'll flop and there won't be a lot of businesses that go into there, a la Oak Forest. Where as I recall, nothing was built except for a CVS. Though I didn't mind Oak Forest deciding to build a new Metra depot building(which the new one actually is VERY nice looking), since the old one IMO was ugly looking.
  3. Return of the 11 & 31 Bus

    I figured the July ridership numbers would include the ridership numbers from the pilot. Anyway, my fingers will remain crossed that enough use it, that the CTA does make #11 service south of Lawrence permanent once the December decision day comes. And speaking of what pudgy said above about the #73 bus, didn't they only expand that past 7pm on weekdays? I wish the #73 ran later including on weekends, but I doubt that'll occur anytime soon. At least you can easily walk to the #49 Western or the #50 Damen bus from Map Room. The #49 if you don't mind a 0.6 or 0.7(?) mile walk, and #50 is only I believe 1-2 blocks east.
  4. Never minding of course that certain realities would have to change for some service expansions to occur I suspect, such as that Kendall and DeKalb would have to join the RTA for Metra to expand beyond the existing 6 county area. And I won't get into proposed future stations that are scheduled to eventually open(i.e. Romeoville on Heritage Corridor), or how very limited service is on some lines like North Central Service to Antioch, Heritage Corridor, etc. Myself, I've been starting to think that expanding the Milwaukee District North line northwest from Fox Lake to Richmond, IL(w/a stop south of that town) would be interesting, with perhaps an intermediate stop(s?) for Spring Grove and/or Solon Mills. I'd suspect at least Spring Grove would support a station, if not Solon Mills. And since McHenry County is already part of the RTA, you'd think this would get more serious consideration. If you ask me I wouldn't mind stops also in both Zenda and Walworth in Wisconsin, but who knows how likely that'd occur since there'd probably be a need for a sales tax mechanism(or something) to fund service beyond Richmond? Zenda of course was an intermediate stop back when the Amtrak Lake Country Limited(which mainly doubled as a U.S. Mail train) to Janesville, WI ran, before that was eliminated years ago. Obviously I wouldn't mind BNSF being expanded west of Aurora to somewhere in Kendall County, regardless if that's ultimately Yorkville or Plano(latter being served by Amtrak, and I presume a la Naperville for Galesburg/Quincy bound trains, and Glenview on Hiawatha/Empire Builder trains, that Amtrak would probably restrict Chicago to Plano travel on Amtrak trains if Metra one day expands service that far west). I have my doubts that a service expansion would quite get to Sandwich or Somonauk. Of course a Kendall expansion would mean they'd have to reconfigure the current Aurora station. And ultimately would mean building a new platform on the mainline BNSF track beyond Aurora, and eliminate the existing platform. Not sure if the Aurora yard would have to be relocated to serve however west such a service expansion would go to, or if it'd stay in Aurora with only limited runs going beyond Aurora? I remember being surprised 10ish years ago, when I noticed that all Union Pacific West runs(save for a few weekday rush hour train runs) started to terminate/begin in Elburn, instead of just a few beginning or ending in Elburn. The latter(limited train runs) is the case to this day on the Union Pacific North line for service between Waukegan and Kenosha, and also for service between Orland Park-179th and Manhattan on the Southwest Service line. And of course, a service expansion to DeKalb, IL beyond Elburn would be nice for the Union Pacific-West line, with intermediate stops in Maple Park and Cortland. I suspect this'd mean a new side track would have to be built(a la what occurred between Geneva and Elburn) to enable service going further west, plus that a new eastbound platform would have to be constructed in Elburn as it'd no longer be the western terminus. Johnsburg would seem like a logical 1 stop extension proposal for the McHenry, IL Union Pacific Northwest branch, and has been proposed before by Metra. I doubt the tracks will ever be reconstructed north of Johnsburg, IL to Lake Geneva(where train service used to go till 1975, and a bike trail exists for much of that old track route today), sad to say. And of course I recall the talk years ago in Wisconsin(back when James Doyle was governor there) for commuter train service to occur between Kenosha and Milwaukee with an intermediate stop in Racine(and perhaps others?), that got killed off once Scott Walker became governor there. Another idea I thought of really late(which'd require a connecting track to another freight line west of Big Timber Road), would be an expansion of Milwaukee District West service serving Gilberts, Huntley, Union, and Marengo. I'm betting such service would need a 2nd track to accommodate freight train runs, and balance out Metra and freight train runs. If that isn't done, of course it might also be possible to expand Elgin service on Milwaukee District-West to Hampshire. Anyway, feel free to discuss what you'd like to see occur. Even if it isn't politically likely to happen, that's fine to discuss here.
  5. Return of the 11 & 31 Bus

    I had the impression they were going to keep these limited hours(as much as we all hate them, lol), for both bus weekday pilot runs. Who knows though, but with the way the CTA has done things in the past, I wouldn't hold my breath that they'd suddenly do a slight extension of either the #11(south of Lawrence) or #31 weekday pilot service hours. I really hope you're right. Sometime really soon in the next week or 2(hopefully), I'll have to ride the #11 again on a weekday south of Lawrence to see if ridership has improved. I probably did judge prematurely from the one time I rode #11 mid-afternoon(and barely before the PM rush), that ridership wasn't coming back. Hopefully another ride will show me that ridership is starting to embrace the #11 pilot, whenever I ride it again. And it'd be nice to see the #31 succeed as well.
  6. rock island bar cars

    Ah, that explains why those cars were eliminated. I wondered why that was. And am I correct in thinking that private club car that's attached on one weekday morning Kenosha-Chicago rush hour run, and also an afternoon rush hour run back to Kenosha, is the last such car operating on any of Metra's lines? You usually can see that train it's assigned to parked on the track just west of the Kenosha platform near the stairs in and out of that platform, if you ride there on Saturday and Sunday(based on the 1 time I ever rode there on Sunday, usually don't go to Kenosha on Sundays/holidays since the schedule north of Waukegan sucks more vs. Saturdays).
  7. South Shore Express

    I recall when the 'sunrise express' train debuted, NICTD said something about those stops all being chosen since they used high level platforms. I bet whenever one day Michigan City 11th/Franklin gets an upgraded high level platform and they get rid of street running(probably will be years from now before it occurs, but who knows), maybe it'll occur? Rumor I heard too last I saw from pdf files is that they were talking about eliminating the stop at Carroll Ave., but who knows what'll eventually occur? Also had heard a similar proposal in one of the NICTD pdfs to eliminate the Clark Rd.(Gary/Chicago Airport) stop. For a while the talk was to combine both Miller and Metro Center into one stop(foolish idea IMO), but I've heard more recent talk that NICTD is now leaning to keep both of those stops. Though I heard that the Miller stop might need to be relocated slightly west of its current location, to support a high level platform. Not sure how they'll handle upgrading Metro Center to have a high level platform, but I'm sure it'll be done somehow. And of course, I'm aware of NICTD's desire to upgrade Gary to Michigan City to have 2 tracks for the whole length of that portion of the South Shore. Not just only a limited portion as 2 tracks, like right by Portage/Ogden Dunes.
  8. Metra MK/Amerail car assignments 4/16

    Anyone know which of the 7400s and 8400s have the new nonflip seats, besides #7454 as noted by the poster in the other thread? I'd like to ride one of those cars sometime, to see how the new nonflip seats compare to the traditional flip seats.
  9. 6400-series Nova LFS - Updates & Retirements

    So there are at least 109 6400 buses still in service? Notwithstanding if one or 2 not on that roster, were brought back to service after(I'd guess) being put in a LTH list. I wonder if the CTA is trying to retire all the 6400s buses by the end of this year? I should get some pics inside one of those 6400s, before all of them are retired. Not surprised they are being retired, though.
  10. Return of the 11 & 31 Bus

    Interesting you said that, since I've been really itching to want to ride the #11 weekday pilot again to see if ridership has improved, since I last rode it. Hopefully I'll do so again by next week, if I don't do so by Friday. I wouldn't mind riding the #31 once sometime, to see how ridership is going on that route. Forgot to say I rode the #11 from the Western Brown Line stop all the way south to Fullerton/Halsted, when I rode it not long after its pilot began. Good to hear former #11 riders are starting to take advantage of this pilot, and that they aren't ignoring it. I was a little worried too, since I didn't see a lot of fliers promoting the new #11 pilot service from looking at businesses along Lincoln between Irving Park and Wilson. Excluding the obvious places where you'd see such a flier, such as Sulzer Library.
  11. Return of the 11 & 31 Bus

    If you want to go to Maria's and miss the last #31 bus, remember it's only a few blocks east to Halsted to catch an #8 bus, which runs till pretty late in the evening. Which is till something like 12:30am-1am? I'm not sure the exact last time the #8 runs by 31st/Halsted going north. I'd bet there'd be a good chance of the CTA extending summer #31 runs to the 31st St. beach if the pilot is successful, a la how CTA does with summer #72 runs going to North Ave. Beach, or summer #78 runs going to Montrose Beach. I thought they did that with one of the other east-west bus routes on the south side, but I forget which one it was. Hadn't ridden the #31 yet, but I worried about the chances of the #11 pilot when I rode it a little bit after it debuted in July in the afternoon, and didn't see many people waiting for a southbound bus except at 2 stops. Didn't see anyone transferring to any of the east-west buses, either. I should ride the #11 again very soon, and see if ridership on the #11 has improved since. I'll be sad, if the #11 weekday pilot south of Lawrence isn't successful. Hopefully the #31 pilot succeeds, as well. Since 31st has some decent businesses along it west of the Dan Ryan Expwy, and that it'd be nice to have a way to get to places on that street other than biking, or taking Uber/Lyft to that area and back.
  12. Megabus at Union Station

    Ah, that explains why I didn't see the Greyhound logo when I last used the Dempster Yellow Line stop. Didn't realize Greyhound decided to no longer stop there as of a few years back! For Peoria Charter, I recall their stops(at least for their service to Bloomington-Normal, and Peoria) when I last rode it years ago were at O'Hare along the bus pick-up area(a la CoachUSA for Rockford, Janesville, and Madison), Midway Orange Line(right by where all the CTA and Pace buses are), and Joliet. The latter used to stop at Louis Joliet Mall, but supposedly from an online article I read they now pick up and drop off at the new transit center by the relocated Joliet Rock Island Metra stop, post-relocation from Joliet Union Station's platform.
  13. Megabus at Union Station

    That explains it then, why when I looked at that new Union Station transit center a few days before it opened, why it seemed like I didn't see any spaces for Megabus. Would make sense too(paying rent) as to why Greyhound stops at 95th Street, and(not sure if they still do it, but I remember seeing the Greyhound logo at this station) stopped at Dempster on the Yellow Line. I don't think Megabus has any dedicated spaces they rent out to board and disembark passengers in any U.S. city, anyway.
  14. New seats

    Thanks for explaining it was a later decision to do, vs. some of their other decisions to do in Metra rehabs(i.e. add charging plugs next to certain seats). And good to hear the nonflip seats do have a chance of making it into weekend service, besides on weekdays. I'll pay more attention to looking for 7400s and 8400s cars, to see if I luck out and find any of those on a weekend Metra train have the nonflip seats.
  15. Metra Heritage Corridor

    Oh yeah, that's what it was! I got it mixed up, you're right that it was #921 at 6:12 that was cancelled, and not #917 at 4:50. And yes, the earlier quit train on those quit schedule days would leave Chicago Union Station at 3pm for the most part, though I know on of those special schedule days I saw that earlier quit train scheduled to leave CUS at 2pm instead of 3pm.
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