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Red & Purple Modernization Project (RPM)

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Rode Track 4 today as part of the Red Line re-routes. We went 55mph from Lawrence, slowed to 35mph just after Granville, and then down to 25mph ahead of Morse. Even with the slower speeds further north the whole trip felt super fast. I wonder if they'll be able to eventually go 55 all the way up to Howard, or if the curves will generally preclude that?

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15 hours ago, joechicago said:

A new slow zone map was posted. Looks like some big improvements, though there still are slow zones on track one by Loyola.

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/rail_slow_zone_maps/Slow_Zone_Map_-_201512_Dec.pdf

Yeah I checked it out last night, the Nb runs 55 mph up to Loyola from Lawrence then it's 35 to Howard but now the sb which was doing 35 sb is doing 55 mph again loyola to about balmoral or just south of Bryn Mawr. Cause they have track 1 closed at Lawrence I guess they want to make sure the train stops in time. Otherwise it would probably be to Lawrence sb.

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4 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Yeah I checked it out last night, the Nb runs 55 mph up to Loyola from Lawrence then it's 35 to Howard but now the sb which was doing 35 sb is doing 55 mph again loyola to about balmoral or just south of Bryn Mawr. Cause they have track 1 closed at Lawrence I guess they want to make sure the train stops in time. Otherwise it would probably be to Lawrence sb.

How's the running time from Howard to Belmont?

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Well the CTA announced it got 10 percent of the funding it needs to do RPM phase 1. xD While it may be nice and all that they received 125 million, they are trying to get a bigger piece of the pie with a 156 million payday from the usdot. Then they go on to state that's only 30 percent, but further down the article they say RPM phase 1 is a 2.1 billion dollar project. So i don't know exactly where 30 percent is coming from.

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?Month=&Year=&Category=2&ArticleId=3519

Crain's states they are going to apply the $125 million towards the brown line flyover which probably is smart in a way. I don't know if the funding bandwagon is going to be in such a giving mood once Obama's not in office. Better to do it now in case the funding dries up. I wonder how they plan on paying for the 1.7 billion they still need? Overall this sounds like a multiyear project, which may even take 10 years of budgets to pay for. CTA sounds like they can do maximum $500-600 million a year if you look at their capital needs. ($200 million each for Wilson/Red and 95th/Red and a few other projects for $100 million is my basis for this estimate) Here's the Crain's link

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20160209/BLOGS02/160209799/obama-brings-cta-a-gift-of-up-to-281-million

I was talking about how are they going to pay for electric buses, but this trumps that by hundreds of millions of dollars. o.O CTA is going to be like the Cadillac of mass transit with all these plans they have. We'll see how successful they are.

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On 2/10/2016 at 10:45 PM, BusHunter said:

Well the CTA announced it got 10 percent of the funding it needs to do RPM phase 1. xD While it may be nice and all that they received 125 million, they are trying to get a bigger piece of the pie with a 156 million payday from the usdot. Then they go on to state that's only 30 percent, but further down the article they say RPM phase 1 is a 2.1 billion dollar project. So i don't know exactly where 30 percent is coming from.

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?Month=&Year=&Category=2&ArticleId=3519

Crain's states they are going to apply the $125 million towards the brown line flyover which probably is smart in a way. I don't know if the funding bandwagon is going to be in such a giving mood once Obama's not in office. Better to do it now in case the funding dries up. I wonder how they plan on paying for the 1.7 billion they still need? Overall this sounds like a multiyear project, which may even take 10 years of budgets to pay for. CTA sounds like they can do maximum $500-600 million a year if you look at their capital needs. ($200 million each for Wilson/Red and 95th/Red and a few other projects for $100 million is my basis for this estimate) Here's the Crain's link

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20160209/BLOGS02/160209799/obama-brings-cta-a-gift-of-up-to-281-million

I was talking about how are they going to pay for electric buses, but this trumps that by hundreds of millions of dollars. o.O CTA is going to be like the Cadillac of mass transit with all these plans they have. We'll see how successful they are.

But don't forget that any future funding depends on Congress allotting money to the accounts that the feds, which in this case would the FTA arm of the US Department of Transportation, use to dole out funds to TAs for equipment and infrastructure capital needs. So it's not simply a matter of who's President. You also need a Congress that's friendly to transit needs. Some Representatives and Senators' support of transportation tend to be more concentrated only or mainly on highways, in other words more friendly to autos than they are buses and trains. So to get those types of members in Congress on board for various transportation bills you need to convince them that highways in their home states are going to see some benefit. You also need to be ready to explain to any Representative or Senator in general how any said project will generate jobs since politicians like to be able to say they helped stimulate jobs especially in their home district or state.

Speaking of the flyover part of RPM in particular, I was rereading their presentation and thinking that trumping up being to add more trains as needed to cut down crowds is a smarter way to present this part and build support for it than simply saying they want to cut down delays. You all remember that many of us were saying "What delays? Do they really need to acquire and tear down part of a neighborhood just to say a measly two or three minutes?" But if you say to people we'll be able to add more trains to cut into the large crowds and decrease the need for waiting for a second, third or maybe even a fourth train before being able to board a train during rush hour, that would tend to get more people to thinking "Hey I can get on board with that." 

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They'll get the funding for RPM, if they have to do it with 10 years of budgets. If they can really spare 500 million a year for capital maybe the 1.7 billion can be raised in 5 years considering they might want to do a few odd projects here and there.

As far as the flyover, the speeds are more than just 3 minutes waiting here and there. I can imagine this delay trickles up and down the line, so if you are wondering why your train is slow at Addison/Red or Diversey/Brown, this would be the answer to that. When Red line trains are running on 3 and 4 minute headways, there's only so much extra time to spare for a brown line crossing, one thing gets out of sync and you wait. Ever wonder why in the rush you don't sail through tower 18? Because the volume of traffic is restricting the speed at the intersection. Same concept here.

Think of it as putting a traffic light in the middle of an expressway.

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1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

They'll get the funding for RPM, if they have to do it with 10 years of budgets. If they can really spare 500 million a year for capital maybe the 1.7 billion can be raised in 5 years considering they might want to do a few odd projects here and there.

As far as the flyover, the speeds are more than just 3 minutes waiting here and there. I can imagine this delay trickles up and down the line, so if you are wondering why your train is slow at Addison/Red or Diversey/Brown, this would be the answer to that. When Red line trains are running on 3 and 4 minute headways, there's only so much extra time to spare for a brown line crossing, one thing gets out of sync and you wait. Ever wonder why in the rush you don't sail through tower 18? Because the volume of traffic is restricting the speed at the intersection. Same concept here.

Think of it as putting a traffic light in the middle of an expressway.

True. But if a few transit enthusiasts don't think of the trickling effect, especially when most times trains aren't sitting at the signals to the degree that CTA was stating and has local media talking heads convinced is the case, it's pretty safe to say the general public won't be thinking along those lines. So that points even more to it being smarter to sell this along the lines of being able to add more trains into service as opposed to the current structure of the junction pretty much having them at capacity to being able to do so. 

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38 minutes ago, jajuan said:

True. But if a few transit enthusiasts don't think of the trickling effect, especially when most times trains aren't sitting at the signals to the degree that CTA was stating and has local media talking heads convinced is the case, it's pretty safe to say the general public won't be thinking along those lines. So that points even more to it being smarter to sell this along the lines of being able to add more trains into service as opposed to the current structure of the junction pretty much having them at capacity to being able to do so. 

The two general issues raised by the above posts are:

  • Even though annual appropriations are required, if the FAST Act allows DOT to be bound by a full funding agreement for the life of the Act.
  • Also, the need for justification is less important if the project is recognized in the FAST Act, as opposed to whether the funding process is competitive (CTA doesn't do so well with respect to the latter).

The angle I was taking was that the debate over whether it would prevent delays would enter into the environmental assessment whether the destruction of the neighborhood was justified by the project. However, since the CT Board agendas state that CTA is already buying properties, that may be a fait accompli by then.

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Just finished reading a very interesting article/study done by Ed Zotti for the Chicago Reader.

Published on March 24, 2011, the article is certainly dated (i.e. referencing the 'possibility' of a new green line station at Cermak, or the Wilson station needing to be rebuilt). However, it discusses commute issues for riders of both the Red and Purple lines, and several possible solutions to be considered for the RPM. The author puts forth some pretty creative ideas on modifying routes for Purple Line Express trains, including highlighting some outlandish RPM plans the CTA drafted themselves!

He then "raises these issues with the CTA sachems—specifically, three ex-CTA planning officials with more than 60 years of transit experience among them", and  provides some pretty interesting diagrams from their feedback. 

For those of you who enjoy ample data and analysis on CTA ridership and routes, (or just creative and different ideas once planned for the RPM) I would highly recommend giving this article a read. 

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/how-to-fix-the-el-cta/Content?oid=3473194

 

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1 hour ago, ThirdRailVision said:

Just finished reading a very interesting article/study done by Ed Zotti for the Chicago Reader.

Published on March 24, 2011, the article is certainly dated (i.e. referencing the 'possibility' of a new green line station at Cermak, or the Wilson station needing to be rebuilt). However, it discusses commute issues for riders of both the Red and Purple lines, and several possible solutions to be considered for the RPM. 

Several of years ago, again when CTA was stewing over the alternatives analysis for the RPM, the CTA Tattler cited a similar study, maybe this one, noting that the north and south sides of the Red Line were unbalanced, and I believe proposed short turning some Red Line trains at Roosevelt. Maybe someone  should think about a turning loop off the 13th St. incline,but that's probably another $400 million.

What they say about the north side Red Line trains being packed, and the Purple Express not being an express is certainly true. It has been an inherent problem that you won't get a seat south of Loyola.

Their statement about some express stops south of Howard is similar to how the Evanston Express used to run, with at least a stop at Loyola, and then crossing over, but that was eliminated in the early 70s, I believe. One would assume that if the RPM is built according to the present idea, Loyola would be a double platform station.

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On 7/24/2016 at 8:35 PM, Busjack said:

Several of years ago, again when CTA was stewing over the alternatives analysis for the RPM, the CTA Tattler cited a similar study, maybe this one, noting that the north and south sides of the Red Line were unbalanced, and I believe proposed short turning some Red Line trains at Roosevelt. Maybe someone  should think about a turning loop off the 13th St. incline,but that's probably another $400 million.

What they say about the north side Red Line trains being packed, and the Purple Express not being an express is certainly true. It has been an inherent problem that you won't get a seat south of Loyola.

Their statement about some express stops south of Howard is similar to how the Evanston Express used to run, with at least a stop at Loyola, and then crossing over, but that was eliminated in the early 70s, I believe. One would assume that if the RPM is built according to the present idea, Loyola would be a double platform station.

Of course the Red Line imbalance stems from the North Side having an even larger population density compared to the South Side than it did 30-plus years ago. It's also a reason why Purple Line Express trains became less express with the current service pattern of servicing all local stops south of Belmont to help out the Brown Line as noted in the article, and given there wasn't yet a Wilson Rebuild project to renovate Wilson and have it be an added stop on the Purple Express about three-quarters of the way into its five and a half mile express zone leading into the city. I also noted the statement that the floundering Red Line extension to 130th Street proposal would make the imbalance problem worse if implemented alone. The article agrees with your overall assessment that CTA should find a way enhance service on the north leg of the Red Line without throwing the system out of whack doing so. I see one proposed idea is one discussed here on the forum off and on. In addition of the Red Line extension to 130th, they posed having the Purple Express moved the Red Line inner tracks and parallel the Red Line up to Roosevelt through the subway instead of the current running parallel to the Brown Line into downtown. So they're in line with your thought of some trains running only to Roosevelt, except they propose doing so with the Purple trains instead of doing it with Red Line trains. They also have Bryn Mawr added in as a transfer station in addition to Wilson being rebuilt for that purpose as well as the Purple Express also making addition stops at Morse, Loyola, and Addison. I don't see how those added stops north of Belmont beyond CTA adding Wilson to the Purple Express's service stops addresses the complaints of the Purple Line being less express than it had been. The sachems proposal of keeping added stops restricted only to the current rebuild of WIlson for use as a transfer station in addition to a similar idea for Loyola seems to address that better. They also propose rebuilding the Evanston stations to handle eight car trains instead of the current six which falls in line with CTA wants to do as part of RPM. 

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1 hour ago, jajuan said:

Of course the Red Line imbalance stems from the North Side having an even larger population density compared to the South Side than it did 30-plus years ago. It's also a reason why Purple Line Express trains became less express with the current service pattern of servicing all local stops south of Belmont to help out the Brown Line as noted in the article, and given there wasn't yet a Wilson Rebuild project to renovate Wilson and have it be an added stop on the Purple Express about three-quarters of the way into its five and a half mile express zone leading into the city. I also noted the statement that the floundering Red Line extension to 130th Street proposal would make the imbalance problem worse if implemented. The article agrees with your overall assessment that CTA should find a way enhance service on the north leg of the Red Line without throwing the system out of whack doing so. I see one proposed idea is one discussed here on the forum off and on. In addition of the Red Line extension to 130th, they posed having the Purple Express moved the Red Line inner tracks and parallel the Red Line up to Roosevelt through the subway instead of the current running parallel to the Brown Line into downtown. So they're in line with your thought of some trains running only to Roosevelt, except they propose doing so with the Purple trains instead of doing it with Red Line trains. They also have Bryn Mawr added in as a transfer station in addition to Wilson being rebuilt for that purpose as well as the Purple Express also making addition stops at Morse, Loyola, and Addison. I don't see how those added stops north of Belmont beyond CTA adding Wilson to the Purple Express's service stops addresses the complaints of the Purple Line being less express than it had been. The sachems proposal of keeping added stops restricted only to the current rebuild of WIlson for use as a transfer station in addition to a similar idea for Loyola seems to address that better. They also propose rebuilding the Evanston stations to handle eight car trains instead of the current six which falls in line with CTA wants to do as part of RPM. 

I have been an advocate of routing Purple Line trains through the subway to Roosevelt.   My thoughts were to route those trains via the 13th St portal and run the SSM to either Ashland or Cottage.   Then the Green Line trains could either circle the Loop or terminate at Roosevelt. 

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9 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

I have been an advocate of routing Purple Line trains through the subway to Roosevelt.   My thoughts were to route those trains via the 13th St portal and run the SSM to either Ashland or Cottage.   Then the Green Line trains could either circle the Loop or terminate at Roosevelt. 

Given existing imbalances, I don't see tying up Purple Line trains at the south end, and the Green Line is, as it is,getting more service.Also, I don't think anyone as of yet contemplates full day Purple Line service, especially if your "Then..." sentence refers to the Lake segment and you are proposing the NS through route, except Linden instead of Howard to Englewood/Jackson Park.

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On 8/1/2016 at 8:29 PM, artthouwill said:

I have been an advocate of routing Purple Line trains through the subway to Roosevelt.   My thoughts were to route those trains via the 13th St portal and run the SSM to either Ashland or Cottage.   Then the Green Line trains could either circle the Loop or terminate at Roosevelt. 

How about (as previously mentioned) turning back the Purple Line  trains just beyond the Cermak/McCormick Green Line station (via the State St. subway)?

If the present Red Line imbalance of demand [Howard terminal vs 95th terminal] were expressed as a number of 8 car trains what would the number be?

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9 hours ago, geneking7320 said:

How about (as previously mentioned) turning back the Purple Line  trains just beyond the Cermak/McCormick Green Line station (via the State St. subway)?

If the present Red Line imbalance of demand [Howard terminal vs 95th terminal] were expressed as a number of 8 car trains what would the number be?

I think the first possible turnbacks for Red Line OR Purple Line trains using the 13th St Incline  would be The middle track at 3 7th Street.  This is what some Brown Line trains did a few years ago when some were sent through the subway during the Wells Street bridge reconstruction.   At other times,  weekend Brown Line trains that went through the subway instead continued express from Roosevelt to 63rd middle track on the Red line.  Those are the only turn back options. 

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13 hours ago, Busjack said:

Sun Times says CTA got the money for the Red Line north.

Not only that. According to the article, part of the money will also go toward the Brown Line Flyover CTA wants to do to reconfigure the Clark Junction in addition to the already mentioned revamping of the North Side Main and making Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations wheelchair accessible. 

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24 minutes ago, jajuan said:

Not only that. According to the article, part of the money will also go toward the Brown Line Flyover CTA wants to do to reconfigure the Clark Junction in addition to the already mentioned revamping of the North Side Main and making Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations wheelchair accessible. 

The flyover was pretty much always part of the RPM project. What hits me as bass ackward is that most of the stories start with rebuilding the stations, but that wouldn't have been necessary but for abandoning the embankment and building a new structure, although the stations will be rebuilt.

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1 hour ago, Busjack said:

The flyover was pretty much always part of the RPM project. What hits me as bass ackward is that most of the stories start with rebuilding the stations, but that wouldn't have been necessary but for abandoning the embankment and building a new structure, although the stations will be rebuilt.

Of course the platforms will have to be wider,  which means that the r.o.w will have to be wider also.  We are still years from this happening be I'm curious to see how they plan this rebuild and how service will be affected by this. 

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