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1 hour ago, MTRSP1900-CTA3200 said:

Metra board approves the purchase of up to 500 new railcars. They are Alstom Coradia Multilevels, and most notably they don’t use the gallery car setup.

 

https://metrarail.com/about-metra/newsroom/metra-board-approves-purchase-500-modern-railcars?fbclid=IwAR1ywYXF20Eh779jrzwZyy9mClUiNW5XGex5T1UJH7vBB2mITVHYjzAy2sQ

 

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This needs to be said.... do people just have a death wish or what??? I was on my way to work this afternoon and passing the Union Pacific North Metra Line at Grace & Ravenswood this afternoon, I

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2 hours ago, MTRSP1900-CTA3200 said:

Metra board approves the purchase of up to 500 new railcars. They are Alstom Coradia Multilevels, and most notably they don’t use the gallery car setup.

 

https://metrarail.com/about-metra/newsroom/metra-board-approves-purchase-500-modern-railcars?fbclid=IwAR1ywYXF20Eh779jrzwZyy9mClUiNW5XGex5T1UJH7vBB2mITVHYjzAy2sQ

Interesting that they're essentially expanding capacity when its still uncertain if commuter rail lines will ever return to pre-pandemic levels of ridership anytime soon. Regardless, this is a wonderful move, I've never been a fan of the gallery set up (except for ticket collection) as it is too cramped and the seats too small. Hopefully Metra will also do away with that horrible green tint they use for their windows.

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1 hour ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

Interesting that they're essentially expanding capacity when its still uncertain if commuter rail lines will ever return to pre-pandemic levels of ridership anytime soon. Regardless, this is a wonderful move, I've never been a fan of the gallery set up (except for ticket collection) as it is too cramped and the seats too small. Hopefully Metra will also do away with that horrible green tint they use for their windows.

Good riddance to the damned gallery cars!  Now they need to make the platforms at Ogilvie higher, to make them the exact same height as the lowest stair of the cars!

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1 hour ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

...Regardless, this is a wonderful move, I've never been a fan of the gallery set up (except for ticket collection) as it is too cramped and the seats too small. Hopefully Metra will also do away with that horrible green tint they use for their windows.

I only liked the gallery cars because they make it easier for the conductors to collect tickets. But I think with people using the Ventra app and just having to tap to verify their ticket to the conductors, that might add up to a considerable time saving. I know other commuter rail agencies use split level cars and I’m not aware of any ticket issues with them, but they might just be deploying more conductors per train. Personally I’ve never had any issues with the seat size, although on an all stop train from OTC or even Norwood Park I found myself standing up for a bit. And as unique as the green windows are, they are terrible for looking out through during the night, so I agree with you! Keep your fingers crossed because some of the 6000s and 8500s have clear windows now.

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15 hours ago, MTRSP1900-CTA3200 said:

I only liked the gallery cars because they make it easier for the conductors to collect tickets. But I think with people using the Ventra app and just having to tap to verify their ticket to the conductors, that might add up to a considerable time saving. I know other commuter rail agencies use split level cars and I’m not aware of any ticket issues with them, but they might just be deploying more conductors per train. Personally I’ve never had any issues with the seat size, although on an all stop train from OTC or even Norwood Park I found myself standing up for a bit. And as unique as the green windows are, they are terrible for looking out through during the night, so I agree with you! Keep your fingers crossed because some of the 6000s and 8500s have clear windows now.

MARC Penn Line runs 8-car Bombardier MultiLevel sets with 2 conductors just fine (pre-pandemic). NJTransit has run 8 or 10 car sets, same type of carriage, with no more than 3 conductors that i've seen

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just read that the NICTD will be leasing 20 cars from Metra Electric  this year.  Four of the cars are already at the Carroll Ave yard in Michigan City. The South Shore Line is expected to expand service by the end of this year due to double tracking and West Lake service.   

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On 1/13/2021 at 2:29 PM, NewFlyerMCI said:

 

Assuming 500 cars, that's 50 cars per line for 10 diesel lines.  The Heritage Corridor only runs 9 cars altogether.  Should it have all new cars?  BNSF probably has the oldest cars and probably should be the first line to get them.  Metra Electric  and NICTD may not see any of these type cars in an Electric version for decades.

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https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-metra-electric-expanded-service-amazon-20210429-o6npn46movdejgadntemdvwjbi-story.html

What's interesting is that Amazon already has a facility out in Monee (with express Pace service from Harvey, Homewood & Chicago Heights). Although this one in University Park is supposed to be a fulfillment center, I'm not currently sure what the one in Monee is. I believe they were also building one right next to the FedEx I worked at in Bedford Park. They're really expanding their presence in the region.

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4 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-metra-electric-expanded-service-amazon-20210429-o6npn46movdejgadntemdvwjbi-story.html

What's interesting is that Amazon already has a facility out in Monee (with express Pace service from Harvey, Homewood & Chicago Heights). Although this one in University Park is supposed to be a fulfillment center, I'm not currently sure what the one in Monee is. I believe they were also building one right next to the FedEx I worked at in Bedford Park. They're really expanding their presence in the region.

Most of the Amazon facilities around here are fulfillment centers, including Monee. Those are where inventory is processed and shipped to customers. Amazon has recently added new facilities in Aurora, Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, and Channahon.

Neither the Tribune nor the Metra press release mention how the last mile connection will be made. Will Pace create a new route or will Amazon run their own bus from University Park station?

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9 hours ago, Pace831 said:

Most of the Amazon facilities around here are fulfillment centers, including Monee. Those are where inventory is processed and shipped to customers. Amazon has recently added new facilities in Aurora, Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, and Channahon.

Neither the Tribune nor the Metra press release mention how the last mile connection will be made. Will Pace create a new route or will Amazon run their own bus from University Park station?

Strange to see so many fulfillment centers. I wonder where the distribution centers are. In Philly, there's three in the area, and the one I worked at plus the other two were all distribution centers. The fulfillment centers were in Jersey. As I type that out, I imagine the distribution centers have to be closer to the city now.

My prediction, since Amazon have been in talks with Metra & Pace for a minute now apparently, will be additional service on the 360, some sort of 361, or maybe "A" trips on the 367, which is the only bus to serve UPark. Although I'm not sure where the facility is in relation to the station.

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1 hour ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

Strange to see so many fulfillment centers. I wonder where the distribution centers are. In Philly, there's three in the area, and the one I worked at plus the other two were all distribution centers. The fulfillment centers were in Jersey. As I type that out, I imagine the distribution centers have to be closer to the city now.

Generally speaking, a distribution center ships goods only to a company's own stores, while a fulfillment center is a third party that a seller contracts with to ship to individual customers. However, these aren't precise definitions and the terms are often used interchangeably. My best guess would be that Amazon's "distribution centers" are either loosely termed or are sort centers which ship to other Amazon facilities. It also looks like Amazon is planning to open grocery stores in Philadelphia, so the DCs may be used for that. This answer is complicated by the fact that some buildings have multiple functions. For example, Joliet and Channahon are both fulfillment and sortation centers.

1 hour ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

My prediction, since Amazon have been in talks with Metra & Pace for a minute now apparently, will be additional service on the 360, some sort of 361, or maybe "A" trips on the 367, which is the only bus to serve UPark. Although I'm not sure where the facility is in relation to the station.

The facility is at the southwest corner of Steger Road and Central Avenue, about two miles northwest of the station. My bet would be a shuttle between the station and Amazon, not connected with other routes. The only question is whether Pace or Amazon will operate it. The latter might be more likely here due to the short distance compared to 360 and 361.

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2 hours ago, Pace831 said:

Generally speaking, a distribution center ships goods only to a company's own stores, while a fulfillment center is a third party that a seller contracts with to ship to individual customers. However, these aren't precise definitions and the terms are often used interchangeably. My best guess would be that Amazon's "distribution centers" are either loosely termed or are sort centers which ship to other Amazon facilities. It also looks like Amazon is planning to open grocery stores in Philadelphia, so the DCs may be used for that. This answer is complicated by the fact that some buildings have multiple functions. For example, Joliet and Channahon are both fulfillment and sortation centers.

At least in Philly, the FCs send orders to the DCs (where I worked) and at the DC, orders are sorted into bags to be picked up and taken out for delivery. These were moderately sized warehouses (not as big as the FedEx facility in Bedford Park) so that seems to fall in line with what you're saying.

2 hours ago, Pace831 said:

The facility is at the southwest corner of Steger Road and Central Avenue, about two miles northwest of the station. My bet would be a shuttle between the station and Amazon, not connected with other routes. The only question is whether Pace or Amazon will operate it. The latter might be more likely here due to the short distance compared to 360 and 361.

With the location, I say shuttle. FedEx ran a shuttle for the end of twilight shift to 79th & Cicero, and I don't see Pace operating a shuttle route that small, or doing a 360 deviation/367 extension 

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https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/press-release/21218772/metra-metra-releases-its-2021-construction-program

Metra 2021 Construction Schedule

  • I'm interested to see what the new Auburn Park station is going to look like (and whether it'll get any riders)
  • Hadn't realized UP-N was getting a station at Peterson/Ravenswood. The cemetery is going to really impact the walkability of that station.
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1 hour ago, Tcmetro said:

Thanks for the article.

There was news a few days ago that the Peterson-Ridge station has been delayed yet again:

https://blockclubchicago.org/2021/04/27/metras-new-edgewater-station-delayed-yet-again-as-city-nixes-transit-agencys-green-groundwater-plan/

 

Ah, that certainly wasn't the reason I thought was going to be the cause of delays. I can't believe this station has been in the works for almost a decade.

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12 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

Ah, that certainly wasn't the reason I thought was going to be the cause of delays. I can't believe this station has been in the works for almost a decade.

Peterson/Ridge is useless & is only getting built, because the former alderman, Pat O'Connor wanted it, because his wife either owns property nearby or has options on such property.  Last I looked, she even had an ad bench under the viaduct on Peterson.

Now the current alderman, Andre Vasquez lives less than a block away.

I'm totally against building new stations, until you've upgraded the existing stations.   Rogers Park is a dump of a station.  The platforms are too short, even though they could extend Platform 1, the outbound platform over both Lunt & Greenleaf Avenues, because they removed the westernmost track 30 years ago & could then build the longer platform there.   In addition, the new proposed station will have warming shelters on both platforms, while Rogers Park has no warming shelters on either platform.

On top of that, there's just no passenger demand for a new station there.  A quarter of the land around it, has no one living there, it's Rosehill Cemetery.  The other three corners have large senior housing buildings.  Those people might take Metra once every three months.  Once it's built, it will prove to be as much of a waste of money as all those unneeded stations the CTA built in the 1970's on the Congress line, which are all abandoned.

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2 hours ago, strictures said:

Peterson/Ridge is useless & is only getting built, because the former alderman, Pat O'Connor wanted it, because his wife either owns property nearby or has options on such property.  Last I looked, she even had an ad bench under the viaduct on Peterson.

Now the current alderman, Andre Vasquez lives less than a block away.

I'm totally against building new stations, until you've upgraded the existing stations.   Rogers Park is a dump of a station.  The platforms are too short, even though they could extend Platform 1, the outbound platform over both Lunt & Greenleaf Avenues, because they removed the westernmost track 30 years ago & could then build the longer platform there.   In addition, the new proposed station will have warming shelters on both platforms, while Rogers Park has no warming shelters on either platform.

On top of that, there's just no passenger demand for a new station there.  A quarter of the land around it, has no one living there, it's Rosehill Cemetery.  The other three corners have large senior housing buildings.  Those people might take Metra once every three months.  Once it's built, it will prove to be as much of a waste of money as all those unneeded stations the CTA built in the 1970's on the Congress line, which are all abandoned.

I had the same thought about ridership when I first saw the station location. The cemetery alone would mean the surrounding area would need to be way more dense in exchange and it's simply not. The allure for Rodgers Park & Ravenswood is the walkability. In additions, Ravenswood has a lot of mixed-use zoned areas, while alternative transit options in Rogers Park is a 290 headed away from downtown and the infrequent 96 to the Red Line, all of which makes the Metra stations more attractive. None of that is there for Peterson/Ridge. Hell, idk if 81 to Metra transfers are a thing now, but I bet if they aren't, that dynamic won't be matched nearly as much with a 84 to Metra.

I will say that it's possible Peterson/Ridge is only served weekdays, or only weekday peak. I'm not sure the price tag justifies that though. I'll wait to see if it'll do better than Auburn Park (which, between the two stops, is the one I wouldn't have picked to be built).

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I know this is moot now, since the SWS is due to move in ~5 years, but I'm a little bit surprised they never built a U.S. Cellular Field stop. I don't think any other commuter rail station in the country could've gotten closer outside of Target Field in Minneapolis and Mets-Willets Point in NYC. Could've stepped down right from the platform and been a 5 min walk away. I imagine there would be more trouble trying to get reverse peak game trains than there would've been building the station.

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9 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

I know this is moot now, since the SWS is due to move in ~5 years, but I'm a little bit surprised they never built a U.S. Cellular Field stop. I don't think any other commuter rail station in the country could've gotten closer outside of Target Field in Minneapolis and Mets-Willets Point in NYC. Could've stepped down right from the platform and been a 5 min walk away. I imagine there would be more trouble trying to get reverse peak game trains than there would've been building the station.

I don't know if there's any room for platforms at track level.  If I'm not mistaken, there's a train yard separating the NB and SB tracks.  Since Metra doesn't own or dispatch the tracks. I would imagine that the owners wouldn't want to have a station there.

Norfolk Southern and Norfolk and Western used to have a station at 63rd. But that was way back when  I was a shorty.  

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37 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

I had the same thought about ridership when I first saw the station location. The cemetery alone would mean the surrounding area would need to be way more dense in exchange and it's simply not. The allure for Rodgers Park & Ravenswood is the walkability. In additions, Ravenswood has a lot of mixed-use zoned areas, while alternative transit options in Rogers Park is a 290 headed away from downtown and the infrequent 96 to the Red Line, all of which makes the Metra stations more attractive. None of that is there for Peterson/Ridge. Hell, idk if 81 to Metra transfers are a thing now, but I bet if they aren't, that dynamic won't be matched nearly as much with a 84 to Metra.

I will say that it's possible Peterson/Ridge is only served weekdays, or only weekday peak. I'm not sure the price tag justifies that though. I'll wait to see if it'll do better than Auburn Park (which, between the two stops, is the one I wouldn't have picked to be built).

If o were a betting man  my money would be on Peterson   if only because it would have a direct link to the West Loop area  which Red Line service doesn't unless you transfer to the Brown Line.   Even with reduced fares.the RI only goes to LaSalle and VA Buren. That may only attract a small group of people.   Unless there is a reverse commuter market  which i doubt, i don't see Auburn Park being successful.   Also consider the Edgewater area demographic may more likely pay a Metra fare than Auburn Park paying a CTA fare for infrequent setvice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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