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O'Hare Express Trains

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The plan to put express blue line trains between downtown and o'hare is back.   The new t

Story is double decking the line.   I have serious reservations with how this works .  Think about the elevations needed to get over the milwaukee ave and up nw line at jeff park or getting over the milwaukee north line and edens expressway near milwaukee.

Now what about alternatives suck as dedicated service on the north central ?   With the people moving being extended to the metra station to serve the car rental center it makes easier connections.

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The plan to put express blue line trains between downtown and o'hare is back.   The new trust is double decking the line.   I have serious reservations with how this works .  Think about the elevations needed to get over the milwaukee ave and up nw line at jeff park or getting over the milwaukee north line and edens expressway near milwaukee.

Now what about alternatives suck as dedicated service on the north central ?   With the people moving being extended to the metra station to serve the car rental center it makes easier connections.

Do you have a source for this and indicating that it is no more than speculation? Please post a link, or I have serious reservations if it even exists.

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Do you have a source for this and indicating that it is no more than speculation? Please post a link, or I have serious reservations if it even exists.

I have to agree with Busjack here... there is no Press Release on the CTA website. Please link to the story/press release about this.

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I was reading in today's trib about them wanting to look at an O'Hare express again but they didn't say what method. i was more shocked that they want to have a A380 gate. (the double decker Airbus)

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Ok i found a story. i don't know how she plans to double decker over the subway!! :PxD

http://abc7chicago.com/news/report-new-aviation-commissioner-wants-express-train-to-ohare/804606/

Now if someone used their noodle, they could try to build an CTA express by finally putting the Lake/Milwaukee tunnel junction to some use. they could try one of three methods:

1. They could try to run along the existing Metra and build flyovers over the junctions, they could run it along the UP NW or Milw North central, whatever is easier. Who knows it could lead to a new line with local service.

2. What would probably make better sense would be a Metra express via the North Central using their tracks. Hardly any infrastructure would be needed. They could then choose to run it to ogilvie or union station or run it east through the old trackage north of the river if that still exists. This wouldn't use CTA tracks

3. But what would really be smart is a hybrid diesel/electric multiple unit using CTA tracks and Metra. If only they could figure out the gauges of rail. Could it be possible to run two different gauges on the same track?

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I was reading in today's trib about them wanting to look at an O'Hare express again but they didn't say what method. i was more shocked that they want to have a A380 gate. (the double decker Airbus)

They need the A380 gate. When I left out of Terminal 5 in 2008, the 747 I boarded only used one jet bridge. They don't even have two at any gate, and the recommended number for the A380 is three jet bridges. Korean Air, Asiana, Lufthansa, and possibly British Airways could use an A380 gate. And knowing Emirates, they'd probably want access to the A380 gate.

2. What would probably make better sense would be a Metra express via the North Central using their tracks. Hardly any infrastructure would be needed. They could then choose to run it to ogilvie or union station or run it east through the old trackage north of the river if that still exists. This wouldn't use CTA tracks...

In that case, why not just boost North Central Service and extend the Airport Transit System out to O'Hare Transfer?

...3. But what would really be smart is a hybrid diesel/electric multiple unit using CTA tracks and Metra. If only they could figure out the gauges of rail. Could it be possible to run two different gauges on the same track?

Metra and CTA use the same track gauge, 1,435 mm standard gauge. The only problem would be the actual train body dimensions and crashworthiness  and the lack of high and level platforms on Metra.

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Ok i found a story. i don't know how she plans to double decker over the subway!! :PxD

http://abc7chicago.com/news/report-new-aviation-commissioner-wants-express-train-to-ohare/804606/

Now if someone used their noodle, they could try to build an CTA express by finally putting the Lake/Milwaukee tunnel junction to some use. they could try one of three methods:

1. They could try to run along the existing Metra and build flyovers over the junctions, they could run it along the UP NW or Milw North central, whatever is easier. Who knows it could lead to a new line with local service.

2. What would probably make better sense would be a Metra express via the North Central using their tracks. Hardly any infrastructure would be needed. They could then choose to run it to ogilvie or union station or run it east through the old trackage north of the river if that still exists. This wouldn't use CTA tracks

3. But what would really be smart is a hybrid diesel/electric multiple unit using CTA tracks and Metra. If only they could figure out the gauges of rail. Could it be possible to run two different gauges on the same track?

The best way would be the Milw-West to the North Central & into O'Hare. Then go to the UP-NW & out to at least Arlington Heights or even all the way to Crystal Lake. Operate of of Union Station & they not only get express trains from the Loop, but express trains from the NW suburbs.

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Ok i found a story. i don't know how she plans to double decker over the subway!! :PxD

http://abc7chicago.com/news/report-new-aviation-commissioner-wants-express-train-to-ohare/804606/

,,,,

If one follows the link to the Sun-Times in the ABC7 story, this is just a series of interviews with the new aviation commissioner (see for instance, Tribune) in which she is in favor of everything. For instance, she seems awfully concerned about Denver being a hub (presumably for regional airlines), ahd more gates for which the airlines won't pay.

In particular, on this one, the Sun-Times quotes her as saying:

Evans is hoping to have the “framework” completed in the next four years. That includes a “concept design” and “financial structure we know works,” along with operating agreements with federal, state and local agencies, she said.

Now, I seem to remember, that there was a consultant report, about 9 years about building an express line using block 37--that would be ready for the 2016 Olympics, use the last 84 5000 series cars, and be open by now, if some private entity would only put up $1.5 billion. If you read the article,she is nowhere close to that point. She is also recommending TIFIA, which is a loan. That's the same loan guaranty that is building the 95th bus terminal.

Then look over the CMAQ documents, which indicate that CMAP's priority is the RPM, which will eventually need at least $4 billion. Is any planning agency going to green light $2 billion in loan guaranties for this? The point 9 years ago about needing private funds was that the feds were not willing to fund something only to be used by maybe 50 elitists an hour. Now the feds are not willing to fund anything.

On BusHunter's point, she also said “Engineering is always an iterative process. You can never exactly build things so that the next phase doesn’t require some re-work,’’ Evans said.

So, if you are buying any of this, I have a subway line under the Brooklyn Bridge to sell you. In fact, I don't even believe that she will meet with the noise coalition, which is the only concrete (maybe pun intended) proposal and change in Emanuel administration policy.

 

 

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,,,

In that case, why not just boost North Central Service and extend the Airport Transit System out to O'Hare Transfer?

...

That sort of gets to the prior Midwest High Speed Rail Association proposal. Rick Harnish of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association was also quoted in the Sun-Times article I cited above.

While I had questions whether CN will let it use its tracks, let's assume for a minute it will allow building a double decker track. The Midwest High Speed Rail proposal at least had the merits that it would serve Union Station and McCormick Place. Nothing is apparently going to serve North Michigan Avenue directly, but I would argue that the Midwest High Speed Rail Association proposal makes more sense than serving State Street, which no longer is a tourist destination, but a college town.

Note also that Harnish also mentioned BusHunter's point that there's no room in the subway.

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They need the A380 gate. When I left out of Terminal 5 in 2008, the 747 I boarded only used one jet bridge. They don't even have two at any gate, and the recommended number for the A380 is three jet bridges. Korean Air, Asiana, Lufthansa, and possibly British Airways could use an A380 gate. And knowing Emirates, they'd probably want access to the A380 gate.

In that case, why not just boost North Central Service and extend the Airport Transit System out to O'Hare Transfer?

Metra and CTA use the same track gauge, 1,435 mm standard gauge. The only problem would be the actual train body dimensions and crashworthiness  and the lack of high and level platforms on Metra.

The only concern with an A380 gate, is would there be too much airplane noise? They need to keep the diagonal runways which are long and go over industrial areas to the NE/NW just for this purpose. i remember long ago when the plane was new there was concern O'Hare didn't have a long enough runway for this plane. They will now? What runway got extended?

They do plan on extending the people mover to the car rental facility, which will be in the far NE parking lot right there by Metra's O'Hare transfer, so it could work.

The third point would be a totally different train, it would have to made to run on both systems. Unless they had the space to put in a track themselves, then it could still be standard CTA equipment.

I would run the train to serve everyone workers, elitists, tourists. Maybe they could charge for bags or charge a premium to ride on a first class car. They could have like the airlines and have an economy section which is free for all. But really if they had third party funding maybe it could be free, no surcharge or just give them the proceeds of the O'hare station $5 a head in exchange for it's maintenance/funding.

 

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...

The third point would be a totally different train, it would have to made to run on both systems. Unless they had the space to put in a track themselves, then it could still be standard CTA equipment.

I would run the train to serve everyone workers, elitists, tourists. Maybe they could charge for bags or charge a premium to ride on a first class car. They could have like the airlines and have an economy section which is free for all. But really if they had third party funding maybe it could be free, no surcharge or just give them the proceeds of the O'hare station $5 a head in exchange for it's maintenance/funding.

 

Both of these get back to the original problems with the 9 year old proposal.

CTA equipment was proposed only because it was to run on CTA tracks. However, the consultants didn't think it was viable unless it was in special cars--one would be upholstered and hold maybe 12 passengers, and the other would be a baggage car, with the theory that there would be a baggage check in at Block 37, and the baggage would be screened and securely transported to the O'Hare baggage handling facility.

However, the whole point of the airport express, other than maybe it could be express if it could get around the pesky Blue Line trains was, as Roe Conn put it "so someone wouldn't pee on your shoes." I don't think anyone proposed a viable financial plan for a regular CTA train at even a $5 fare. The third party funding was just to get the $1.5 billion in construction money, not to operate the thing, which would require that the fares be high enough to cover the $1.5 billion plus the cost of providing the service. This is sort of the same as the planning agencies not endorsing the Illiiana Expressway, because tolls would not cover the cost, while it was fairly easy to finance the Elgin-O'Hare Western Access Tollway.

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The only concern with an A380 gate, is would there be too much airplane noise? They need to keep the diagonal runways which are long and go over industrial areas to the NE/NW just for this purpose. i remember long ago when the plane was new there was concern O'Hare didn't have a long enough runway for this plane. They will now? What runway got extended?...

In a book I own, one of the things stated is that the A380 is quieter than another Airbus jet, the much smaller A320. It also meets strict noise requirements in London. Unless that one person sending 15,000 noise complaints a day or whatever makes another big stink, flying the A380 into O'Hare shouldn't be a problem. That east-west runway south of the terminals got extended a few years back (it could already handle 747s before that), and a companion runway opened up next to it, which sometimes sees Lufthansa 747-8s fly onto it. I think the big problem nowadays is taxiway and ground clearances.

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I heard the story on abc news so didnt bother to check written story.  The on air segment said double decking.   As for the people mover it is being extended to the new car rental facility which metra north central station is next to.    Yes I would just increase metra service.  As for CN the traffic is way down just look at all the empty passing tracks in rosemont.  With the eje. Bypass it must have some impact on this.

Edited by west towns
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I was eyeballing the Orange line tracks next to the Metra and the track gauges look the same and then i remembered that IRM runs "L' cars on the same tracks they run the big diesels and steam trains so maybe that is a real option to share the tracks. They would just have to get around using a third rail, but diesel power could do that. if it was the future perhaps the electricity could be stored in batteries but that technology might still be 20-30 years away.

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For political reasons my idea may not happen,  but I think the best way for the O'Hare express trains to go would be in the Kennedy reversible lanes between downtown and Montrose.   From there alternate local and express trains making all stops north of Jefferson Park Or build outer tracks north of the Junction. 

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Why not just add service on north central line?

If you looked up this topic there is a simple answer--the CN owns the line and isn't giving up space on it for more commuter trains. See, e.g. the Tribune with respect to an Amtrak proposal, or more recently and in point, Daily Herald.

 

Q. The problem I have with the increase is the service. The North Central Service is often late or delayed. The schedule is also very limited and hasn't changed in years. I feel if you are asking for me to pay more, there should be more and better service.

Gillis: We understand that riders desire more and better service. But we hope they also understand there is a cost to adding service. Adding service would increase our costs and our need for a fare increase. In addition, the NCS operates over tracks owned by the Canadian National Railway, and our agreement with them allows us only to operate our current schedule.

Edited by Busjack

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8 hours ago, chicagocubs6323 said:

I'm surprised no one here has discussed about Elon Musk's O'Hare Express.

It's never going to be built.  Those who rode the test rack in LA, said it was a uncomfortable & bumpy ride.  The entire idea of this tunnel with rides costing at least $25 a trip just isn't going to fly [pun intended].  Musk himself is about to go bankrupt, possibly taking down Tesla, probably caused by the libel suit from the British diver.  Then on top of that, he appears to be a drug addict.  Tesla also has many, many problems.

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8 hours ago, chicagocubs6323 said:

I'm surprised no one here has discussed about Elon Musk's O'Hare Express.

I'm of the opinion that it's a doonbooggle, a boondoggle, and not necessary. As much dislike as the blue line gets, it's still the best way to get from O'Hare to the loop. It's 1 hour, can often beat traffic, and is centrally located. I still wish the $5 wasn't a thing (and is also CTA being a dick (unless I'm missing something, especially since there is no such fare at Midway), but that's not surprising for trains to airports, NJTransit/EWR and MTA/LIRR/JFK do the same thing. I also recognize that this thing isn't really for the general public

Unrelated, WMATA has upped the price of their airport buses to $7.50, from $5, which was from $3 (base fare for the bus is $1.75 iirc). The one that goes to BWI, leaves from the last stop on our green line, (which can be an expensive trip on its own (WMATA uses distance-based fares), uses the BW parkway (2-lane expressway that is very prone to crowding) instead of I-95 and has seen consistent schedule reductions for years (used to be 30 min peak, 45 min off-peak, 45-60 weekends and is now 70 min headways, weekdays only) because of these decisions. This is all to say that the local commuter rail has a cheaper fare from it's downtown terminus to the airport ($5) which can be equal to or less than just the Green line out to the airport bus.

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The Midway stop serves as a local bus connection and probably generates more traffic from that than from the airlines. 

The O'Hare stop basically only serves people who have some business at the airport (maybe there are a few people transferring to the 250/330), and employees get a special pass that gives them a regular fare. 

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2 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

I'm of the opinion that it's a doonbooggle, a boondoggle, and not necessary. As much dislike as the blue line gets, it's still the best way to get from O'Hare to the loop. It's 1 hour, can often beat traffic, and is centrally located. I still wish the $5 wasn't a thing (and is also CTA being a dick (unless I'm missing something, especially since there is no such fare at Midway), but that's not surprising for trains to airports, NJTransit/EWR and MTA/LIRR/JFK do the same thing. I also recognize that this thing isn't really for the general public

Unrelated, WMATA has upped the price of their airport buses to $7.50, from $5, which was from $3 (base fare for the bus is $1.75 iirc). The one that goes to BWI, leaves from the last stop on our green line, (which can be an expensive trip on its own (WMATA uses distance-based fares), uses the BW parkway (2-lane expressway that is very prone to crowding) instead of I-95 and has seen consistent schedule reductions for years (used to be 30 min peak, 45 min off-peak, 45-60 weekends and is now 70 min headways, weekdays only) because of these decisions. This is all to say that the local commuter rail has a cheaper fare from it's downtown terminus to the airport ($5) which can be equal to or less than just the Green line out to the airport bus.

When I visited DC back in 2000 I used Amtrak to get to BWI. I was in Baltimore during the week and then took MARC to DC. To return home to Chicago I took Amtrak from Union Station because MARC (which would have been cheaper) did NOT run on the weekend. What mode is fastest to BWI from downtown Washington?

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2 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

I still wish the $5 wasn't a thing (and is also CTA being a dick (unless I'm missing something, especially since there is no such fare at Midway), but that's not surprising for trains to airports, NJTransit/EWR and MTA/LIRR/JFK do the same thing. I also recognize that this thing isn't really for the general public

 

Everything at O'Hare is overpriced, that includes the restaurants.  When you're at an airport for a good while you feel the need to get something and economically speaking, since demand is pretty high at an airport the companies take advantage of that and charge more.  I guess that's why CTA does it.  Midway is in the middle of a neighborhood and is a smaller airport which is why the fare is regular.

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