Today’s Headlines for Friday, February 15

  • Metra Seeking $5B From State to Modernize “Oldest Passenger Fleet in the Country” (WGN)
  • Chicagoland’s Next Bridge Crisis Could Happen in Will County (Tribune)
  • Police Seeking Driver Who Critically Injured Man, 75, in Portage Park Last Month (Sun-Times)
  • Driver of Stolen Vehicle Plows Into CTA Bus in Pilsen, Injuring Operator (Sun-Times)
  • Pregnant Woman Attacked on Red Line Near Addison: CTA Employee Was Unhelpful (ABC)
  • Send Block Club Shots of the Worst Potholes in Town and They’ll Ask CDOT to Fix them
  • Metra Is Free This Weekend, So Hit up These Worthwhile Suburban Destinations (Time Out)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

donate button
Did you appreciate this post? Consider making a donation through our PublicGood site.

  • Kevin M

    I like several of Metra’s suggested projects–especially the electrification of the RI line.

  • Anne A

    Unless Metra goes with a different design/technology for future electric trains and right of way, I do not favor electrification of the Rock Island. Reliability has been way too much of a problem on the Metra Electric, especially in extreme winter weather.

  • Austin Busch

    It doesn’t seem like they’re planning the same as MED for the Rock Island. They specifically reference battery/hybrid, which would could probably still be able run if the catenaries were to go down.

    They’re unlikely to pursue electrification all the way to Joliet any time soon, probably planning to switch to diesel or battery near Blue Island. This would make the system more versatile while reducing pollution in the urban core.

  • FG

    MED is far far far more reliable than ANY other Metra line. The past two weeks have been the only time in that I can remember there being any problems on a regular basis. If you want to talk reliability, go talk to BNSF riders other than to Aurora/Naperville about the almost weekly cancelled trains, overcrowded platforms, delays, etc.

    All that said, it’s not happening anytime soon – they have no money and more pressing needs. But if it does, if I were a betting man, my money would be on the same technology and nearly the same rolling stock as MED (hopefully the same and they raise the platforms to accommodate ADA regs).

  • planetshwoop

    When it comes to fixing bridges, the articles always assume that every bridge must be repaired. Surely many need to (and the ones over 80 in Joliet probably do) but we should be asking if some of the bridges built should just be taken down. That’s what happened with Western at Clyborn, and it’s so so much better. Does every 4 block intersection on Lake Shore Drive need a bridge?

    If we’re really so worried about how to pay for this infrastructure, part of the answer has to be “get rid of it”.

  • ardecila

    I sure hope they do not use Metra Electric technology. Part of the reason Metra hates ME so much is because the DC traction system (1500V) is not a common one globally and there aren’t a lot of off-the-shelf components.

    It would be better to use the emerging US standard of 25kV, 60Hz AC power that is already used on the Northeast Corridor and in Denver and will be installed soon in SF’s Caltrain. It’s also used extensively in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan so components are easy to get. The only downside is that it needs more vertical clearance, so any low overpasses need to be raised up. Not sure that’s a big issue for Rock Island which passes above virtually everything.

    High platforms are great but they only make sense if Metra is gonna fully commit to the regional rail concept and open a bunch more stations while tripling train frequency.