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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:27 PM   #81
Alargule
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Those subway stations are really mesmerizing with their mosaique roofs! I heard there is a walkway adjacent to the subway tracks, connecting the platforms of the stations. Is that true?
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Old January 14th, 2009, 11:30 PM   #82
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Even though many of the stations seem to have no roof... looking like a makeshift stop... it's incredibly charming. I love the wood on the platform, almost reminiscent of a boardwalk. Quite amazing. I thought Chicago's Metro system would look more like NYC's but it's actually quite different.

Chicago's one of the lucky cities along with NYC, San Francisco, and Atlanta, that had the opportunity to introduce real rapid transit... unlike many of the newer American networks.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 04:11 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Technically two of the "Chicago El" lines are subway lines in the centre (the blue and red as far as I can tell). The rest take the elevated loop around the city centre.

The lines are all part of the same system though.
Right, the Red Line starts up at the city limits and runs on an earthen embankment that's elevated for a few miles, then is a traditional elevated railway for a few miles, then turns into a subway for a few miles, then becomes at-grade and in the middle of a motorway for a few miles until it's near the south side of the city.

It's kinda a little of everything....

from north to south:

Howard Rail Yard



North side earthen embankment



North side elevated



A few neighborhood stations are located between the elevated section and downtown after the Red Line becomes a subway



Then the busy downtown stations



Then back up where it goes one stop as an elevated again



And then it's down into the median of an expressway for the rest of the journey.



It's interesting because the red line runs through the whitest areas of the city as well as the blackest areas of the city at either end. If you ride from one end to another you notice a huge switch downtown between different people. Certainly not ALL people, but it's fairly noticable.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 04:46 AM   #84
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wow... nice info about Chicago

i wonder how do people endure passing trains on elevated sections and especially on curves... i notice rail distance from windows is only few meters... that must be an awful sound every day...
Yes, many trains are very very close to the buildings. I lived right across the street from the trains for 4 years, and you get use to it very quickly. I never even registered the trains unless someone knew was over and commented on the noise.

Here's a video. You have to watch for about 1 minute 10 seconds and they turn the corner, but you can get a good sense of just how close the buildings come to the tracks.

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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:39 AM   #85
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Chicago's one of the lucky cities along with NYC, San Francisco, and Atlanta, that had the opportunity to introduce real rapid transit... unlike many of the newer American networks.
Don't forget Boston, Philly, and DC
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Old January 15th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #86
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The speed of the train in that video seems to be quite low. Is this a regular running speed or is it running particularly slowly in that video?
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Old January 15th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
The speed of the train in that video seems to be quite low. Is this a regular running speed or is it running particularly slowly in that video?
It is slow because of construction. As you can see when the train is leaving the station, one structure doesn't have a track on it.

This was called "3-track construction" for the Brown Line Capacity Expansion project which increased the platform length of all Brown Line stations so berth 8-car trains. The station in this video, which is either Belmont or Fullerton, is a Brown Line station, but also serves the Red and Purple lines. Both Belmont and Fullerton are busy stations atop busy streets and therefore the stations were upgraded.

The normal elevated structure in this part of the city (known to the CTA as "North Side Main" is a very narrow, 4-track wide section. In the video, all the tracks separate, making a station about 50% wider than it used to be.

All four tracks are back in operation, but I believe many parts of those two stations are still under construction.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #88
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Quote:
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The speed of the train in that video seems to be quite low. Is this a regular running speed or is it running particularly slowly in that video?
Right, the 4 tracks are back in service as of late December, and the speeds are FINALLY back up to around 85kph. Of course many times the trains don't reach that speed due to closely space stations or curves.

Sadly, there were massive portions of the system that ended up being only 10kph zones because of tracks that were falling apart. Strangely most of these sections were either in the subways or at-grade, and not on the elevated sections (although they had their zones as well). There was a derailment that finally drew the attention of federal investigators, so all the slow zones popped up for the most part all at once and in a very large quantity. It was quite a shock to the normal commuter to one day go to work and have everything just crawling.....for over a year.

We got a new director of the CTA, and his top priority was fixing all these zones, so there was a massive over-haul during the past 18 months to fix all these slow zones.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #89
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Ya the slow zone repairs have been amazing! A year ago nearly 25% of all the rail lines were "slow zones". (The a large portion of this being the busiest Red Line) Some sections of the system were over 100 years old, with deteriorating wooden ties and trains could only travel 10kph. Now as of December '08 only 6% of the system is still classified as a "slow zone". As somebody who takes the Red, Brown, and Purple Lines every day I can attest to the effect these repairs have had.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 05:49 PM   #90
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Chicagoago, thanks for starting this thread. The pictures show a well rounded view of the CTA trains running throughout Chicago. I'll bet many people think Chicago's trains are all elevated because of the downtown loop area. As a resident of Chicago, I was very happy when I stumbled across this forum.

It is amazing how the CTA has eliminated the slow zones. I live on the Blue Line and take it to the airport all the time. It was a nightmare on the week-ends when they were ripping out a mile of track here and there and laying brand new track. We had to take buses to jump from one station to the next all weekend, every weekend. But now, having a fast, smooth, quieter train to work makes it all worth it!

-Luke-
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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #91
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I love these guys! I've seen them at Monroe on a few occasions!.

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Do you have info about the trains (numbers, dates, lenght, width) ?
http://chicago-l.org/trains/roster/index.html
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:35 PM   #92
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it s a great system ,, i like it ,, it must be exciting going among skyscrapers and buildings ,, id like someday to know chicago and go in metro to the airport o hare ,, aviation is my love ,, and subways too
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:55 PM   #93
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Very nice compilation Chicagoago

If one wants to vist a vast comprehensive site on the web for the L then I suggest this great site. It is very useful especially if you want to know details about each station also with great info on routes and various plans (some fullfilled and some not) by transit planners in Chicago over the course of its history.

http://www.chicago-l.org/
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Old January 25th, 2009, 12:40 AM   #94
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I've only ridden 4 metro systems in my life. Those being, the TTC in toronto, the CTA in Chicago, Vancouver's Skytrain, and London's Underground.

Chicago was the only city that I definitely wasn't overly impressed with. The dingyness of the metra rail cars (separate agency, but still a major factor) and just how run down and potentially cheap things were. I've only ridden the red line from Jackson up to Addison (for a Cubs game) but have been on Metra rail 3 times, and it just seemed like I was in the 1960s based on the rail cars. Felt very outdated compared to the GO transit that I ride quite a bit back around Toronto.

And the above-mentioned use of wood wasn't something that I cared for. I guess it just looked incredible cheap, temporary (even though permanent) and almost rickety and un-safe (based on appearance)

Needs some upgrades, the El, while cool, didn't really impress me, mainly due to the pillars blocking the street and dividing lanes up.

That said, I love Chicago as a city. Easily in my top 5 favourite cities that I've visited and checked out. Just the CTA and public transit didn't do much for me.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #95
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Sorry, had to
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You are genius too Electrify, never would have thought of this if not for your thread.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 02:42 AM   #96
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Houses on the video posted above don't look great. Is it some kind of poor area?
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Old January 27th, 2009, 02:52 AM   #97
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I love the wood on the platform, almost reminiscent of a boardwalk. Quite amazing.
Well, it looks very dated for me with all this wooden platforms. Very unusual in Europe.

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Chicago's one of the lucky cities along with NYC, San Francisco, and Atlanta, that had the opportunity to introduce real rapid transit... unlike many of the newer American networks.
Yes but these old networks are now more difficult to upgrade than building new networks from nothing. For example Portland, Denver or Dallas are building quite extensive networks at the moment and those networks will be much better than Chicago system.

Having said that, Chicago system looks very charming, kind of “old school”
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Old January 27th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #98
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^Have you ever been on any of those systems?

Portland, Denver and Dallas have systems that are when completed will be puny compared to what Chicago already has.

Lets keep in mind that parts of the EL are very old. Older in fact than most European systems and certainly not funded as well either.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #99
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Houses on the video posted above don't look great. Is it some kind of poor area?
Actually it's a very well off area, but it's a matter of the houses in Chicago are mostly brick with stairs down the back. What people did was put up wooden or vinyl siding around those stairs and make unheated little storage areas around the stairs going down. They're just add-ons that have room to put things and protect the stairs. They look AWFUL from the back, but no one ever sees them anyway, so who cares.

I never noticed it really until a friend from Amsterdam was on the train and said "god, I can't believe all your houses are made out of wood!", to which I told him those are just small porches put on years after the building was completed.

The front of those places look much nicer for the most part.

Here are some typical shots from around that neighborhood from the video:







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Old January 27th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #100
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Well, it looks very dated for me with all this wooden platforms. Very unusual in Europe.
It's very unusual for the United States as well, but this system was built in the 1890's.

When they rebuilt the lines, they rebuilt them as they were historically. At first I was like "gross...wood!?" when I moved here, but you get use to it very fast, and it can be charming.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what it's made of when you just want to go somewhere.

They have rebuilt many lines, and they just are finishing up on the Brown Line. They rebuilt it like it was 110 years ago.





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