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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know everything that is initially posted in this subforum has been posted on the other streetcar subforum. However since that forum was created for the Blue Line and we now have a map of where the Green Line / Lakefront Line will go I thought it would be appropriate to separate the two. This way when both lines are under construction the numerous articles and photo updates can have their own dedicated places to be posted.


City plans streetcar route to the lakefront

City of Milwaukee officials are in the early stages of planning an additional leg to the downtown streetcar route that would extend it to The Couture development that is proposed at the lakefront.

The city wants to add a streetcar leg to the lakefront because of the significant amount of development activity there including the 32-story Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, the 17-story 833 East (Michigan Street) office tower, plans for The Couture and the proposed Westin Hotel, said Polenske.


https://www.biztimes.com/2014/09/03/city-plans-streetcar-route-to-the-lakefront/
Streetcar spur to lakefront awarded $14 million federal grant

Milwaukee received a $14.2 million federal grant to cover about half the cost of building a streetcar line to the downtown lakefront.

The streetcar route would lead to the downtown lakefront and includes a station in the proposed Couture apartment high-rise building at East Michigan Street and North Lincoln Memorial Drive. That route would run along East Michigan and East Clybourn streets. It also would run past the Clybourn Street property that Johnson Controls Inc. is studying for a major office tower development.


http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2015/10/26/streetcar-spur-to-lakefront-awarded-14-million.html

Milwaukee streetcar lakefront loop to start service in 2019

A Milwaukee streetcar spur to the lakefront will start service in 2019, the year after the city opens its initial downtown system, said Public Works commissioner Ghassan Korban.

That loop would run to and from the lakefront along East Michigan and East Clybourn streets, linking with North Broadway. The lakefront streetcar route got a boost this week with the award of $14.2 million in federal grant money. U.S. Transportation Under Secretary Peter Rogoff joined Mayor Tom Barrett and other city officials to share details on the grant Thursday.


http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2015/10/29/milwaukee-streetcar-lakefront-loop-to-start.html
 

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I wonder if future extensions will all loop around the center like the Green Line does before heading off in different directions, or if instead future extensions will connect to the end of the blue line and you'll need to transfer.

I guess I'm not sure how all this knits together from a logistics sense.
 

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I wonder if future extensions will all loop around the center like the Green Line does before heading off in different directions, or if instead future extensions will connect to the end of the blue line and you'll need to transfer.

I guess I'm not sure how all this knits together from a logistics sense.
This map does indicate the fulcrum will be the CBD loop in Juneautown. The article in the Business Journal said that engineering on the arena spur is already 30% complete, so they appear to be taking the future seriously. Who knows where they are at with the Prospect/Farwell extension or the others? Exciting!

 

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Discussion Starter #5
I posted this article in the Blue Line subforum as well, however I wanted to get the article included here because as the section I highlighted below states that some or all of the Green Line / Lakefront Line may now run without overhead wires.

Hybrid streetcars to be used on new Milwaukee rail system

Planners are using the hybrid streetcars across the entire line. But on 4th Street, from Wisconsin Avenue to the site of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena, and on the lakefront, the cars may be battery-powered rather than powered by an overhead line.

The new, hybrid vehicles will cost more than the original ones, but planners said that cost may be offset by the need for fewer power lines.

City of Milwaukee Engineer Jeff Polenske echoed that message, saying, "The savings really comes from not having to build all the overhead system."


http://www.wisn.com/news/hybrid-streetcars-to-be-used-on-new-milwaukee-rail-system/40089518
 

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I posted this article in the Blue Line subforum as well, however I wanted to get the article included here because as the section I highlighted below states that some or all of the Green Line / Lakefront Line may now run without overhead wires.
This would only happen if this portion could run in a dedicated lane, as well. Obviously that would be an even better outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Does anyone know if there is a location anywhere online where someone can view the design documents for this portion of the streetcar line? I have had no problem locating ones for the main / Blue portion of the line but cannot seem to find anything for this part.

I know it is a fairly small section but I was really interested in seeing if the final design documents might show what the layout of the station in the base of the Couture was tentatively going to look like, especially now that they might also have to incorporate some sort of BRT stop as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Discussion Starter #9
I thought an update on this segment of the streetcar project would be appreciated by people interested in this project. At the last meeting of the streetcar implementation committee there was an actual timeline unveiled that I am not sure if I have ever seen before.

According to the document the Lakefront / Green line design is essentially 100% complete at this point. The only part of the line that needs final refinement is the stop inside the Couture. Also utility for the line is scheduled to begin Q2 2017, so if it hasn't started yet it probably be starting in the next couple of weeks.

If you want to see what the actual timeline looks like here is the link to the document from the committee meeting:

Make sure to select the file for the 5-19-2017 presentation to view the information.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This would only happen if this portion could run in a dedicated lane, as well. Obviously that would be an even better outcome.
I know I am quoting an old post, but I was just re-reading all of the comments in this section and wanted to respond to this comment by MilwaukeeMax regarding the need for dedicated lanes in order for the streetcar to run off wire for this section of the route.

After doing some research on other streetcar lines this would not need to be the case. There is a potential configuration for wireless running where the streetcar vehicles would re-charge at stops. The following is an image of how it would be accomplished as well as the article for people who want to read more about it:

 

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Can't trains of different types be charged via the rails themselves?? Or would that require dedicated, protected rights of way?
That's only for third rail type rail systems, usually only used for subways since you cannot have the third rail accessible to anyone. Basically, the third rail is overhead for streetcars.
 

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That's only for third rail type rail systems, usually only used for subways since you cannot have the third rail accessible to anyone. Basically, the third rail is overhead for streetcars.
There is a recent type of ground level tram electrification, where a third rail is divided into segments that are turned on only when they are covered by the vehicle itself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-level_power_supply#Technology

In the old days, streetcars in Washington DC were powered sort of like slot cars. There was a very narrow hole in the street at the bottom of which was the third rail. I'm not sure how standing water or snow affected this system.

Personally I do not agree with the opinion that catenary wires are ugly, and I think complex and more expensive systems involving batteries or third rails are not justified. Like the rails in the street, the catenary wire signifies that the tram's route has permanence unlike a bus.
 

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There is a recent type of ground level tram electrification, where a third rail is divided into segments that are turned on only when they are covered by the vehicle itself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-level_power_supply#Technology

In the old days, streetcars in Washington DC were powered sort of like slot cars. There was a very narrow hole in the street at the bottom of which was the third rail. I'm not sure how standing water or snow affected this system.

Personally I do not agree with the opinion that catenary wires are ugly, and I think complex and more expensive systems involving batteries or third rails are not justified. Like the rails in the street, the catenary wire signifies that the tram's route has permanence unlike a bus.
Interesting history about the alternate 3rd rail systems, I never knew that. As for route finding and overhead wires, I'm split. There is a significant benefit to permanence and therfore development by having a rail and catenary. I'm just not certain that you need both.

Electric is the ideal power source, I don't believe that 'clean' diesels or really any fossil fuel powered fleet vehicle is necessary in this day, with our tech, and our greenhouse debt already accrued.

On the other hand, I like no wires compared to wires if the cost isn't prohibitive.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I agree with your statement that electrification is preferable to fossil fuel, however currently the means of generating electricity mainly consists of utilizing fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. I ran the numbers on this a long time ago and the amount of pollution created to produce the amount of electricity to run a streetcar system almost equaled the emissions being removed from the road by the vehicles it was replacing. Until cleaner sources of electric generation become more widespread I think it is a little bit of a misnomer to call electric rail transit non-polluting and clean. Right now it is what it is, an alternative form of transit to the automobile and that is it.
 

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I agree with your statement that electrification is preferable to fossil fuel, however currently the means of generating electricity mainly consists of utilizing fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. I ran the numbers on this a long time ago and the amount of pollution created to produce the amount of electricity to run a streetcar system almost equaled the emissions being removed from the road by the vehicles it was replacing. Until cleaner sources of electric generation become more widespread I think it is a little bit of a misnomer to call electric rail transit non-polluting and clean. Right now it is what it is, an alternative form of transit to the automobile and that is it.


There was a recent article about EVs that showed how much more efficient they have become over petroleum cars even when calculating in the emissions from the plants. A lot of this is because of the move away from coal power plants in a lot of areas.
 

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I agree with your statement that electrification is preferable to fossil fuel, however currently the means of generating electricity mainly consists of utilizing fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. I ran the numbers on this a long time ago and the amount of pollution created to produce the amount of electricity to run a streetcar system almost equaled the emissions being removed from the road by the vehicles it was replacing. Until cleaner sources of electric generation become more widespread I think it is a little bit of a misnomer to call electric rail transit non-polluting and clean. Right now it is what it is, an alternative form of transit to the automobile and that is it.
Wind power and natural gas electricity is being created right now in every state surrounding WI for cheaper than coal.

The coal industry has been losing jobs for generations. Thankfully, the future just won't be digging up and burning rocks like before.
 

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