13.5.14

GETTING THROUGH CHICAGO.

Years ago, Robert R. Young's Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad tweaked the establishment.  "A hog can cross the country without changing trains, but you can't."  For a brief time in the 1970s, Amtrak ran Milwaukee trains through to or from St. Louis or Detroit, but these days making a connection at Union Station is frustrating or impossible.  And if Amtrak passengers at least have the amenities, such as they are, of Union Station waiting their layovers out, regional commuters have to get from North Western or Union to La Salle or Randolph Street without the benefit of Parmelee Transfer.

Against this background, the CrossRail Chicago concept, bringing electrified commuter trains -- can we hope, in future, for turquoise-and-salmon Talgo trains with a better looking power car? -- through Union Station and onward to Rockford or Milwaukee, is a brave, if perhaps overly optimistic, proposal.

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