22.9.14

WHO WILL PAY FOR THE THIRD TRACK?

City officials in Tinley Park, on the Rock Island Line, seek express commuter train service to Chicago.
Tinley Park has two stops on the Rock Island line. Currently, a trip from the LaSalle Street station takes 57 minutes—but an express trip could zip commuters from Chicago out to Tinley in 35 minutes, said Economic and Commercial Commission member Curt Fiedler.
Yes, provided residents of Midlothian or Blue Island went along with modifications to their service.  Tinley Park is close enough to Blue Island to path a train running express into La Salle Street Station along the Main Line, whilst a Suburban Line all-stopper stays out of its way; and perhaps a Joliet  - New Lenox - Mokena fast could run four minutes behind it.  But on a two-track railroad, offering the same level of service is going to be difficult.
Other Metra lines currently offering an express service include: the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line, which serves Aurora, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Lisle and Naperville, and the Metra Electric line serving the south suburbs, according to the report.
Yes. The Metra Electric has four tracks, Woodlawn to Chicago, and during rush hours, trains from further south pick up at two or three of the outer stations, and then run in streetcar fashion into Chicago, or reverse the pattern going south.  The Racetrack has three tracks, with crossovers from the outer, platform tracks to the center track at strategic locations.  Thus, for example, an express gets onto the center track at Naperville at the same time other expresses are crossing to the center track at Downer's Grove, Hinsdale, and Congress Park: and when those dock at Union Station on four-minute headways, stand clear of the dashing commuters!

The Overland Route also has three tracks, but until recently there were no crossovers between Elmhurst, where the triple track begins, and West Chicago.  With the installation of crossovers, Metra and Union Pacific are considering new schedules with express services in the Burlington style.  The benefit to Union Pacific will be a removal of the freight train curfews east of Elburn, and commuters will benefit from added fast trains.  Currently, some west-suburban commuters who live closer to the Overland  Route are driving to the Land of the Burlingtons for the faster trains ... and there is no more capacity for passenger trains on that line.

But a third track on the Rock Island Line?

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