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Passenger Trains > How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement?


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Date: 07/29/20 10:17
How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement?
Author: twropr

Please note in CN's press release that they have plans to replace a bridge on the St. Charles Airline (not sure which one).  If this is single track, the Airline, which is used by the CITY of NEW ORLEANS and a Carbondale train, would need to find another route.
https://www.cn.ca/en/news/2020/07/cn-investing-$165-million-in-illinois/
Andy



Date: 07/29/20 10:58
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: kbmiflyer

They can take another route, it is not all the different in length.  Instead of going across the Airline and then backing into the station via the BNSF connection, then can branch south just before the bridge through Ping Tom Park, and then back into Union Station across the old Pennsy Bridge that is used today by Amtrak trains from the East or coming up from St. Louis.

It is not uncommon for the Carbondale trains and the CONO to use the alternate route today.



Date: 07/29/20 12:11
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: dispr

Amtrak trains have already been regularly using the 21st Street connection due to the already on-going work on the St. Charles Airline - which is more than just the bridge over the Chicago River, but it is the elevated railroad from a connection with the BNSF near Union Street and a point near McCormick Place. 

I don't see anything in the CN announcement about replacing the St. Charles Airline bridge over the Chicago River - I think it will be preventive maintenance work on the bridge and continued work on the entire structure.  Strange how the CN's purchase of the EJ&E was going to make the St. Charles Airline surplus 15 or so years ago....

At least, this is my guess...



Date: 07/29/20 12:40
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: ronald321

I was unaware there was an alternative route for former IC. trains to enter Union Station.

I thought this was the purpose of the "Grand Crossing" project under the CREATE program (not completed)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/20 12:58 by ronald321.



Date: 07/29/20 13:05
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: MEKoch

We can hope that money is found and GRAND Crossing will become a time-saving reality for Amtrak and some freight operations.  



Date: 07/29/20 13:06
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: Passfanatic

All of that jazz involving the St. Charles bridge for Amtrak trains heading to Carbondale and NOL from CHI is time consuming. That would be great if there was a direct track connection for these trains.



Date: 07/29/20 13:48
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: jello

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was unaware there was an alternative route for
> former IC. trains to enter Union Station.
>
> I thought this was the purpose of the "Grand
> Crossing" project under the CREATE program (not
> completed)

Grand Crossing was intended to eliminate the back up moves necessary between CUS and the Air Line.



Date: 07/29/20 15:47
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: ronald321

kbmiflyer:  did you mean Brighton Park?

If so, I don't think there is a connection to the former GM&O (now CN)  at Brighton Park to reach Union Station,
Pleae explain exactly how this move works.    and is this a 5mph routing, on a freight congested treminal road?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/20 15:51 by ronald321.



Date: 07/29/20 16:38
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: AltiplanoRailtours1

No, this isnt anywhere near Brighton Park. This is the former ICRR Broadview/Freeport District that peels off where the St. Charles Air Line crosses the Rock Island (by Marianos on Clark Street). 390 would go north, get on the airline, turn left onto the Broadview/Freeport district, pull south through Ping Tom Park and of 21st st, then shove through the PRR bridge and the 14th street yard and into CUS. 

Also, Ping Tom was an important Civic Leader in Chicago. His daughter performed the voices for Amy Wong in Futurama and Connie in King of the Hill. She also starred in The Joy Luck Club. 

Adam



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/20 16:53 by AltiplanoRailtours1.




Date: 07/29/20 17:01
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: ronald321

altiplanoRailtours

Thanks very much for this info  -- I understand completely now.



Date: 07/29/20 17:03
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: Dispatcher68

The CONO and Carbondale trains have been using this route via 16th St and 21st St for something on the order of 2-3 months now at least....looking at some notes in my master train sheet,it looks like the first week of April they started this routine.



Date: 07/29/20 19:40
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: RuleG

AltiplanoRailtours1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No, this isnt anywhere near Brighton Park. This
> is the former ICRR Broadview/Freeport District
> that peels off where the St. Charles Air Line
> crosses the Rock Island (by Marianos on Clark
> Street). 390 would go north, get on the airline,
> turn left onto the Broadview/Freeport district,
> pull south through Ping Tom Park and of 21st st,
> then shove through the PRR bridge and the 14th
> street yard and into CUS. 
>
> Also, Ping Tom was an important Civic Leader in
> Chicago. His daughter performed the voices for Amy
> Wong in Futurama and Connie in King of the Hill.
> She also starred in The Joy Luck Club. 
>
> Adam

Thanks for posting that about Ping Tom.  I spent a pleasant late afternoon/early evening one Saturday in June last year catching the rail action and watching bridges lift up and down.  It's a wonderful place to watch trains in Chicago.



Date: 07/29/20 20:00
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: justalurker66

The big project is all of the bridges west of Indiana including Clark. The old bridges once held four tracks of railroad. Currently the line is single track with the north half of all the street bridges removed. New bridges similar to the one over Indiana Ave will be placed on the northern portion of the alignment ... most of them within six feet of the old track alignment but the westernmost bridge over Clark will be about 45 ft north to get rid of the double curve.

The interlocking with Metra at 16th St will be rebuilt with a more direct path over the river. After the new bridges are in place and a track restored the single line track will move to the new bridges and the southern half of the old bridges will be removed. If I understand correctly CN will not immediately be putting in bridges on the south side but will be able to restore double track if needed in the future.



Date: 07/29/20 20:35
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: AltiplanoRailtours1

Happy to help. Over the years I think a lot of people confuse the full St. Charles airline as being how Iowa Division Trains connect with the IC mainline, when the Freeport district is the actual connection.

Adam

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> altiplanoRailtours
>
> Thanks very much for this info  -- I understand
> completely now.



Date: 07/30/20 07:21
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: Englewood

In the interest of precision the St. Charles Airline traditionally extended
from the connection with Central Station on the IC, through the Rock Island
16th St. / Clark St. interlocking to the west side of the St. Charles Airline
bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River.

Sometime in the late 60's, early 70's the present south wye (the remaining "wye")
connection to the north/south IC main line was built.

So no matter what route the trains take west of the Rock Island crossing,
east of the crossing they all use the Air Line.

Here is the history of the Air Line as of 1902
https://books.google.com/books?id=330pAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+history+of+the+St.+charles+airline+railroad&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjgx-7dkvXqAhVOhq0KHf2nAEsQ6AEwAHoECAUQAg#v=onepage&q&f=false



 






Date: 07/30/20 08:38
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: 2904

The actual Saint Charles Airline bridge, entirely owned by CSX, is out of service currently and requires a hand make part to repair it. This has forced all trains to use 21st St since April. Currently the run time from CUS to Homewood is 36 minutes, impressive, considering that is 25 miles of track through the busiest railroad city in the country. It will get even faster when this project is finished and the speed is increased from 10 to 30 (allegedly) through 16th St to McCormak Place. Grand Crossing has been a dead project since the CN bought its own CREATE project... called the EJE. I’m not sure it would be much faster for trains to get on the crowded NS Chicago Line anyway, especially once these improvements are completed. 58 last Friday made the run from Carbondale to Chicago in 4 hours and 48 minutes, impressive for 311 miles or so of running. So this back up move isn’t too much of a hinderance.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 07/30/20 08:58
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: dispr

There were two bridges over the Chicago River - the B&OCT bridge which provided access to Grand Central Station and the St. Charles Airline Bridge. The St. Charles Airline Bridge is not owned by CSX, but the tower that controls the St. Charles Airline bridge and the now-retired and OOS B&OCT  bridge was a joint tower, staffed by then B&OCT and today controlled, when it is lifted, by a CSX employee. 



Date: 07/30/20 11:45
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: 2904

It’s also maintained by CSX.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 07/30/20 12:12
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: jello

2904 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> crowded NS Chicago Line...

The planning doc I looked at included capacity improvements between CUS and Grand Crossing.

Mark



Date: 07/30/20 13:27
Re: How will Amtrak operate during St. Charles bridge replacement
Author: 2904

Capacity that wouldn't be efficiently managed by AutoRouter.



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