South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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The city traffic lights have been removed in Michigan City along with most of the streetlights.
A new row of utility poles have been installed in line with the sidewalk on the south side of the street.
The sidewalk has been removed east of Pine.

Something special tucked away by Michigan Ave in the old car lot. Stacks of ties and the new turnout for what will be the end of the double track near Michigan Ave.
MC 220320 11th St.jpg
I also caught another South Shore Freight light engine move and it was moving quickly.

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justalurker66
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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MC 220402 Spring St WB.jpg
MC 220402 Spring St EB.jpg
Work continuing downtown ... the catenary is down from 11th St to just east of School St. Note the new rails along the side of the existing track.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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MC 220402 Lafayette St.jpg
The curve at Lafayette St is under reconstruction (the new alignment will cut the corner and be at a slightly higher elevation than the old.
MC 220402 New Switch.jpg
At what will be the east end of the double track the new switch has been assembled so it can be cut in to the existing track.
MC 220402 Derail.jpg
East of CP 330 there is a derail (shown open) that can protect the downtown track from errant rail traffic.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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New this week:
MC 220410 11th St.jpg
The forms are in place for the warming shelter and ramp on the north platform. The platform itself should be on the street side of these foundations.

Wire is down as far east as Willard Ave. Asphalt has been removed from the rails in a couple of locations (near Michigan Ave where the switch in last week's post will be installed and at the Lafayette St curve).

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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Weekend update (no visit Easter Weekend) ...
Tracks realigned at Lafayette St - the tracks have also been raised to their new elevation.
MC 220424 Lafayette St.jpg
Platform construction continues at 11th St
MC 220424 11th St.jpg

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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No pictures to share this week, but Franklin St has a sign up saying it will close on or about May 2nd (Monday) for 30 days. I expect those 30 days to be major construction for the station area.

Not sure why they closed Chicago Ave (parallel to Amtrak). Nothing has been torn up there that would affect road traffic. It has been closed for two months with no changes to the pavement.

Nice progress along 10th St with most of the catenary poles in place for the new double track alignment.

Also, from NICTD: "US Hwy 12 at LaPorte/Porter County Line Road will be closed for 14 days from May 12, 2022 through May 26, 2022 for the construction of new track across the road and culvert work." Detour is SR 520 to US 20 to SR 212. Locals will probably use Sheridan.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66 wrote:
Sat Apr 30, 2022 9:07 pm


Nice progress along 10th St with most of the catenary poles in place for the new double track alignment.
Out of curiosity, are they using steel poles or wooden for the new catenary supports?

Thanks for sharing these regular updates with those of us who can’t get down that way!

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Saturnalia
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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GP30M4216 wrote:
Sun May 01, 2022 11:03 am
Out of curiosity, are they using steel poles or wooden for the new catenary supports?
Same system and components as is currently in use everywhere except along the Toll Road: wooden main poles with steel anchor poles for the tensioning system. Most of the existing track retains the same catenary, and the new track mirrors it, for simplicity.

Much of it was to be portal-style poles with a steel beam, but it was changed to standard cantilever arms once the decision was made to shut down the railroad during construction, versus trying to still run revenue trains through the work zones. The portals would have allowed for easy adjustment of the wire side-to-side that is now unnecessary, and the arms are much cheaper than the beams.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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I cannot imagine doing the work in Michigan City under revenue traffic. Even if busing was limited to weekdays a lot of time would be spent (wasted) either maintaining the ability to run service on the main rails or restoring it for each in service period. It is a lot cleaner to simply "shut it down" and be able to clear out the old and build the new unhampered by attempting to keep a keep a rail passenger schedule through the work zone.

It is good to see a track maintained for non-revenue and freight moves. It is still a working railroad - just under severe restrictions.

Is there outrage in Michigan City over the closed cross streets? The initial announcement for the cross street closures was "The intersection of 11th Street with the following streets will only be closed as required to construct the work across the intersections." "It is currently anticipated that two closures of each of these intersections will be required with each closure lasting approximately two to three weeks." The list included Chicago St which has been closed for two months with no visible construction affecting the pavement and no new track laid. Lafayette St has been closed for two months but a lot of work has occurred there (new alignment at higher elevation with no crossing restored - nor expected until the second track is laid). Now Franklin St will be closed for up to 30 days. Any local outrage?

I attended a couple city meetings years ago when the locals were outraged that NICTD wanted to stay on the 10th St/11h St alignment. Some locals were pushing to move the alignment north along Amtrak's alignment (requiring crossing Trail Creek) or south along the CSX alignment. Heated discussions complaining about stuff NICTD had no part of (for example, closing Franklin to build the public library years ago).

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66 wrote:
Sun May 01, 2022 6:16 pm
I cannot imagine doing the work in Michigan City under revenue traffic. Even if busing was limited to weekdays a lot of time would be spent (wasted) either maintaining the ability to run service on the main rails or restoring it for each in service period. It is a lot cleaner to simply "shut it down" and be able to clear out the old and build the new unhampered by attempting to keep a keep a rail passenger schedule through the work zone.
Originally, the work was going to be done in three years, versus two. Year one was the Streets, Year two was Power to either Dune Park or Wilson East, and Year three was to be the remainder.

The reason for the compressed schedule was exactly as stated above: there are huge cost and time savings to being able to shut down the catenary and signal system for the entire duration, as well as allow for up to 8-day outages on the track itself.

I would guess that the 30-day closure announcement is more of a "better to open early than late" and they still aim for just a couple weeks. With the Cedar Street curve Track One realignment complete, Track Two should go in fairly quickly, and they'll need Franklin closed to do grading a build the new Track Two up to there. The contractors are only allowed to close one among Franklin, Washington and Wabash at a time.

And yeah, with Pine Street now permanently closed at the South Shore, the fact that Franklin does not go through looks really, really dumb. Ever since I've moved here I've had the opinion that there's no direct route to anywhere in Michigan City, but that's one of the big ones! No direct route from South to North, nor East to West. Carroll and Roeske don't go all the way from Michigan Blvd to US 20, and Woodlawn doesn't connect through to Garfield - among others. Now add in that neither Pine, Franklin, Washington or Wabash connect directly from south of CSX to the Lakefront, and this place is a headache!

Oh, and they haven't switched up any stop signs yet to account for the closure of WB 11th Street. There's no direct equivalent to it, and 10th Street still has stop signs with streets that no longer cross the South Shore, the most glaring of which is Pine Street which is still a two-way, with Pine Street getting priority. Made sense until February 28th, now pointless.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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The official new path is 8th St ... at least as a detour but with the way 9th and 10th St end before Michigan Ave it will probably become the new 11th St. At least for westbound traffic. I'm not sure all the eastbound traffic will return to 11th St when it is reopened. Perhaps some of the southbound return traffic from the outlet mall will use 11th St? Eastbound from Chicago St cutting over to Michigan Ave traffic will probably return - depending on what stop signs and traffic lights end up on 11th St. I agree 10th St stop signs need adjusting.

I am hoping that the "30 day" closure of Franklin will be used to put in both tracks. One longer closing instead of two shorter ones. But that would be asking a lot.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66 wrote:
Sun May 01, 2022 8:12 pm
I am hoping that the "30 day" closure of Franklin will be used to put in both tracks. One longer closing instead of two shorter ones. But that would be asking a lot.
All of the remaining cross-streets on 11th Street, except for Lafayette, will be closed twice: once for constructing the new Track 2, the other for reconstructing the existing Track 1, once Track 2 is cut-over and service by mid to late summer.

The main issue preventing them from doing both at once is that the existing Track 1 will be shifted one foot to the north, and completely reconstructed since what's there has been salt-worn. Since the new Track 1 is already in place at Lafayette, once the new Track 2 is in, they'll be able to finish up that crossing and get it open without the need for a second closure.

FWIW, for those not aware, South Shore's mains are numbered "backwards" to most railroads, the south main is Track 1, with the north main being Track 2. This is to keep consistency with the track numbers when merging with the Metra/IC. Similarly, the train numbers are backwards, with Eastbounds being odd-numbered.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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From NICTD: "On June 6th, Broadway will close for 14 days to construct the new north track through the intersection. Following Broadway, on June 20th, Kemil Road (E. State Park Boundary Road) will close for 14 days to construct the new north track through this intersection. Detour routes are being coordinated with the town of Beverly Shores and will be posted during these roadway closures."

Moving along nicely.

Also from NICTD: "After completion of the Franklin Street closure, Washington Street will be closed at 11th Street to construct the new north track through this intersection. Washington will close on June 2nd for approximately 30 days. Wabash will follow Washington with an expected closure date of July 2nd. Road closure information will be updated as work progresses."

The closure at Wabash sets a target for changing the parking lot at Marquette High School. At last check asphalt removal on 11th St ended at Wabash and the parking lot was still being accessed from 11th St.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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FWIW, the first closures of Franklin, Wabash and Washington *should* be the longer of the two, since it looks like they're getting all of the necessary utility work done. Thinking that the Track One reconstruction later in the summer should happen at lightning speed.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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Two weeks in to the closure at Franklin St and only utility work can be seen (although the platform ramps are coming along nicely). Asphalt has been removed from the rails as up to just east of Franklin St.

Work is underway at the US 20 / County Line Road crossing. The siding is disconnected and ties are laid out to connect the track across US 20.

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