South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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Weekend photos and one from a few years ago.
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Saturnalia
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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The last electric trains have run between Dune Park and Gary Metro until Spring 2024.

The latest service advisory states that bussing between Carroll and Gary Metro will be in effect through Spring 2023. It is anticipated that the Dune Park to Carroll segment will then reopen shorting the bussing to Gary to Dune Park only.

This change was supposed to occur August 15th, but was moved up.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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So where are they staging the equipment? Dune Park seemed to work well with the long siding to allow freight service to pass all of the parked passenger trains. I was wondering if the SR 49 and west Tremont work would interfere with the siding but so far only Sheridan siding had been physically changed (no new switches at east Tremont or east Tamarack and no switch removal at west Tamarack. I am surprised that service wasn't cut back to Ogden Dunes instead of Gary. Basically NICTD has shut down the entire section of railroad that will be double tracked.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66 wrote:
Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:50 pm
So where are they staging the equipment? Dune Park seemed to work well with the long siding to allow freight service to pass all of the parked passenger trains. I was wondering if the SR 49 and west Tremont work would interfere with the siding but so far only Sheridan siding had been physically changed (no new switches at east Tremont or east Tamarack and no switch removal at west Tamarack. I am surprised that service wasn't cut back to Ogden Dunes instead of Gary. Basically NICTD has shut down the entire section of railroad that will be double tracked.
Ogden Dunes just isn’t setup for bussing. There’s no good place for them to pull in and park without taking up a ton of the existing parking spaces. It does have the high-mini platforms, though. But one of the biggest worries is that Hillcrest Road is tied in with the NS, and if they’re occupying it busses nor anybody else can get into the parking lot. It doesn’t happen super often that the NS blocks it, but frequent enough to be an issue.

Ogden Dunes also doesn’t work as well for servicing the cars and switching since it isn’t near any crossovers or switches. Being at the siding was handy at Tremont, and Gary of course has the Add Track and West Siding.

The big problem with Gary is safety and security, especially for the Carmen and coach cleaners at night. Plus, all the track east of the station is on a hill. Not ideal either but it is still the better facility.

Bussing was supposed to go to Clark Road but everything is now back to Gary, sounds like they think it’ll reduce delays. Per radio traffic getting PTC to initialize has been a major headache at both Gary and Clark Rd, too.

A final consideration is that changing the bus bridge too many times will result in additional rider confusion and frustration. The bus bridge would begin all the way to Gary in March anyway so they might as well get everybody used to it instead of changing things up a few more times.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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Saturnalia wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:41 am
Ogden Dunes just isn’t setup for bussing.
I would not use that as a busing endpoint for all westbound buses (start point for eastbound), but with the new south parking close to opening I would suggest waiting for the parking lot and sidewalk to complete and directing people to board at Ogden Dunes instead of Dune Park. The bus bridge from Michigan City / South Bend could still run past Ogden Dunes ... eastbound loading, westbound drop off in Ogden Dunes. The buses could continue to Miller and Gary Metro for passengers not going to Ogden Dunes. And since the buses would only serve the presumably few people traveling to or from Odgen Dunes to or from the east the south parking could be used (not hundreds of people crossing US 12 each time the bus stops).

The actual busing plan is having a bus run from Michigan City to Dune Park to Ogden Dunes to Miller to Gary. That means buses ARE looping through the Ogden Dunes station whether or not a train stops there. (I note that the announcement says Gary Metro not Gary Airport like the August 1-5th announcement.)

Staging trains would be a challenge. There is plenty of track between Ogden Dunes and the NS connection to the east but the crossovers are miles away in both direction for those times where they can't run "first in last out" from the stored cars. Dropping passengers, running west to Paul's at 51.5, running east to East Wilson at 47.5, then running west to join the end of the line would work. If needed an eastbound train could arrive on Track 1 then run east to join the end of the line. NICTD would need to be able to handle adding water and emptying toilets and providing a place for the carmen and cleaners.
Saturnalia wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:41 am
The big problem with Gary is safety and security, especially for the Carmen and coach cleaners at night. Plus, all the track east of the station is on a hill. Not ideal either but it is still the better facility.
My thoughts exactly. There are crossings down the hill west of the station and I don't believe NICTD would want cars parked on that section of main line in any case. The west storage track and add/drop siding are not a lot of storage. If facilities could be added for carmen and cleaners east of Ogden Dunes I'd consider it a better choice.

While service was planned on being cut back eventually (when construction moved west of Dune Park) I hope that the longer bridge allows more work to be done in the closed section. If there isn't major work between Dune Park and Gary that isn't being sped up by the lack of passenger trains then the benefit of starting the closure now seems to be lost.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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So anther thing is I believe that Ogden Dunes has no water hookup or anything, which is a major impediment to servicing the equipment.

The new bussing plan is for two sets of busses: a Carroll and Dune Park run and an Ogden Dunes and Miller run. It essentially operates from the perspective that essentially nobody goes east from say Miller or Ogden Dunes from Carroll, nor the reverse. As I understand, there are contingencies in case somebody needs that service, but it isn’t baked into the regular plan.

Therefore, eastbound passengers at Gary either board a bus to Miller/Ogden Dunes or to Dune Park and Carroll. Obviously 11th and Beverly will still be served via the loop bus from DP or Carroll.

Work will be ramping up at Bailly now, but I haven’t heard much of work west of CP 46.5 for this year.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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That makes sense ... and an NS delay at Ogden Dunes would not slow service between Gary and Dune Park/Carroll on separate buses.

Bailly is a lot of work, but being able to completely remove the catenary for that section of track will speed up the process.Hopefully by spring DT-NWI will be complete up to CP 46.5. Then next year can be the three big bridges and the rebuild/realignment in Miller.

Will the express trains (6 and 11) bus from Gary or from East Chicago?

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66 wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:34 pm
That makes sense ... and an NS delay at Ogden Dunes would not slow service between Gary and Dune Park/Carroll on separate buses.

Bailly is a lot of work, but being able to completely remove the catenary for that section of track will speed up the process.Hopefully by spring DT-NWI will be complete up to CP 46.5. Then next year can be the three big bridges and the rebuild/realignment in Miller.

Will the express trains (6 and 11) bus from Gary or from East Chicago?
I have not seen anything to indicate that 6/11 are bussing any different than everything else. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of reason to do so, since the consist has to come from or go to Gary anyway.

The biggest most crucial component of those second phase is the rebuild of Dune Park, especially the new crossover at CP 43.5 and Gauntlet for Track 1. That’s what’s needed to be complete to get trains back to Dune Park. What happens west of 49 is immaterial until everything west to Gary is ready.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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Cars in Gary stored down the hill to the east of Gary Metro.
Gary-20220807-StoredCars.jpg
Michigan City - Track connected at the platform. The track now runs past Washington St to the west with Washington St open to traffic and Wabash St closed for construction.
11thSt-20220807-platform.jpg
Michigan City - At Michigan Ave the construction of the divider between trains and cars has started.
11thSt-20220807-MichAvenue.jpg
A lot of track laid out to the west of Michigan City. Crews worked west of Beverly Shores toward Kemil Rd and are now working east from Kemil. There are a lot of ties laid out awaiting rail (including east of Beverly Shores). The platforms are chained off at Dune Park with plenty of signs saying they are closed.

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