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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Re: South Shore Double Track

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A good day to visit Michigan City. Cloudy but not rainy so I was able to walk down to Michigan Ave where the curbs are going in. I also stopped at Franklin St and Lafayette St to get pictures of both ends of the track 2 gauntlet from the crossings (zoom lens).
11thSt-20220814-MichAvenue.jpg
11thSt-20220814-gauntlet1.jpg
11thSt-20220814-gauntlet2.jpg

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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The platform has been delayed at Beverly Shores (still due to be completed this month) but I was able to catch a train there. Five cars headed back to Gary. I caught them a few minutes earlier as they traveled down 10th St. Later in the day 1001 returned with a string of seven cars (two of them tagged).
11thSt-20220814-BeverlyShores.jpg
11thSt-20220814-10thStreet.jpg
11thSt-20220814-11thStreet.jpg

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66 wrote:
Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:43 pm
Later in the day 1001 returned with a string of seven cars (two of them tagged).
Lucky it's only two. I don't want to nag on Gary, but it's a rough place, unfortunately.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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At Dune Park the path for the Calumet Trail under SR 49 is complete.
11thSt-20220814-DunePark.jpg

Back in Michigan City wondering how the crews are going to work this out. Apparently the people doing the drainage and the people doing the curbs are using different plans? In most places the gutters are in line with the curb.
11thSt-20220814-curb.jpg
In other notes, the roof at Carroll Ave has been repaired (bus damage seen in previous photos). It will probably look better when complete but that 11ft wide lane on 11th St looks narrow and I wonder how the sidewalk will fit in where new NIPSCO poles have been placed. But I will keep following the construction and see what comes next.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66 wrote:
Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:52 pm
It will probably look better when complete but that 11ft wide lane on 11th St looks narrow
The urbanist/civil engineer in me understands the point, but also feels like 11' is just fine for a city street. Honestly, quite a bit of our traffic issues in North America comes from our love-affair with wide lanes, wide roads, and high speeds. Look into what a "Stroad" is if you haven't before! :lol: :roll:

Narrower lanes, combined with that wall between the travel lane and the tracks and the on-street parking, should keep people (well, most) from flying down what'll be left of 11th Street. Many design manuals allow as little as 9' for urban streets and collectors. Also, placing objects near to the travelled way is proven to "traffic calm" even more effectively than speed bumps, traffic cameras and police-operated speed traps.

Too many places we build four-lane roads with 12' lanes and wonder why on Earth drivers fly down them well above the posted speed limit. Build it like a freeway and people will treat it that way. To cite a local example, US12 from downtown to Powers is 35, and the curves certainly suggest that, but you'll find everybody including trucks doing 45+. However, Michigan Boulevard is also signed for 35, but with all of the roadside and median trees and such, it naturally stays at and below 40 for the most part.
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Re: South Shore Double Track

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Placing a traffic lane parallel to a track designed for 45 MPH. The lane shifts near the crossings should help with traffic calming (if those survived from the preliminary plans). I have seen a lot of traffic calming ... turning four lane streets into two lanes through various methods (bump outs, parking lanes with different road surfaces, bike lanes replacing the curb lanes and medians).

I agree with your examples. I usually avoid US 12 from Wabash west to the county line. Today I took the US 12 path from Michigan over to Sheridan and missed the turn into Sheridan because of pressure from another driver (I wasn't sure they were going to stay in their lane for the curves). Turning left from Sheridan between the two curves almost feels suicidal. I'd love to see that stretch of road slowed down, but four lanes with no traffic lights or stop signs west of Wabash ... it is a racetrack.

11ft is wide enough ... I wouldn't want it to be any wider. Hopefully drivers can be kept at 25 MPH or less. Despite the speed of the trains.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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I remember that if you were pacing a train westbound, there was a pretty tight spot at 11th & Cedar. Checking on Google Earth suggests that would have been about 10.5' , but I suspect a lane next to a low wall feels wider than a lane next to a moving train. ;)

My only concern with an 11' lane is that when somebody runs out of gas or gets a flat or something, traffic is probably not going to be able to squeeze by.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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justalurker66 wrote:
Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:52 pm
Back in Michigan City wondering how the crews are going to work this out. Apparently the people doing the drainage and the people doing the curbs are using different plans? In most places the gutters are in line with the curb.
Something in the ground to expensive to move for one storm drain.
Usually it's a manhole though. They will just make a nice little curve in the curb.

As for tagging, watched one of those cheap to produce TV shows.
An Australian was trying to enter Canada after a stop in Italy.
They had concerns about admissibility so searched his bags.
Found a tagging marker and pictures of where he tagged some historic bridges in Italy.
He was proud of it, he was also sent home to Australia where tagging/graffiti is way out of control. Gary can't come close to matching it.

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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A grab shot video but still cool to see the crew move the rail into place. (My good video camera was in the car charging. I was not expecting to get an action shot.)
https://youtu.be/JFiGqlkgc5Y

A few minutes earlier the rail was pulled across the Amtrak 10th St crossing and down the middle of 11th St. Crews have ties with track down by Ohio St. Note the new catenary supports next to the old track. Some of them are out of line with the others where the wall between the track and the road shifts over at the crossings. (The road shifts south to make room for the crossing arm equipment.) I believe the man is standing at Wabash St and the street in the foreground is Washington. I am standing on the east edge of Franklin St for the third shot.
11thSt-20220820-Amtrak.jpg
11thSt-20220820-Ohio St.jpg
11thSt-20220820-Westbound.jpg

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Re: South Shore Double Track

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The platform for track 2 at Michigan City is being placed on top of the supports (similar to the construction at Dune Park and the other stations years ago).
11thSt-20220820-platform2.jpg
11thSt-20220820-platform2edge.jpg
At Beverly Shores the track 1 platform is in place. The ties in the background to the east have rails on them as far as my camera can see. To the west of Beverly Shores it appears the rails are complete all the way between Kemil Rd and Broadway. The gap in rail construction at the station is allowing the crew to build the platforms.
11thSt-20220820-BeverlyShores.jpg

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