South Shore Double Track

Anything pertaining to railfanning in Indiana.
User avatar
Saturnalia
Authority on Cat
Posts: 15018
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:54 pm
Location: Michigan City, IN
Contact:

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by Saturnalia »

Amtrak will install the new diamonds tomorrow night, with another window on Tuesday night to wrap up. Hulcher is doing the install with their side-booms as seen above. Amtrak basically decided to do it all in two pieces, with the diamond already having really long legs on their side.

Later, the old SSL track will be retired and the new SSL tracks installed up to the new diamonds in one cut-over, which will also see Amtrak resurface the 10th Street crossing, since they can remove the old insulated joints from the edge thereof.
Thornapple River Rail Series - YouTube
Safety today is your investment for tomorrow

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Here is a sketch of "East Bailey" which will be installed at Waverly Rd.
EastBaily.png
EastBaily.png (1.98 KiB) Viewed 6061 times
The yellow track is new. The blue track is removed (current single track). When complete CSS will own the north two tracks for their freight service at Bailey (serving Cleveland Cliffs and NIPSCO) and NICTD will own the two south tracks for South Shore passenger service. The current single track main west of Waverly Rd will become CSS track with two completely new tracks for the South Shore service.

Here are the details from the preliminary plans (published 2017).
EastBaileyPreliminary.jpg
(Note: This site has an image width limit of 1200 pixels.)

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Per the construction website:
"Beginning 10/31 there will be a two-week street closure of 10th Street between Huron St and Willard Ave for removal of the old NICTD/Amtrak crossing."

So 20 days to build a track from Tennessee to Sheridan and be ready to make the connections at both ends. Last 10th St street running (freight and deadheads) October 30th?

User avatar
Saturnalia
Authority on Cat
Posts: 15018
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:54 pm
Location: Michigan City, IN
Contact:

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by Saturnalia »

justalurker66 wrote:
Tue Oct 11, 2022 10:55 pm
Last 10th St street running (freight and deadheads) October 30th?
Looks like it! I bet it's a nasty, rainy day, too.
Thornapple River Rail Series - YouTube
Safety today is your investment for tomorrow

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Saturnalia wrote:
Wed Oct 12, 2022 7:14 am
justalurker66 wrote:
Tue Oct 11, 2022 10:55 pm
Last 10th St street running (freight and deadheads) October 30th?
Looks like it! I bet it's a nasty, rainy day, too.
The skies will be crying over the loss of rails in the asphalt street running. :lol:

User avatar
DaveO
Read more, think more, post less
Posts: 1246
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by DaveO »

The skies will dump rain to clear the foam and allow the trains to pass. :P
It will be a somewhat sad day when the street running ends but it's one of those things that needed to get done.

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

This week in Michigan City ...

Another segment of wall is being built ... this segment is west of Franklin St toward Washington St. Note the wall moves away from the tracks at the crossings.
20221016-11thSt-FranklinWB.jpg
At Wabash St still waiting on asphalt (and some concrete curbing). But traffic lights are in at Wabash and Washington.
20221016-11thSt-Wabash.jpg
And (as advertised) Amtrak has the diamond in place. Construction has built two track west of the diamond just past Willard Ave and is starting to work on the tracks from Willard to Sheridan.
20221016-10thSt-Diamond.jpg
Sheridan is no longer a big hole in the ground. No ballast across the road yet but they are getting close.

Tamarak siding is no longer connected to the main. The rails are cut for the installation of the new turnout for the right hand crossover. The left hand crossover is in track 2. Once this turnout is in place track two will have track all the way from Tremont Rd to just west of County Line Rd. Ballast and tamping required but practically all the rail between Tamarack and Power is in place.

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

At Dune Park (and Waverly Rd) ...

Preparations are in place for the low level track 2 platform and new track 2. The rail is continuous from here west (behind camera) across Waverly Rd.
20221016-DunePark1.jpg
West of Waverly Rd the new track is laid curving toward the main track. The main track will eventually be curved as well to follow the new alignment with two passenger tracks south of two freight tracks (the existing main becoming a freight track). Note the turnout is in place that will join the two freight tracks. Another turnout will be placed where the track curves back to the right. Note the "Begin CTC" sign to the left.
20221016-DunePark2.jpg
Further west Miller Station has lost it's platform ... and the road that was in front of the station. The building still stands (for now).
20221016-MillerStation.jpg
Work was completed at Mineral Springs Rd ... one new track at the crossing just north of the existing two tracks. Nothing done to the rest of the Mineral Springs Rd crossing yet so still a very bumpy ride.

No new asphalt in Michigan City ... so probably another week until any roads open or any more close.
Last edited by justalurker66 on Sun Oct 16, 2022 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Saturnalia
Authority on Cat
Posts: 15018
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:54 pm
Location: Michigan City, IN
Contact:

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by Saturnalia »

Probably a bit overkill on the signal cantilevers for Franklin, Washington and Wabash. I think sometimes those traffic engineers love their signal heads a little too much! :lol:

Love seeing the new turnouts going in. Can't wait for the gauntlet turnouts at 11th Street to go in!
Thornapple River Rail Series - YouTube
Safety today is your investment for tomorrow

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

It helps the police when a driver "didn't see the light". You didn't see any of the five heads? As a driver I appreciate the second head when one of the bulbs/LEDs are burned out in one head but it sometimes seems like the designers are in cahoots with the sales force.

Add railroad lights and gates to the intersection and it will be even more lights to obey. Cantilevers?

I hope they restore the bird sounds to the walk lights. It cracked me up in February to keep hearing the "coo coo" while seeing swarms of people taking pictures of the trains. Even though I was in the swarm. It was like the walk light was trying to tell me something. :D

User avatar
Saturnalia
Authority on Cat
Posts: 15018
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:54 pm
Location: Michigan City, IN
Contact:

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by Saturnalia »

justalurker66 wrote:
Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:16 pm
It helps the police when a driver "didn't see the light". You didn't see any of the five heads? As a driver I appreciate the second head when one of the bulbs/LEDs are burned out in one head but it sometimes seems like the designers are in cahoots with the sales force.

Add railroad lights and gates to the intersection and it will be even more lights to obey. Cantilevers?

I hope they restore the bird sounds to the walk lights. It cracked me up in February to keep hearing the "coo coo" while seeing swarms of people taking pictures of the trains. Even though I was in the swarm. It was like the walk light was trying to tell me something. :D
I don’t mind the cantilever signal arms themselves, I just think two is redundant. I’d keep the first set on the entrance side of the crossing/intersection and be done with it. But there’s probably something in the book that says otherwise - but the ITE has been known for overkill for decades.

And yes, add in the railroad crossing apparatus, cantilevers or not, and it’s gonna be full of stuff.
Thornapple River Rail Series - YouTube
Safety today is your investment for tomorrow

User avatar
DaveO
Read more, think more, post less
Posts: 1246
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by DaveO »

MUTCD-Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
2 signal heads minimum. The far side heads could be obscured by trains, thus a near side is desirable.
If you were blind, the pedestrian signals definitely would be telling you something.

The end of asphalt season is approaching. Will they get it all down?
It's not unusual to leave the finish layer until next season on road projects.
Put it down after construction vehicles have gone elsewhere.
I think in this case, that's probably not desirable.

User avatar
Saturnalia
Authority on Cat
Posts: 15018
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:54 pm
Location: Michigan City, IN
Contact:

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by Saturnalia »

DaveO wrote:
Mon Oct 17, 2022 6:41 am
MUTCD-Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
2 signal heads minimum. The far side heads could be obscured by trains, thus a near side is desirable.
Thing about far side signals worth mentioning: they are conventional in the US but in many places with arguably better traffic design, they are all on the near side. The genius of that is it keeps drivers from pulling up so close that they block the crosswalk, because they have to stay further back to still see the signal.

What's been installed is clearly the far side arm of the conventional design, plus a near-side "queue cutter" to clear the crossing, enforcing no right turns or anything of that nature while red. But with the two arms being so close, and with right turns being impossible anyway, I'd argue for just near-side signals myself.

Hence, my proposition that traffic engineers are hard-on for massive intersections with as many signal heads as possible :lol:
Thornapple River Rail Series - YouTube
Safety today is your investment for tomorrow

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

[Rant Modified]

The southbound far side signals are a recipe for trouble. They give a reason for people to stop on the tracks. I believe drivers would be more likely to behave correctly and clear the intersection if there was not a red light in front of them.

I see the design as a major flaw in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The standard placement being followed is one listed as "should" be followed for roads with a posted or 85% percentile speed of 45 MPH. The standard placement "should be considered" for other intersections but neither recommendation uses the stronger language of "shall" or "must". The flaw is placing the primary signals no closer than 40ft from the stop line. Treating a recommendation as a hard fast rule (especially where it need not apply) is increasing the number of signal heads. Primary signals placed at least 40 ft from the stop line and supplemental signals placed closer to the stop line (near side).

While the MUTCD considers the presence of railroad tracks close to a road intersection (within 200ft) the recommendations do not work well when the distance between street and railroad is less than 20ft. With the less than 50ft distance between railroad and road the manual says pre-signals "should be considered" that "may" be timed with an offset from the primary signal for the intersection. Which is probably what the designers are doing in this case.

I suppose a better position for the northbound signals would be right before the tracks but that space is needed for the crossing gates.

I expect these intersections to be a confusing mess ... all the traffic signals already installed plus railroad crossing lights and gates yet to come. Signage yet to be installed (STOP here on red, Do not stop on tracks, no right turn, etc.) Lots of clutter.
Last edited by justalurker66 on Wed Oct 19, 2022 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
DaveO
Read more, think more, post less
Posts: 1246
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Location: Between here and there

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by DaveO »

The problem with near side signals is the stop line must be so far back that people won't stop there.
Then they can't see the signal at all.
The traffic engineers also had a repeater signal placed on the pole itself.
Repeater signals are used where signal visibility needs to be improved.
You might say they should stop at the stop line but then drivers are also supposed to stop at an activated railroad crossing signal and don't.

Indiana uses far side traffic signals for their road intersections.
Here in Oakland County(northwest side of Metro Detroit) they are slowly converting diagonal span wire traffic signals to far side installations.
Even with diagonal spans, it's very difficult to see some of the signals and that's with drivers having stopped at the stop line/marked crosswalk.

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Per the construction website:
"Crane operations for bridge construction between Norfolk Southern bridge and Cleveland Cliffs bridge began 10/17."

I saw an "Access Point 9" sign on the abandoned road that leads back to that construction area. Bridges at the east end of Wagner / west end of the single track past Cleveland Cliffs.

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Weekend Update ...
No new asphalt seen. So no changes in road closures.

Deadhead equipment passing between the platforms.
20221023-11thSt-Station.jpg
Amtrak diamond now has signals for the new tracks.
20221023-10thSt-Diamond.jpg
Track 2 has reached Sheridan Ave (with the South Shore Museum Project storage site in the background).
20221023-10thSt-SheridanAve.jpg

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Headed west - the switch is in on Track 2 at Tamarack (looks like it could use some of that ballast). There is now continuous new rail from just east of Tremont to just west of US 12.
20221023-Tamarack.jpg
Track 2 at Dune Park has been replaced by new track. Trains enter at East Tremont and Track 2 is currently being used for through trains past Dune Park to just past Waverly Rd.
20221023-DunePark1.jpg
West of Waverly Rd Track 1 has been cut. The new Track 2 curves off to a switch then back to Track 1. That track 1 will become CSS track with two new passenger mains to the left and a second freight track to the right (extending from the switch).
20221023-DunePark2.jpg
There is a crane in place at the Cleveland Cliffs / NS bridges (no picture taken).

(And yes, I do like the zoom lens on my camera.)

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

10th St Closed to Trains ... photos from today
Today the main was cut west of Sheridan Ave and at Tennessee St removing the 10th St track segment from service.

Looking west from 10th St the track was cut just beyond the switch.
20221031-10thSt-SheridanAve1.jpg
Looking east back at 10th St the tracks now curve off to the south.
20221031-10thSt-SheridanAve2.jpg
Work underway at Tennessee and Kentucky to connect Main 2 to the east side of the new diamond.
20221031-11thSt-Tennessee.jpg

User avatar
justalurker66
Railroadfan...fan
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:51 am

Re: South Shore Double Track

Unread post by justalurker66 »

At the diamond Amtrak has removed the asphalt from the 10th St crossing and has lights set up for the removal of the old diamond.
20221031-10thSt-Diamond.jpg
Off to the west! Track 1 has been removed at Dune Park in preparation for the new gauntlet track at the high platform.
20221031-DunePark1.jpg
20221031-DunePark2.jpg
Other notes: Ohio St is open ... Wabash St remains closed pending completion of concrete and asphalt.
Washington St has not been closed.
The project website has been updated to show the opening of Wabash and closing of Franklin St on Nov 4th.
Washington St's closing will follow Franklin St.

A new cantilever signal has been placed just east of Clay St to control eastbound traffic at the end of the double track.

Post Reply