Now Even More On The Chicago Bypass

Am I stupid. I wrote about a CHICAGO BYPASS BEFORE

Now:

STB to prepare environmental statement for proposed Great Lakes Basin rail line

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Office of Environmental Analysis late last week issued a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and initiate the scoping process for the Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc.’s (GLBT) proposal to build and operate a 278-mile freight-rail line in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

The STB also announced the dates for public scoping meetings that will be held next month in each of the three states.

GLBT is proposing to construct a new rail line around the Chicago area to speed up freight transportation and provide additional capacity for growing rail traffic, according to the organization’s website.

Specifically, the line would extend from LaPorte, Ind., through Illinois to Milton, Wis., and would connect with Class Is.

The proposed rail line would alleviate shipping congestion by creating a bypass for traffic not destined for or originating in the Chicago area.

The scoping meetings will be held April 11 in Manteno, Ill.; April 12 in Lowell, Ind.; April 13 in Wanatah, Ind.; April 14 in LaPorte, Ind.; April 18 in Janesville, Wis., April 19 in Rockford, Ill.; April 20 in Rochelle, Ill.; and April 21 in Seneca, Ill.

The meetings will include an open house format for the first hour, followed by a presentation by the STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis and an opportunity for public comments and questions, STB officials said.

Below is the GLBT’s December 2015 video presentation on the proposed project.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Office of Environmental Analysis late last week issued a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and initiate the scoping process for the Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc.’s (GLBT) proposal to build and operate a 278-mile freight-rail line in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

The STB also announced the dates for public scoping meetings that will be held next month in each of the three states.

GLBT is proposing to construct a new rail line around the Chicago area to speed up freight transportation and provide additional capacity for growing rail traffic, according to the organization’s website.

Specifically, the line would extend from LaPorte, Ind., through Illinois to Milton, Wis., and would connect with Class Is.

The proposed rail line would alleviate shipping congestion by creating a bypass for traffic not destined for or originating in the Chicago area.

The scoping meetings will be held April 11 in Manteno, Ill.; April 12 in Lowell, Ind.; April 13 in Wanatah, Ind.; April 14 in LaPorte, Ind.; April 18 in Janesville, Wis., April 19 in Rockford, Ill.; April 20 in Rochelle, Ill.; and April 21 in Seneca, Ill.

The meetings will include an open house format for the first hour, followed by a presentation by the STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis and an opportunity for public comments and questions, STB officials said.

Below is the GLBT’s December 2015 video presentation on the proposed project.

Subway Expansion Befitting of 21st-Century NYC

New York City’s subway system is among the most used public transit systems in the world, and for also being among the world’s oldest, it does a pretty good job. But the system hasn’t really been able to keep up with the growth of the city, and with the MTA’s disaster of a budget, adding more lines isn’t really feasible. But a population can dream, right? Cartographer Andrew Lynch did just that with his new transit map of New York City, which introduces several new subway lines and extensions that would totally transform access to Manhattan and the city’s hard to get to ‘hoods (h/t Gothamist).

Imagine if Utica Avenue had its own line, or if the L extended up Tenth Avenue to 72nd Street. Lynch, in his sadly fictional map, introduces the H, K, V, and (reinstated) W lines, which canvas the outer boroughs and even stretch into Jersey. Here’s how they’d affect the city:

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The K line would run complimentary to the G line from Forest Hills to Bedford-Nostrand Avenues, at which point the K would branch off and do its own thing. The K would take the place of the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, and join the Q (and, in Lynch’s plan, the T) at Prospect Park. The K would terminate at Brighton Beach.

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Lynch has all sorts of plans for the T (what we now call the Second Avenue Subway), V, and W lines. The three trains would run together in Manhattan from Grand Street through 55th Street, at which point the T would continue north to 116th Street before cutting across the island and terminating at Manhattanville Broadway -125th Street alongside the 1. The V would turn into Queens, passing through Roosevelt Island, and mirroring the N through 63rd Drive-Rego Park, at which point it’d nosedive south and meet up with another proposed line, the H, before terminating at Ozone Park-Liberty Ave.

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The H would mirror the F through Brooklyn and most of Manhattan, cutting east to Queens (slightly north of the F’s exit) at 63rd Street. Like the V, it would pass through Roosevelt Island, then run express through the No Man’s Land between the E and 7, stretching out to Rego Park before dipping south to link arm with the A out to Far Rockaway. Where the A turns north on the island, the H would turn south.

Lynch’s plans for the subway are exhaustive, and extend far beyond all that noise above. Take a peek at his map to explore the ins and outs of his plan, and, as always, sound off here in the comments.

Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad hires Bjornstad as president

The Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad Co. (CSS) has named Todd Bjornstad to succeed Andrew Fox as the short line’s next president, effective March 1.

Fox will assume the role of chief executive officer for a transitional period, after which he will join CSS parent company Anacostia Rail Holdings, Anacostia officials said in a press release.

Bjornstad has 25 years of experience in the rail industry. He is the former general manager of the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad, where he served since the short line’s acquisition by Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) from Canadian Pacific in June 2014.

His other roles at G&W included vice president of transportation for G&W’s Midwest region and vice president of customer service for RailAmerica in Jacksonville, Fla. Prior to that, he had been with the Union Pacific Railroad for 17 years.

Fox has been the president of the CSS since 2010, when he joined the railroad after 13 years at another Anacostia Rail Holdings railroad, Pacific Harbor Line (PHL). He was essential in helping the PHL get launched and served as its president since its inception in 1997, Anacostia officials said.

The CSS is one of six railroads operated by Anacostia Rail Holdings. It operates 127 route miles of line providing freight-rail service between Chicago and South Bend, Ind. CSS connects with all Chicago railroads and serves the Port of Chicago.

See more about the CSS and it’s relationship with their passenger partner

Comets Settle for One Point

The Utica Comets wrapped up their three-in-three weekend with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Binghamton Senators Sunday afternoon at The AUD. The point knocked Utica’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot down to 22 points.

Joseph LaBate (1-1-2) and Carter Bancks (1-0-1) handled the scoring for the Comets, while Joe Cannata made 16 saves in the loss. The Comets fired a season-high 48 shots on goal, matching their total from their Nov. 14 game vs the Syracuse Crunch. The Comets power play clicked twice in seven tries, and the penalty-killing unit had a perfect night killing all three of the Senators power-play opportunities.

The Comets and Senators jumped out to a fast-paced first period. The home team started the game buzzing as they peppered Senators’ goalie Matt O’Connor with 18 shots in just the first period.  By comparison, the Comets limited the Senators to 19 shots on goal the entire game.

Joe Cannata came up big early on in the game.  Although he only faced six shots in the first stanza, Cannata was tested with a penalty shot.  Binghamton’s Fredrik Claesson was awarded the penalty shot after he picked up a puck on his way out of the penalty box and was hooked by Comets defenseman Jordan Subban.  Cannata played a big role in the Comets first period lead as he blockered away the point-blank shot by Claesson.

Not long after the penalty shot the Comets jumped out to their first lead of the day on a power-play goal from Joseph LaBate. The shot, taken by Taylor Fedun from the point, was redirected by Alex Friesen and then again by LaBate in front at 4:14 of the 1st.

Binghamton hit the ice hard for the 2nd period as Phil Varone tied the score at 1-1 after he deflected a puck over the shoulder of goaltender Cannata just two minutes into the second.

The Comets were able to capitalize on a 5-on-3 opportunity midway through the 2nd period to regain their one goal lead. Carter Bancks netted his 11th goal of the season off of a rebound from Senators’ goaltender Matt O’Connor. Joseph LaBate nabbed his second point of the game as it was his initial shot from the point that Bancks buried to take the lead.  Ronalds Kenins also collected a point for his assist.

The Senators responded within minutes to tie the game at 2-2 after a bouncing puck was mishandled in the Comets zone.  Senator’s Phil Varone quickly swooped in and wristed it past Cannata for an unassisted goal with 12:14 to play in the 2nd period.

Neither team could score in the third, or the overtime period.

Alex Friesen was able to beat Matt O’Connor, however, the Comets ultimately fell to the Senators as both Phil Varone and Casey Bailey found the back of the net for Binghamton.

The Comets record fell to 31-22-6-5 with the loss.

The Comets can seal the deal and win their third consecutive Galaxy Cup with a win over the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday evening at The AUD. The Comets are 4-2-0-0 vs their rival to the West this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 3pm.