Category Archives: Chicago

Elon Musk to compete for high-speed rail loop in Chicago

CNET.COM

The billionaire tech entrepreneur joins the competition to build a high-speed loop connecting O’Hare Airport to downtown Chicago.

Elon Musk wants to take his train to Chicago.

The billionaire tech entrepreneur tweeted Wednesday that his Boring Company will compete to design, fund, build and operate a high-speed loop connecting O’Hare Airport with downtown Chicago.

Musk’s statement came after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked for proposals to build and operate a high-speed rail line that will whisk passengers from the airport to downtown in 20 minutes or less, cutting travel times in half. Contractors will also have to figure out how to finance it without taxpayer dollars, Emanuel said.

Musk, the brains behind SpaceX and Tesla, created Boring Company to build transport tunnels that provide an alternative means of transportation and alleviate traffic congestion. But Musk’s plan for Chicago is a little different than his Hyperloop, a futuristic form of transportation that, if it ever moves past the drawing board, would use electromagnetic pulses to shotgun passengers through low-pressure tubes at near-supersonic speeds.

“A Loop is like a Hyperloop, but without drawing a vacuum inside the tube,” Musk tweeted. “Don’t need to get rid of air friction for short routes.”

So how will passengers travel, you might ask?

“Electric pods for sure. Rails maybe, maybe not,” Musk said in a reply in the thread.

Advertisements

Elon Musk: I got ‘verbal’ approval for 29-minute NYC-to-DC hyperloop

Billionaire innovator Elon Musk said he has “verbal” government approval to build an ultra-high-speed underground rail system in the Northeast, offering hope to travelers overwhelmed by mass-transit failures despite skepticism about such an ambitious project.

In a series of tweets that might not be taken seriously if they came from any other corporate executive, Musk flummoxed the transportation industry with claims that he is pursuing a network that would whisk passengers from New York City to Washington, D.C. in 29 minutes.

Transit experts say that gargantuan costs and prodigious bureaucratic hurdles would make such a plan extremely difficult to pull off.

I guess our corporation (The Muhammad Ali Hyperlink) plus our record in the rail industry will sort of qualify us as a “transit expert”. We have designed a “HYPERLOOP” that is very “budget conscious”: follows an Interstate highway from Louisville to Gary, Indiana. Did not know a cost-effective tunneling system; so we will switch passengers to the South Shore Railroadand can be called “Louisville to Chicago” HYPERLOOP.

We, or anybody else, involved in HYPERLOOP cannot accurately forecast costs.

No normal bank or investment company even wants to talk to us (yet). Maybe we need a new Chief Financial Officer?

In the meantime, Elon Musk has bit the mayor of Chicago with another “bug”: a tunnel between the two Chicago airports. Last I knew, Chicago had financial problems: had to borrow $$$ each week to pay teacher’s salaries.

Guess we did things backwards: should have invented a self-driving electric car and started a space exploration company before we took on transit projects.

Maybe Musk could rescue the Second Avenue Subway: bore tunnels for the remainder. After all, the original subway from 1904 used tunnels.

Super train that would speed between cities at 700mph has its first successful test

The concept of a ‘hyperloop’, a rail system that works in a vacuum tube and thus reaches very high speeds, has been a pipe dream for a while now.

Elon Musk mentioned the concept back in 2012 and liked its immunity to weather, speed and low power consumption.

The speeds of such creations, which some analyses suggest could reach up to 760mph, would reduce a 6 hour journey by car to 35 minutes – even quicker than a flight, which currently takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Now, one of the startups working on this transportation system, just shared footage of their first full-scale test in a vacuum.

The trial run in a track built outside Las Vegas, saw the test vehicle reach 70 mph using magnetic levitation, pulling 2 Gs of acceleration.

A HYPERLOOP ONE affiliate “The Muhammad Ali Hyperlink” has plans to build this new revolutionary transportation system between Louisville and Chicago; It will follow Interstate 55 and stop in Indianapolis!!!

So it is closer than you think! Check it out!

Bunch of DUMMIES Want To Build HYPERLOOP – Forget Tunnel

For over a year a group known collectively as “The Muhammad Ali Hyperlink” has had plans to link Louisville and Chicago with a HYPERLOOP.

Why? To go between Louisville and Chicago now you must drive, fly or take a bus. Louisville is not blessed with an AMTRAK connection.

We know it will be expensive. We will construct in a cost-conscious fashion. We plan to follow the median on Interstate 65 through Indiana then “land” the HYPERLOOP at the Gary International Airport. Passengers would change to the NICDT “South Shore” train to enter Chicago. Excellent Freight railroads can pick up our freight.

The HYPERLOOP is being financed by private funding… and maybe some public too.

Biggest hold up now is the testing of HYPERLOOP…then the funding!

Now look at what is going on in Chicago.

Windy City Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in preliminary talks to have Elon Musk’s latest venture, the Boring Company, tunnel a new high-speed rail line between downtown and O’Hare International Airport. Last we knew such a connection was available in the Chicago Transit Authority.

Some New Ideas For Partnering on our HYPERLOOP

First of all, how about partnering with another HYPERLOOP that starts in Pittsburg, goes through Columbus and “lands” in Chicago?

See their presentation on

How the Hyperloop Could Transform the Midwest

After reading about HYPERLOOP, you know that freight is just as important as passenger travel. Well, we have found the perfect partner in Northern Indiana. They can work with us in Louisville and Indianapolis too.

Anacostia Rail Holdings Company owns and operates freight railroads in the United States. Our services provide our customers with neutral access to the larger Class 1 railroads. Our services also include car switching for intermodal terminals and various industries, track maintenance and repair, freight trans-loading, and train dispatching.

Next, how about a Chicago Bypass for freight?

Where East meets West: Any railroad car entering Chicago from any direction can leave in any other direction. It’s done by means of junctions.

World’s greatest junction: Like cruising cabs on city streets, transfer locomotives run from one railroad to another on Chicago’s maze of trackage.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But why do you need it if your shipping something from St Louis to Buffalo or from Milwaukee to Indianapolis.

An Older Rail “Chicago Bypass”

If you have been following us for a while, we ALWAYS keep talking about a “mythological” Chicago Bypass.

As late as 1964 there was a great one: The Kankakee Belt Route is the nickname for the Illinois Division of the New York Central Railroad, which extended from South Bend, Indiana, through Kankakee, Illinois, and westward to Zearing, Illinois. It was marketed as the “Kankakee Belt” route to connect with western railroads and avoid the congestion of the Chicago area.

Today, the Norfolk Southern operates the Kankakee Belt Route (ex-Conrail, ex-NYC, Kankakee Belt Line). Sections at the east end (to South Bend) and West End (Zearing area) have been removed. The Kankakee Belt Route sees around eight to ten trains daily, from the BNSF (old AT&SF main line) at Streator, Illinois to Norfolk Southern Railway interchanges and facilities in Indiana. It still serves as a Chicago bypass.

It’s gone now although sections remain. Many of the connecting railroads have disappeared!

The Kankakee Belt Line and connections (1964)

Location Railroad
South Bend, Indiana New York Central and Grand Trunk Railway
North Liberty, Indiana Wabash
Walkerton, Indiana B&O and Nickel Plate
Hamlet, Indiana Pennsylvania
Knox, Indiana Nickel Plate
North Judson, Indiana Pennsylvania and Erie
San Pierre, Indiana Monon
Shelby, Indiana Monon
Schneider, Indiana New York Central
Delmar, Illinois Milwaukee
Momence, Illinois Chicago & Eastern Illinois
Kankakee, Illinois Illinois Central and New York Central
Reddick, Illinois Wabash
Dwight, Illinois GM&O (Alton)
Streator, Illinois Santa Fe, Burlington
Lostant, Illinois Illinois Central
Depue, Illinois Rock Island
Ladd, Illinois Northwestern, Milwaukee, LS&BC RR
Zearing, Illinois Burlington

Follow our WebSite on Chicago connections

Will Great Lakes Basin Transportation Be The “CHICAGO BYPASS”?

For quite a while we have advocated a “CHICAGO BYPASS.

Now there is a contender out there who wants to do just we talked about

Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc. (GLBT) states that the principal purpose of the proposed rail line is to provide Class I railroads and a regional railroad utilizing the Chicago metropolitan terminal area with more efficient options to route trains around the city. The Class I railroads include: BNSF Railway Company, Union Pacific Railroad Company, Canadian National Railway Company, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and CSX Transportation, Inc. The regional railroad is the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad LLC. GLBT anticipates that the proposed rail line would (1) provide an alternative route for freight traffic not destined for or originating in Chicago to bypass the existing congested Chicago terminal area, and (2) add capacity to accommodate existing and anticipated future growth while avoiding major population centers.

GLBT anticipates that the proposed rail line would be utilized by unit commodity trains and mixed carload and intermodal trains that do not require transport to the Chicago terminal area for sorting or delivery. GLBT would construct a terminal (railport) for its proposed rail operations near Manteno, Illinois to provide switching, servicing, and car and locomotive repair to its railroad customers. According to GLBT, transit times through the Chicago area, which currently can take up to 30 hours to complete, would be reduced to under 8 hours depending on the specific interchange points and applicable speed restrictions on the rail line. The expected congestion relief would allow the railroads to better handle their Chicago proper and suburban traffic and make room for potential future growth within the existing terminal network.

GLBT is seeking authority from the Board to construct and operate an approximately 261-mile rail line that would extend generally from a point near Pinola, Indiana through Illinois to a point near Milton, Wisconsin. The proposed rail line would consist mostly of double track. The tracks would use modern signaling and automated controls (e.g., Centralized Traffic Control signals and Positive Train Control) to allow for movements of up to 110 trains per day. As proposed by GLBT, other major elements of the proposed project would include a 200-foot-wide right-of-way, flyovers at crossings of other railroads, four major river crossings in the State of Illinois (the Illinois, Kankakee, Fox, and Rock rivers), and grade-separated crossings of interstate highways and many roadways.

Read more about their proposal

Read more about our ideas on a Chicago Bypass

Read more about railroad mergers

REA Express

In 1966 REA Express was operating a system primarily engaged in the expeditious transportation of express packages, less-than-carlot, and carlot shipments requiring special handling. REA Express also provided a world-wide shipping service through contracts with air carriers, acted as an ocean freight forwarder to many countries of the world, and provided local truck express service in some large cities of the United States. A subsidiary company of REA Express leased truck trailers to railroads, forwarders, and shippers for the use in trailer-on-flat car service. Such miscellaneous services as pick-up-and-delivery services for railroads, custom brokerage on import traffic, sale of traveler’s checks and money orders, and collection of C. O. D. charges were also performed. REA Express conducted its business through 8,200 offices and used in its operations 137,000 miles of railroad, 132,000 miles of air lines, 79,000 miles of motor carrier lines, and 6,600 of water lines. The company employed 30,000 persons and operated a fleet of 12,000 trucks. The company handled some 66,000,000 shipment annually. (Association of American Railroads)

-with all those assets and experience, even though rail shipping was in decline, REA dominated the private package business. It was already into trucks, had name recognition, a customer base etc. -why did it finally fail? Why didn’t it follow the trends and morph into something successful like UPS and FED EX?

We have a lot of information on the Railway Express Agency, later known as REA Express and also have significant background information available that will help you understand why REA Express failed.

Find more great short stories
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/chicago-rail-capital/

You’ll soon be able to get to Chicago an hour faster

From the Belleville News-Democrat via California Rail News

“We’re getting close to finishing the project,” said Scott Speegle, the Passenger Rail communications manager for IDOT.
Work this year includes upgrades at 21 rail crossings between Granite City and Shipman, Speegle said.
Upgrades include putting in four quad gates to prevent cars from weaving through crossings when a train is approaching. Signaling upgrades, increased fencing and pedestrian gates, if necessary, also are planned. Most of the work is expected to be completed by the end of the summer, Speegle said.
The crossings will be temporarily closed while upgrades are taking place.
What has not received much press are efforts to throw a money wrench to raise passenger speeds in the Midwest by the UP. Where it controls the rails that used government funding for track improvements to reduce running times for passenger trains, the UP is trying to block the use of new High Speed “Charger” locomotives. Among the issues UP is claiming is the the Chargers don’t meet current FRA regulations. One thing the UP is claiming is that since the Charger uses LED lights, it can’t be used on American railroads since FRA regulations says nothing about LED lights.