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Sonofsoma Dec 20, 2010 1:38 PM

Crain's Chicago Business article published 12/20 2010
GROUND STOP AT O"HARE?

"United Airlines is pressing Mayor Richard M. Daley to slow the expansion of O'Hare International Airport.

In recent weeks, representatives of Chicago-based United urged city officials to scrap the 2014 target completion date for the $8-billion project, delaying construction of two new runways until air traffic increases."

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...-stop-at-ohare

electricron Dec 20, 2010 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sonofsoma (Post 5099422)
Crain's Chicago Business article published 12/20 2010
GROUND STOP AT O"HARE?

"United Airlines is pressing Mayor Richard M. Daley to slow the expansion of O'Hare International Airport.

In recent weeks, representatives of Chicago-based United urged city officials to scrap the 2014 target completion date for the $8-billion project, delaying construction of two new runways until air traffic increases."

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...-stop-at-ohare

While I'll agree in principle that delaying expansion until it's needed is a great idea, I do have a problem when just one major airline suggests so. It could be they want to delay expansion because they wish to delay new competition entering this hub. I would feel much better with any delay if more airlines express the same opinion.

10023 Dec 20, 2010 6:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5099569)
While I'll agree in principle that delaying expansion until it's needed is a great idea, I do have a problem when just one major airline suggests so. It could be they want to delay expansion because they wish to delay new competition entering this hub. I would feel much better with any delay if more airlines express the same opinion.

How very perceptive of you.

I can't imagine a circumstance under which more runway capacity is anything but good for travelers.

ardecila Dec 20, 2010 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5099569)
While I'll agree in principle that delaying expansion until it's needed is a great idea, I do have a problem when just one major airline suggests so. It could be they want to delay expansion because they wish to delay new competition entering this hub. I would feel much better with any delay if more airlines express the same opinion.

Did you read the article? AA is also rejecting the timetable.

O'Hare will be going from 6 mostly intersecting runways to 8, with 4 parallel runways and 2 pairs of crosswind runways.

Adding additional runways beyond that really only makes sense in the context of an additional terminal, populated by additional airlines.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see a western transportation concourse with parking facilities and transit linkages. I'm not sure that new gates and even more runways are a good use of money, though.

k1052 Dec 21, 2010 5:29 PM

The city should cut a deal partially complete the next set runway work in exchange for shelving the balance and Western Terminal until the airport starts hitting certain passenger traffic levels. Further the airlines should consent to fees that would fund refurbishments of the concourses that need it and the construction of the economy lot garage and extension of the ATS to lot F and the Metra connection.

Metra should also be leaned on to make some real use of the NCS line and provide regular express service to the O'Hare Transfer out of Union Station and actually make the trip in less than the 29 minutes it takes now.

denizen467 Dec 31, 2010 3:45 AM

FedEx's replacement facility in the cargo area of the airfield is nearly done. After several months of installing and calibrating their labyrinth of conveyor belts, they will move in around late spring. The existing facility is right in the middle of one of the new runways that is now about halfway built (kind of painfully obvious in the recent satellite photos on Google), so it will be levelled, along with a couple of other cargo facilities. (The new FedEx facility is the one with the green roof in the satellite photos, next to Resthaven Cemetery (or what is left of Resthaven Cemetery I guess).)

I am curious when the rail line passing by this (sorry, not sure which freight co, but it is the one that crosses over Irving Pk Rd) will be relocated.

denizen467 Dec 31, 2010 4:04 AM

^ Actually I just realized something interesting. That rail line has already been shifted recently. It used to run between Resthaven and St Johannes, in a gentle S curve. Now it runs south of the cemeteries, and has a sharper curve.

So the question is, will they re-route it a 2nd time when the time comes to build the far south runway -- that runway is planned to intersect the current route of the rail line. The only other option would be to bury the freight line into a trench underneath the runway, which I suspect is a non-starter.

Jenner Jan 2, 2011 6:37 AM

I would imagine that they would have to reroute it again for the final proposed solution, as well as reroute Irving Park Rd.

I've been busy with many designs for Terminal 2 rework, that I've finally uploaded them to a flickr page. There would be too many images to paste here. The page is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/36457406@N07/?saved=1. Perhaps someone affiliated with O'Hare may be interested in the designs.

ardecila Jan 2, 2011 8:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5109661)
So the question is, will they re-route it a 2nd time when the time comes to build the far south runway -- that runway is planned to intersect the current route of the rail line. The only other option would be to bury the freight line into a trench underneath the runway, which I suspect is a non-starter.

When they build 10R-28L, they will relocate the railroad a second time. I believe the new alignment will be built as soon as they finish demolition and environmental-remediation work, at the same time as the new Irving Park Road, and the grade separation at York/Irving Park (which will carry both CP and the new UP tracks over Irving Park).

I'm guessing the interim UP tracks have wooden ties and jointed tracks (large plates connect each segment of rail) instead of the modern, more expensive continuously-welded rail. Just a bit of rail geekery, but that would be a good sign that the current alignment is temporary.

ChiPsy Jan 9, 2011 1:17 PM

Crain's Chicago Business reported some big news about the O'Hare modernization project to subscribers yesterday -- I got the teaser in my email, but I can't find where I pulled up the story (it was on my iPhone). Anybody with a subscription care to enlighten us?

If I remember right, it was that the city is going to circumvent the airlines by issuing bonds with a repayment period to begin after the (2018 or so?) airlines-veto-power agreement rather than after the bond-funded construction is complete. The markets would have to buy the idea (I seem to remember that that could coalesce as soon as this week) and the courts would have to approve, if the airlines challenge it.

What I don't remember, or never got from the article, is how much of Daley's original plan would be completed if this flies.

spyguy Feb 9, 2011 10:32 PM

http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2...n-america.html

O’Hare deal would open gates for Virgin America
By Julie Johnsson


The city of Chicago has struck a deal with Delta Air Lines that could pave the way for upstart Virgin America to begin service at O’Hare International Airport.

A proposed ordinance introduced by Mayor Daley in city council Wednesday would give the city control over the L concourse gates in Terminal 3. The gates have been largely vacant since Nov. 17, 2009, when Delta shifted its operations at O’Hare to merger partner Northwest Airline’s base in Terminal 2.

ardecila Feb 10, 2011 9:38 AM

I wonder if this will give the city leverage over the airlines in the expansion debate?

If the city loses, at least we get Virgin America flights. :shrug:

nomarandlee Feb 21, 2011 12:05 AM

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...2409533.column

Proposal would link airport with Union Station, points downstate

Jon Hilkevitch

Getting Around

4:46 p.m. CST, February 20, 2011

In the future, one of the carriers serving travelers at O'Hare International Airport may be Amtrak.

Gov. Pat Quinn has asked Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman to conduct a study examining what it would take, logistically and financially, to commence fast, nonstop passenger rail service between Chicago Union Station and O'Hare, your Getting Around reporter has learned.

The governor envisions the proposed rail line, which at this point is strictly conceptual, as offering a more extensive reach than the O'Hare branch of the CTA Blue Line, which runs between the Loop and the airport, and Mayor Richard Daley's plan for premium "Airport Express" service between the uncompleted Block 37 "super station" downtown and O'Hare.

Quinn's plan certainly would not resemble the impractical idea for a bullet train to O'Hare that Daley toted home last year after he rode a magnetic levitation train in Shanghai. The Shanghai Transrapid maglev train must start braking shortly after reaching its top speed of 268 mph, and it doesn't even go into downtown Shanghai.

But Quinn does see opportunities to build a synergistic connection between O'Hare, which serves tens of millions of air travelers each year, and state efforts to draw customers to the 110 mph passenger rail corridors it is constructing, beginning with the 284-mile route between Chicago and St. Louis.
Downtown Chicago and O'Hare represent the two largest employment centers in Illinois, creating a perfect setting for a premier trains-to-planes service that would attract new employers and riders, Quinn said............

The Amtrak study that Quinn requested will include discussions with CN/Wisconsin Central and Metra, said John Webber, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Another potential setback for the rail link is that the Chicago Department of Aviation has at least temporarily shelved plans for a western airline terminal under the city's O'Hare Modernization Program. In addition to providing aircraft gates, the western terminal was envisioned as including facilities for rail connections to Metra and the Blue Line, as well as to a proposed extension of the People Mover airport transit system that would link the western terminal to the main terminal complex.

Despite the hurdles, Amtrak officials are enthusiastic about exploring the proposal, said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari..........
click on link

ardecila Feb 21, 2011 1:58 AM

The CN line can probably be expanded to four tracks between Franklin Park Junction and the O'Hare Transfer Station. Two of those tracks would be dedicated to passenger service. This is less than 2 miles of track, so it shouldn't be too expensive - most of it is three or four tracks already. Once at the O'Hare Transfer Station, a people-mover extension will take passengers to the terminal, as per the existing plans.

If CN refuses to play ball, then Amtrak can expand the now-pathetic Mannheim station on the UP-W, or build a new station in the O'Hare cargo area near Irving Park Road, and run bus shuttles to the terminal.

Option 3 has trains going up the west side of the airport to a station at York/Thorndale, where passengers would board a subway extension of the people-mover. O'Hare Master Plan calls for the underground people-mover to be separate from the existing one, but I think that's pretty wasteful. The advantage of Option 3 is that it lays the groundwork for a Western Terminal without the huge expense. The transfer point between the rail and people-mover could be tied into a kiss-and-ride at the end of the future Elgin-O'Hare.

ardecila Feb 21, 2011 2:23 AM

Speaking of the Elgin-O'Hare...

The plans for the east extension/airport bypass are progressing.

The initial phase now will widen the existing Elgin-O'Hare to a 6-lane cross section, and the newly-constructed expressways will have 4-lane cross sections. There will be a minimum of new ramps at interchanges, and minor changes to allow for bus service in the shoulders.

The second phase will widen the entire system of highways to a 10-lane cross section, with 8 general-purpose lanes and 2 bus lanes. The north leg will have rail in the form of the STAR line instead of bus lanes, so that's technically an 8-lane cross section.

Roadway costs for the first phase are roughly $2.5 billion... IDOT has done a tolling study and found that they can issue $1.25 billion in bonds based on expected toll revenue. That leaves the remaining 50% of the cost to be borne by the Feds and/or the state budget (ha!)

spyguy Feb 22, 2011 4:40 AM

Fairly recent aerial shot of O'Hare
http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/2179/ohare.jpg
Jun Seita/ flickr

Notice the remains of Bensenville in the bottom left hand corner

BVictor1 Feb 23, 2011 1:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 5174094)
Fairly recent aerial shot of O'Hare
http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/2179/ohare.jpg
Jun Seita/ flickr

Notice the remains of Bensenville in the bottom left hand corner

Reminds me of the pentagon without the actual building.

DCCliff Feb 27, 2011 9:23 PM

"The CN line can probably be expanded to four tracks between Franklin Park Junction and the O'Hare Transfer Station. Two of those tracks would be dedicated to passenger service. This is less than 2 miles of track, so it shouldn't be too expensive - most of it is three or four tracks already. Once at the O'Hare Transfer Station, a people-mover extension will take passengers to the terminal, as per the existing plans.

If CN refuses to play ball, then Amtrak can expand the now-pathetic Mannheim station on the UP-W, or build a new station in the O'Hare cargo area near Irving Park Road, and run bus shuttles to the terminal.

Option 3 has trains going up the west side of the airport to a station at York/Thorndale, where passengers would board a subway extension of the people-mover. O'Hare Master Plan calls for the underground people-mover to be separate from the existing one, but I think that's pretty wasteful. The advantage of Option 3 is that it lays the groundwork for a Western Terminal without the huge expense. The transfer point between the rail and people-mover could be tied into a kiss-and-ride at the end of the future Elgin-O'Hare."

Everything possible should be done to vet all possibilities of building a one-seat ride to the terminals (a la Heathrow) - even if this means electrification. Value and usage of a transfer ride will inevitably be lower.

ardecila Mar 1, 2011 2:40 AM

I don't think it's realistic to build a new line into the very cramped East Terminals. There's no room above ground. If the city manages to get a West Terminal built, it's pretty easy to bring a high-speed rail line into there.

If direct access to the East Terminals is essential, then the city needs to use the existing Blue Line tracks, either by building express tracks on the Blue Line or by somehow building a track connection between the Blue Line and the freight rail network.

Jenner Mar 3, 2011 6:02 AM

While Amtrak could use the existing Metra lines (MD-N, and CN tracks), they could possibly tunnel some tracks to O'Hare, about where the CN tracks meet the Blue line. The tunnel would take them to the eastern campus, with a possible option to go further if a western terminal is opened.

I'm not sure that such a project would be feasible. Such service would have to have the ridership, as well as sustainable income. Additionally, using the MD-N tracks mean that you have several at-grade crossings, which would make it difficult to maintain a high speed corridor, as well as frequent trips. I'm guessing that O'Hare to downtown would probably take 20 minutes. You would at least need 2 trains running this corridor assuming you wait every 20-25 minutes for a train.


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