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Old Posted Feb 26, 2009, 9:49 PM
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Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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Originally Posted by orulz View Post
Would it be possible to increase the number of run-through tracks and platforms at Union Station?
During WWII, when long cross-country troop trains were regularly passing through Chicago, there was a scheme to connect tracks 17 & 26 to create an additional through track at the east end. Apparently the original caissons had been placed with that in mind, and I'm guessing 222 South Riverside didn't change that. There's another runthrough track that doesn't have platform access. Also there's a service roadway next to the river that's underused. With a few million dollars of work, I think there's room for a total of four through tracks next to the river.

To say Union Station is "at capacity" will provoke laughter from anyone who's ever stood on the platforms at Cologne or Bern Hbf, watching several dozen trains depart during a single hour. We've been so sloppy for so many decades that it seems easier to build an entirely new facility rather than change work rules or operating practices to efficiently use what we have.

Pedestrian congestion in the concourse is probably much more of an intractable problem. I'm not sure if it could be solved by moving a lot of the passenger waiting rooms and food service to the west end of the headhouse, or by pushing some facilities upward into the "ground floor" of 222 or the health club.

Last edited by Mr Downtown; Feb 27, 2009 at 2:53 AM. Reason: Revised after checking my source material
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