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Full text of "O'Hare rail transit"

HE 9797.3 036 



"■• 



3 5556 021 192 265 



O'HARE RAIL TRANSIT 



A Report on the Potential 
Utilization of Existing 
Rail Right-of-Way 



prepared by 

James R. Blaze 

with the assistance of 

A. E. Biciunas 

Thomas E. Lisco 



Chicago Area Transportation Study 

230 North Michigan Avenue 

Chicago, Illinois 60601 



November, 1968 



?7f7,3 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 

List of Tables v 

List of Maps . ....... v 

Committee for O'Hare Rail Transit .................................. 1 

Glossary of Special Terms 2 

Route A Chicago and North Western - Proviso - Des Plaines Cutoff ... 7 

Route B Chicago and North Western - Indiana Harbor Belt - Soo Line . . 9 

Route C Chicago and North Western - Soo Line ...................... 11 

Route D Chicago and North Western - Des Plaines Junction - 

Soo Line/Des Plaines Cutoff . .... i ......................... . 13 

Route E Milwaukee Road - Soo Line ................................ 15 

Route F Milwaukee Road - Bensenville Yard - Des Plaines Cutoff ..... 17 

Route G Illinois Central - St. Charles Airline - 

B. &0. C. T. - Soo Line .................... ............ 19 

Route H Chicago Transit Authority Kennedy Extension ............... 21 

Route I Chicago Transit Authority Lake Street - First Avenue Extension 23 

Route J Chicago and North Western - Jefferson Park - 

Kennedy Expressway 25 

Route K Chicago Transit Authority Lake Street - Soo Line ............ 27 

Summary 28 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois 



http://www.archive.org/details/oharerailtransitOOblaz 



LIST OF TABLES 

Page 

Comparison of Loop to O'Hare Running Times by Alternate Route A . . . . . 29 

LIST OF MAPS 

Map A ..................... ................................. 6 

Map B 8 

Map C .......................................................... 10 

Map D .......................................................... 12 

Map E .......................................................... 14 

Map F .......................................................... 16 

Map G .......................................................... 18 

Map H .......................................................... 20 

Map I .................................................... . . 22 

Map J .......................................................... 24 

Map K .......................................................... 26 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL TRANSIT 



This report was prepared in response to the request of a group of inter- 
ested civic leaders and government officials of the City of Chicago. The report 
outlines eleven basic railway routes which could possibly be utilized in establish- 
ing a rapid rail service linking Chicago's Loop area and O'Hare Airport. Each 
route incorporates existing rail right-of-way for a major segment of the line haul 
with variable distance being composed of new right-of-way. 

Route Selection 



The primary function of this rail service was defined, for the purpose of 
this report, as the provision of a fast, safe, dependable means of ground transpor- 
tation between O'Hare Airport and Chicago's Central Business District. Because 
of the need to provide a rapid terminal to terminal service, route circuity should 
be kept to a minimum. Dependable service requires the elimination of line haul 
bottlenecks such as the possibility of conflicting freight movements. Safe opera- 
tions should be assured through the segregation of rail-right-of-way from other 
surface modes, provision of modern train control signals, and well maintained 
roadbed. Each of the presented routes satisfies the above criteria in full or in 
part. 

Selection of possible routes followed a series of field trips conducted in 
late August, 1968. These field trips directed specific attention to the apparent 
points enumerated above. 

Alternative Routes 

Eleven routes are presented as candidates for inclusion in the proposed 
O'Hare rail service. Routes A through D plus J utilize the Chicago and North 
Western Depot for the downtown terminal while Routes E and F utilize Union 
Station, Route G centers on Illinois Central lake front property paralleling 
Michigan Avenue and employs the St. Charles Airline as an east-west con- 
nector. Routes H, I, and K are not extensions of privately operated railway 
but rather proposed extensions of the Chicago Transit Authority network. 



Glossary of Special Terms 

B. & 0. C. T. - The Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad is 

a wholly owned subsidiary of the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad, and operates as a peripheral freight belt 
line around Chicago. Joint right-of-way is operated 
with the Indiana Harbor Belt between Blue Island and 
Franklin Park. 

The former Chicago Great Western (now part of the 
C. &N. W. ) and the Soo Line utilize B. &0. C. T. 
trackage to reach the area south of the Loop. This 
trackage extends from the vicinity of Maywood east- 
ward parallel to the Eisenhower Expressway to 16th 
Street and the junction of the South Branch of the 
Chicago River. Former Soo Line passenger trains 
utilized this trackage to reach Grand Central Depot. 

C. & N. W. - Chicago and North Western Railroad, a subsidiary of 

Chicago and North Western Industries, operates three 
trunk lines radiating out from Chicago. The West Line 
is the former Galena Division opened in 1848 and reach- 
ing westward to Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Northwest 
Line is the former Wisconsin Division operating trains 
to Madison, Wisconsin and constructed between 1851 
and 1854. The North Line is the former Milwaukee 
Division operating trains along the North Shore into 
Milwaukee and beyond and constructed between 1854 
and 1855. A freight-only line parallels the Milwaukee 
Division between Northbrook, Illinois and Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin. This freight line is integrated into the main 
trunk lines by the Des Plaines Cutoff. 

C. M. St. P. & P. - The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, 

also known as the Milwaukee Road, consists of two trunk 
lines radiating out from Chicago. The West Line runs 
west through Bensenville and terminates at Kansas City 
and Sioux City. The North Line runs through Glenview 
to Milwaukee. Both lines join at Pacific Junction located 
near North Avenue and Pulaski Road, and both were 
completed into Chicago in 1872. 

Des Plaines Cutoff - The Des Plaines Cutoff is a multiple track freight-only 

right-of-way which allows freight trains of the C. &N. W 
Northwest Line and North Line to reach the railroad's 
principal freight yard, Proviso, without entering the 
City of Chicago. This line extends northeast-southwest 
through the Des Plaines Valley and passes along the 
western edge of O'Hare Airport. Trains of the Milwaukee 
Road also utilize this trackage between Northbrook and 
Bensenville, Illinois. The line was opened in 1910. 



The Indiana Harbor Belt is one of Chicago's major- 
peripheral freight belt lines owned by the Penn Central 
and the Milwaukee Road. The portion of interest to 
this committee was constructed in 1897 and forms a 
segment of a network extending between Franklin 
Park and Blue Island. This double track facility is 
jointly operated with the Baltimore and Ohio Chicago 
Terminal Railroad which is also a major peripheral 
freight belt line. A major freight yard - Norpaul 
Yard - is operated in Franklin Park south of Grand 
Avenue. 



Kinzie St. Approach - 



Both the Chicago and North Western and the Milwaukee 
Road share a grade separated right-of-way between 
Western Avenue and Noble Street. Therefore, it is 
possible the Milwaukee Road trains could enter North 
Western Depot for a Loop terminal and North Western 
trains enter Union Station — if this committee should 
like to consider such possibilities. 



Illinois Central 



The Illinois Central operates an electrified commuter- 
service along Chicago's lake front between Randolph 
Street and Richton, Illinois. A western trunk line 
joins the main north-south trackage at 16th Street via 
the St. Charles Airline. 



Multiple Trackage 



Line segment with two or more available main line 
tracks. 



Proviso Yard 



Soo Line 



The principal Chicago freight yard of the C. &N. W. is 
used for the classification of road trains. Actually, it 
is composed of two segments, the first an east-west 
body paralleling the West Line and the second a north- 
south branch paralleling the Des Plaines Cutoff. 

The Soo Line was formerly titled the Minneapolis, 
St. Paul and Sault Ste Marie Railway, and is an 
American subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway 
operated as a bridge line by the parent road to gain 
access to the Chicago gateway. The Schiller Park 
yard of the Soo Line was built in 1898 as the major 
Chicago terminal point for road trains. Access to 
the other Chicago railroads is gained via theB. &0. C. T. 
at Forest Park. 



St. Charles Airline - 



An elevated railway line, eight -tenths of a mile in 
length from the southern end of the Illinois Central's 
Central Station at 16th Street westward to the South 
Branch of the Chicago River. This Airline is owned 
jointly by the Illinois Central, the Chicago, Burlington 
and Quincy, the Michigan Central, subsidiary of the 
Penn Central, and the Chicago and North Western. 



St. Charles Airline - The line was positioned in 1855 and opened in 1857, 

(Continued) first as a connector between the old Galena and 

Chicago Union (now C. &N. W. ) and the Illinois Central 
and Michigan Central and later served as the inner 
most east-west connector for movement of interchange 
freight among several Chicago railroads including: 
the Rock Island and the old Michigan Southern (part 
of the old New York Central), the Santa Fe, the 
Burlington, and the B. &0. C. T. 



OVO'HARE I 
I 



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^ PROV 



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C & N W R R 



WEST LINE 




I I 

L I 



M I D WAY 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 



ROUTE A 
Chicago and North Western - Proviso - Des Plaines Cutoff 

As illustrated in Map A, O'Hare bound trains would depart from the 
North Western Depot and proceed along the West Line or former Galena Division 
of the C. & N. W. At the western periphery of Proviso Yard, O'Hare trains 
would connect with the Des Plaines Cutoff from which direct access to the south- 
west or west side of the airport can be effected. 

The West Line of the C. & N. W. is grade separated between the Loop 
terminal and First Avenue. The main line is multiple tracked, well maintained 
and capable of supporting high speed operation. While the Des Plaines Cutoff 
is multiple tracked and also well maintained, speeds are restricted due to the 
volume of freight train movements concentrated along "both the Des Plaines 
Cutoff and Proviso Yard. 

Capital improvements would consist of construction of a turnout and 
necessary spur trackage between the Des Plaines Cutoff and the airport passen- 
ger terminals. 

Initial Evaluation 

This route must be judged as unsatisfactory since the goal of frequent, 
fast, dependable O'Hare service is not compatible with the density of freight 
movements prevalent along Proviso Yard and the Des Plaines Cutoff with the 
resulting potential for delays to O'Hare trains. 



'r i %4 > 




MAP B 



:: ' :ri iK 



'OHARE \ 






I 



-|0Q 



.-' i\ 



WEST LINE 



I" 1 MIDWAY 

I I 






COMMITTEE FOR OHARE RAIL SERVICE 



STATE OF ILLINOIS. C 



i. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 



ROUTE B 

Chicago and North Western - Indiana Harbor Belt - Soo Line 

Alternative Route B would also incorporate C. & N. W. trackage as far 
west as Melrose Park where trains would join the Indiana Harbor Belt right-of- 
way. O'Hare bound trains would then continue northward on I. H. B. trackage 
and effect a junction with the Soo Line south of Grand Avenue in Franklin Park. 
The Soo Line would be employed to a point just north of the Tri-State Tollway 
bridge where a turnout and spur track would give access to the eastern section 
of the airport and allow a connection with the airport access road for the final 
approach to the airline terminals. 

The Indiana Harbor Belt is double tracked and partially grade separated 
from highway traffic. A possible point of congestion is the Norpaul Yard which 
is located between North Avenue and Grand Avenue. Freight trains in excess of 
125 car lengths are not uncommon along this section of the I. H. B. right-of-way. 

The Soo Line is also double tracked and partially grade separated. 
Schiller Park Yard is the main Chicago area classification yard of the railroad 
but may not be a source of congestion for O'Hare bound trains since the yard 
can be effectively by-passed over a main line track lying on the western periphery 
of the yard. This main line track was formerly used by Soo Line passenger trains 
and currently serves only as an additional storage track for yard operations. 

Capital improvements would be required at three points. The first would 
entail an inclined turnout at the junction of the I. H. B. and the C. & N. W. The 
second would require a physical link between the I. H. B. and the Soo Line just 
north of Norpaul Yard. The third would center about a turnout north of Schiller 
Park Yard and a spur track running across Mannheim Road and into the airport 
terminal complex. 

I nitial Evaluation 

Route B may prove unsatisfactory for O'Hare service because of potential 
delays caused by freight traffic along the I. H. B. right-of-way. It is further 
noted that a representative of the Soo Line testified that management of his rail- 
road regards O'Hare type service as incompatible with present Soo Line freight 
operations. While the Soo Line presently utilizes only one track of its two track 
main line south of Schiller Park, present volumes of freight traffic are taxing 
the capacity of Schiller Park Yard. The resulting need for additional yard trackage 
and the position of certain switching movements may make the Soo Line an un- 
desirable route for O'Hare service. 



MAP C 



O'HARE \ 

1 >/ 

\ 

X 

A 

\ 



& * 



[ ~] MIDWAY 
I -J" 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 



STATE OF ILLINOIS. C 



ROUTE C 
Chicago and North Western - Soo Line 



Alternate Route C would utilize the C. & N. W. West Line as far west as 
the River Forest junction with the Soo Line. The remaining line haul would con- 
tinue along the Soo Line and into O'Hare Airport north of Schiller Park Yard. 
This entire route is multiple tracked and partially grade separated. 

The most critical point in this proposal revolves around the ability to 
effect a junction between the Soo and the C. & N. W. The Soo Line bridges the 
C. &N.W. at River Forest. Thus, an inclined connection track would be re- 
quired to join the two rights-of-way. However, because of the existence of 
several structures immediately to the north of the C. & N. W. right-of-way and 
to the east of the Soo Line, construction of the required track may result in an 
excessively sharp turning radius. Additional capital improvements between the 
Soo Line and O'Hare terminals are mentioned in the discussion of Route B. 

Initial Evaluation 

Although modern engineers can accomplish miracles, the required turn- 
out linking the C. & N. W. and Soo Line at River Forest appears to be expensive 
and inexpedient, particularly since the Soo Line trackage north of River Forest 
is not grade separated from highway traffic. Additional comments relative to 
Soo Line trackage are made under the evaluation of Route B„ 



ROUTE C 
Chicago and North Western - Soo Line 



Alternate Route C would utilize the C, &N.W, West Line as far west as 
the River Forest junction with the Soo Line. The remaining line haul would con- 
tinue along the Soo Line and into O'Hare Airport north of Schiller Park Yard. 
This entire route is multiple tracked and partially grade separated. 

The most critical point in this proposal revolves around the ability to 
effect a junction between the Soo and the C & N. W. The Soo Line bridges the 
C. & N. W. at River Forest. Thus, an inclined connection track would be re- 
quired to join the two rights-of-way. However, because of the existence of 
several structures immediately to the north of the C. &N.W. right-of-way and 
to the east of the Soo Line, construction of the required track may result in an 
excessively sharp turning radius. Additional capital improvements between the 
Soo Line and O'Hare terminals are mentioned in the discussion of Route B. 

Initial Evaluation 

Although modern engineers can accomplish miracles, the required turn- 
out linking the C. & N. W. and Soo Line a.t River Forest appears to be expensive 
and inexpedient, particularly since the Soo Line trackage north of River Forest 
is not grade separated from highway traffic. Additional comments relative to 
Soo Line trackage are made under the evaluation of Route B„ 




A"-&- 



i i 

L_'J 



MIDWAY 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 



3 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 



Chicago and North Western - Des Plaines Junction - 
Soo Line/Des Plaines Cutoff 



Trains would depart North Western Depot and be routed over the Northwest 
Line or former Wisconsin Division of the C. & N. W. as far as Des Plaines. Here 
a junction could be made with either the Soo Line or with the Des Plaines Cutoff — 
both discussed earlier. Trains could run south on the Soo Line to the vicinity of 
Schiller Park and then enter the airport via a turnout and spur track similar to 
that discussed for Routes B and C. Or, trains could run southwesterly on the 
Des Plaines Cutoff and enter the airport from the west or southwest. 

The Northwest Line of the C. & N. W. is multiple track between the Loop 
area and Des Plaines and is grade separated for a majority of the line haul along 
this segment of the proposed route. Both the Soo Line and the Des Plaines Cutoff 
are double tracked between their respective junctions with the Northwestern Line 
of the C, & N. W. and the proposed location for the airport entrance spurs. 

Construction would be limited to the aforementioned airport spurs and 
accompanying turnouts (see Route A and B) and the placements of turnouts at 
either the junction point of the Des Plaines Cutoff and the Northwest Line or of 
the Soo Line and the Northwest Line. 

Initial Evaluation 

Excessive route circuity is one objectionable feature of this route. The 
second objection concerns the congested freight traffic already prevalent along 
both the Des Plaines Cutoff and the northern tracks of the Soo Line. This com- 
bination of route circuity and obvious freight conflicts make Route D a poor can- 
didate for O'Hare service. 



MAP E 



O' 



HARE \ 

SPUR I 






'*>>. 






MIDWAY 



L I 




COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 




Trains would depBrrt-4rom the^ northern concourse of Union Station and 
run out the West Line of the C. M. St. P. & P. to Franklin Park where a junction 
with the Soo Line would be effected. This route would then incorporate those 
sections of the Soo Line-Schiller Park-airport access spur discussed previously 
in Route B. 

The Milwaukee Road shares a common right-of-way with the C. & N. W. 
which is multiple tracked and grade separated between Noble Street and Western 
Avenue. Between Western Avenue and Pacific Junction, the Milwaukee Road is 
double tracked and grade separated. On the West Line of the Milwaukee Road, 
grade separation continues up to the vicinity of River Grove with multiple trackage 
available for the entire line haul to and beyond Franklin Park. 

Capital improvements beyond those associated with the Soo Line and the 
airport access spur include an at-grade turnout between the Soo Line and the West 
Line of the Milwaukee Road at Franklin Park. 

Initial Evaluation 

A minor potential bottleneck exists in the vicinity of Galewood Yard located 
near Courtland Street. Minor is the descriptive term employed since this freight 
facility does not appear to conflict with present Milwaukee Road passenger move- 
ments. 

Despite adverse comments made by the Soo Line representative concerning 
the availability of Soo right-of-way, this route does have certain positive values. 
First, this route is one of the least expensive to construct since all that is required 
is a turnout track at the Soo Line — Franklin Park Junction and the necessary air- 
port turnout and spur track between Schiller Park Yard and the airline terminals. 

Less than 2. 5 miles of the Soo Line would be necessary for O'Hare service. 
Since land for expansion of Schiller Park Yard is mostly confined to the east of 
the freight complex and since the track necessary for O'Hare service passes to 
the west of the yard, Jjris route tentatively s hould be c onsidered as a viable alterna - 
tive among the eleven basic proposed routes for furtherHitudy! 



^O'HARE,' 






BENSENVILLE 
RD 



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wcf??*^fc PACIFIC 
WEST l/^™^JUNCT!ON 






I 

L_ J 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 



^ 




ROUTE F 



ULs^ 



Milwaukee Road - Bensenville Yard - Des^Flaines Cutoff 



Trains utilizing this route would proceed along the West Line of the 
Milwaukee Road as in Route E. However, instead of running north on the Soo 
Line from Franklin Park, Route F trains would enter O'Hare via the Des Plaines 
Cutoff which can be reached from the western end of Bensenville Yard. 

The West Line between the Loop and Franklin Park was discussed under 
Route E. West of Franklin Park the Milwaukee Road continues as a double track 
right-of-way crossing highways at grade and by-passing Bensenville Yard classi- 
fication tracks on the northern edge of the freight complex. Direct access to the 
Des Plaines Cutoff is already provided. 

The only capital improvement apparently required would consist of the 
turnout and spur track necessary to join the Des Plaines Cutoff and airport 
terminal area. 

Initial Evaluation 

Objection to this route centers about conflicting freight movements in the 
vicinity of Bensenville Yard and the Des Plaines Cutoff. Thus, on the criteria 
of dependable, fast service, this route would not be adequate. 

Hence ^ an option off of this route would be to lay the airport spur tracks 
northward from Bensenville Yard (at a point in north-south alignment with Wolf 
Road) into the southern edge of the airport complex. This spur option off of 
Route F should be considere d bv the committee. Actual spur construction could 
be coordinated with the realignment of Irving Park Road scheduled for 1969. 



'O'HARE \ 

\ &6L 












^ YARDS a | fO 



I 

L_J 









COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 



ROUTE G 
Illinois Central - St. Charles Airline - B. & O. C. T. - Soo Line 



This route differs from those previously illustrated in that trains would 
reach the lake front area along Michigan Avenue rather than terminating on the 
western edge of the Loop. Runs would commence from Randolph Street Station 
presently serving as a terminal for the Illinois Central commuter trains and those 
of the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend. With a possible stop at Jackson 
Street, O'Hare bound trains would proceed south along the Illinois Central right- 
of-way and onto the St. Charles Airline. Along 16th Street, trains would run on 
the tracks of the B„ & O. C. T. as far west as the Soo Line or perhaps as far 
west as Bellwood and then north along the joint right-of-way of the I. H. B. and 
B. & O. C. T. Both of these north-south routes lead to O'Hare and were discussed 
previously under Routes B and C. 

Capital improvements associated with Route G might be limited to turnout 
and spur track construction in the vicinity of O'Hare Airport. While junction 
points with other rail routes are at grade, most highway crossings are grade 
separated on multiple track right-of-way. 

Initial Observations 

This route is not practical for O'Hare service for a variety of reasons. 
The first is associated with the present capacity limits of the Illinois Central 
trackage. This could be solved by simply routing O'Hare trains parallel to 
rather than on the electrified right-of-way of the Illinois Central commuter lines. 
This would effectively segregate the two services while allowing parallel operation. 
The most serious bottleneck revolves around the density of freight train movements 
prevalent on the "inner belt" freight tracks both parallel and perpendicular to the 
B. & O. C. T. trackage between Western Avenue and Cicero Avenue. Although 
passenger trains have in the past and to some extent continue to operate over seg- 
ments of this proposed 16th Street route, O'Hare type service with possible 20 
minute headways would prove unfeasible. A particular trouble spot is the junction 
of trackage in the vicinity of Western Avenue and 16th Street with its east-west and 
north-south at grade cross movements and multiple yards. Even the elimination 
of conflicting freight movements would not make this route desirable, since speeds 
along the right-of-way are restricted by numerous switch crossings and at grade 
crossings with other rails. 






/ 

O'HARE \ CTA JEFFERSON 



LOGAN S, 
SQUARE N 



% 



V 



I "J MIDWAY 

L I 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 



Chicago Transit Authority 
Kennedy Extension 



Chicago could provide electrified rapid transit airport service similar to 
the type of access recently opened in Cleveland (fall of 1968). This would entail 
an extension of rail transit which would fully integrate airport service with the 
established rapid transit network. Accomplishment of this integrated service 
would involve additional extension of the Kennedy Expressway C.T.A. lines ( f5eyond 
the present proposed terminal area of Jefferson Park. 

The right-of-way would be provided by the existing median strip of the 
Kennedy Expressway which is capable of supporting double trackage. The Kennedy 
provides a direct connection with the present airport access road and an approach 
to the airline terminal area. Capital costs would include the laying of ballast, 
ties, and trackage along with appropriate signalization between Jefferson Park 
and the O'Hare terminals. 

Initial Observations 



g*J^ 



While this route possesses the advantages of no conflicting freight move- 
ments and integration with the entire C. T. A. system, it also possesses the 
disadvantage of extended running times between the Loop and O'Hare. Trains 
would of necessity run as locals up to Logan Square and perhaps as far as 
Jefferson Park, since this line does not offer express track capacity. Non- 
rush hour running time for automobile travel from the Loop to the airport is 
twenty-five minutes. While the airline terminal bus makes the same trip in the 
same time, it does require an additional ten minutes to reach the last of the three 
airline terminal stops, bringing its running time up to a maximum of thirty-five 
minutes. As t he assumed running time for the C. T. A. Kennedy Extension is 
thi rt y-five minutes, this rail route may not be competitive during non-rush hours. 
Selection of this route should depend upon the market to be served: airline passen- 
ger or airport area employment. 



- 21 - 



T 



MAP I 



/ , 7 

. O HARE \ t MNEDY 



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1 
II 

"I 



*-„„_,_„,. 



tAKE ST CI 



MIDWAY 



L I 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 



ROUTE I 

Chicago Transit Authority 
Lake Street - First Avenue Extension 



A long term solution to providing airport access involves the use of the 
present Lake Street C. T. A. lines between the Loop and Oak Park with an ex- 
tension continuing west to the junction of the proposed First Avenue Expressway. 
This route would be similar to median type transit services now provided else- 
where around Chicago and would connect with the Kennedy Expressway at Norwood 
Park, thus entering O'Hare from the airport access road. 

Initial Observations 



The major drawbacks associated with this route are the length of new 
construction necessary to complete the line haul between Oak Park and O'Hare 
and also the fact that the First Avenue Expressway is not scheduled for con- 
struction until after 1975. Thus, this route satisfies the demands of the long 
range plan rather than an immediate action program. 



- 23 - 



I ; C^!l W - K ^^ D i^rENS.OAv 



JEFFERSON 
^PARK 



X 

OS 



w 



\ 
\ 
\ 



\ 



L I 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 




ROUTE J 
cago and North Western-Jefferson Park-Kennedy Expressway 



This alternate route combines the high speed non-stop capabilities of 
the C„ & N. W. Northwest Line with the potential for direct airport access 
offered by the Kennedy Expressway median strip. Train would depart North 
Western Depot and proceed along the Northwest Line to Jefferson Park* At 
this point, the O'Hare bound trains would be routed into the Kennedy median 
strip for the five mile run into O'Hare Airport. 

Capital improvements necessary to make this route operational include 
construction of an inclined trains and associated bridge work in the vicinity of 
Jefferson Park, This would enable trains to drop down from the elevated em- 
bankment of the Northwest Line into the Kennedy median. Also needed are 
five miles of roadbed, trackage, signals and the like between Jefferson Park 
and O'Hare Airport plus bridge works at the junction of the Kennedy-Tri-State 
Tollway-Mannheim Road. 

Initial Observations 



This route offers the advantage of segregation from seriously conflict- 
ing freight movements, complete separation of grade, and the shortest line 
haul between the Loop and O'Hare. Estimated running time between North 
Western Depot and the O'Hare airline terminals is twenty-five -twenty-eight 
minutes including a short transfer stop with the C. T. A. at Jefferson Park. 

The disadvantage of the route centers about the large capital expense 
necessary to join the Northwest Line trackage with the Kennedy median strip 
and the five miles of new roadbed construction into O'Hare. Fu rther con^ 
sideration of this route is merited by its short travel time characteristic. 

In addition, track capacity limitations on the Chicago and North 
Western's Northwest Line during morning and afternoon rush hours would 
require study to determine whether O'Hare trains with twenty minute head- 
ways in each direction could be accommodated. 



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/O'HARE 



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M 






V\ 



4\ 






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MIDWAY 



L_J 



COMMITTEE FOR O'HARE RAIL SERVICE 



ROUTE K 
C. T. A. Lake Street - Soo Line 



This route would utilize the Soo Line right-of-way from a point two 
miles west of the C„ T. A. Harlem Avenue Station into O'Hare on essentially 
the same spur track discussed under Route B. Capital costs would involve 
extension of electrified lines between Harlem Avenue and O'Hare in addition 
to those costs discussed under Route C. 

Initial Observation 

This route does not appear feasible at this time since C„ T. A. trains 
would be crossing several streets at grade and in addition would cross the four 
track main line of the Milwaukee Road at grade. Again, previous objection to 
use of the Soo Line was raised by Soo Line management due to conflicting train 
movements. 



Summary 

This report has presented the gross pattern of potentially available 
right-of-way for incorporation in a Loop-O'Hare Airport rail service. 
Eleven basic routes have been discussed along with several minor variations 
from the eleven. Four of the eleven routes appear to merit further considera- 
tion by COMFORT. These four routes were selected on the basis of apparent 
transportation conflicts, necessary capital improvements, and running time 
between the Airport and the Central Business District. 

The major potential transportation problems encountered involve de- 
pendability of service which is directly related to the probability of freight 
conflicts and the capacity of available trackage. Routes A, B, D, and,G have 
one or more points at which freight trains might frequently interrupt O'Hare 
service. Routes C and K would require extensive construction in order to grade 
separate O'Hare service from both highway and Milwaukee Road cross movements. 
Only Routes H and I are completely segregated from freight traffic with only 
minor or avoidable freight conflicts existing on Routes E, F, (option) and J. 

The largest capital expenditures necessary to fully implement an O'Hare 
service appear to apply to Route^Ji} I,(j_^)and K where extensive lengths of 
roadbed and associated construction are necessary. The least amount of capital 
improvement is associated with Routes A, D,(j^an$F. J) 

Since the proposed Loop — airport service should be competitive with 
non-rush hour bus and auto speeds, travel time is an important analysis factor 
in route selection. 

While rush hour driving ti me between downtown r.hinago and O'Hare 
Airport can take _ as much as ninety minutes„ non-rush hour driving time averages ^ 

^bet ween rwenty^five and thirty minutes. 1 Clearly any rail service connecting 
O'Hare and the Loop can offer a service superior to the highway vehicle bogged 
down in 10 to 15 m. p. h, expressway traffic. But to rema in competitiv e during 

jion-rush hour periods, rail service must compete with the twenty-five to thirty^ 

Imnute running times. 

Relating known transportation conflicts on each route with an over-all 
average running speed results in an estimate of the competitive position of each 
route in terms of dependability and speed. Route J offers the fastest service CtfijUj -t^2X~-v-t< / v, 
between the Loop and O'Hare and appears to be dependable since there are rela- 
tively few transportation conflicts on the C. & N. W. Northwest Line. Both ^ P 

__Route E and Route F (option) offer short running times and a good chance of '-*' ' " ' 

dependable service. Route H offers an apparent dependable service, but not 
an exceptionally fast running tir 



C i/\ -^Ua^^^j^^ 



Data collected as part of the C. A. T. S. Northwest Corridor Modal Split 
Project during the autumn and winter of 1967-1968. Thomas Lisco, 'Airport 
Access: Driving Times Between O'Hare Airport and Downtown Chicago, " 
Research News (Chicago: C. A. T. S. ), September-October, 1968. 

- 28 - 



Comparison of Loop to O'Hare 
Running Times By Alternate Route 



c 



c 



Minutes - Minutes - 

40 M. P. H. 4£M. P.H. 

Average Speed Average Speed Miles 



A C. & N. W. - Proviso - 
Des Plaines Cutoff 

B C. & N. W. - I. H. B. - Soo 

C C. & N.W. - Soo 

D C. & N. W. - Des Plaines 



\/ rT 



Milwaukee Rd. - Soo 



Milwaukee Rd. - Des Plaines 



Milwaukee Rd. - Option 




G I.C. -St. Charles - B. &0. C. T.- 
Soo 



C. T. A. - Kennedy 



C. T. A. - Lake - 1st Ave. 



C. & N. W. - Kennedy 



C. T. A. - Lake - Soo 



26 


19 


25 


18 


24 


17 


29 


21 



35 



D 



O 



Running times are "assumed" average speeds from origin to destination 
including restricted speed areas. Assumed average speed is considered as possible 
based on analysis of present scheduled passenger train running times between known 
points on selected routes. Running time does not consider the possibility of delays 
due to conflicting train movements, either passenger or freight. 

Average running speed between Loop area and Jefferson Park calculated as 
24 m. p. h. 



Average running speed between Loop area and Oak Park calculated as 
25 m. p. h. 



Recommendations 

Based on the preceding descriptions of potential right-of-way for Loop - 
O'Hare rail service, four routes appear to warrant extensive investigation by 
COMFORT. These routes are: 

E Milwaukee Road - Soo Line 

F Milwaukee Road - Bensenville Yard - Option Spur 

H C.T.A. Kennedy Extension 

J C. & N. W. Northwest Line - Kennedy Extension 

E Soo Line management is not receptive to suggestions involving service 

over their right-of-way, citing lack of adequate capacity for their present 
freight operations as one real problem. However, reviewing the August 
field trip data, it appears that Route E can indeed utilize Soo Line right- 
of-way, and effectively by-pass Schiller Park Yard without conflicting with 
Soo Line management's plans to expand their facilities and increase their 
freight handling efficiency. S ince less than 2. 5 miles of Soo right-of-way_ 
_ jwould be j jicorporated into this route , it appears th at some acco mmodation 
between C OMFORT and the Soo Line~ could be reached. *■ 

F The option of extending track between the O'Hare airline terminals and 

Milwaukee Road's Bensenville Yard avoids the problem of negotiating with 
several carriers. Objections based on the cost of tunneling under runways 
in order to approach the airline terminals are answered by the fact that 
each potential airport access route will cost money. Only an engineering 
study will give an adequate estimate of comparative route costs. 

H The C. T. A. - Kennedy Extension will offer a route directly integrated with 

the metropolitan C. T. A. network. Objections to this proposal center on 
the speed of the service and the nature of passenger amenities to be offered. 
For those who favor C. T. A. airport service, this route appears the most 
favorable of three C. T. A. alternatives. 2 

J The C. & N. W. extension in the Kennedy median would offer the fastest 

service as well as the shortest line haul. Problems associated with this 
route center about construction costs, and possible conflict with existing 
passenger trains during rush hours. 



The Cleveland Transit System Airport Extension utilizes former New York 
Central (now Penn Central) right-of-way for its trackage. New York Central 
management expressed dissatisfaction and anxiety with proposals initially submitted 
by C. T. S. However, an accommodation was reached after intensive analysis of 
the problems involved. 



not under the scope of this report. 



A marketing study should be executed. One portion of this study would 
measure the travel habits of airline passengers between O'Hare Airport and 
selected districts in the metropolitan area. Information of this type would give 
an indication of the present and future mass transportation requirements of the 
airline passenger and an estimation of patronage to be derived from airline 
passengers relative to: 

- frequency of Loop - O'Hare service 

- amenities of Loop - O'Hare service 

Speed 

Comfort 

Dependability 

Safety 

Convenience 

Baggage Handling 

Other 

- pricing policy 

Further research would analyze the present and future mass transportation 
needs of the labor market centered at and around O'Hare Airport. Which route 
would best serve the needs of this labor market and what type of service would be 
most competitive? Since the four recommended lines were primarily selected on 
the basis of serving the airline passenger, this might mean re-examination of 
some of the previously deleted routes. The final selection of a route will result 
from a balance between the market demands of the airline passenger and the air- 
port area employee. 

Once the character of the mass transportation market is determined, the 
capital costs and operating costs needed to operate over each route will have to 
be weighed and a financing program established. 

The work yet to be started forms the key to the potential for the success 
or failure of Loop - O'Hare Rail Service. Availability of right-of-way is not a 
physical barrier to the initiation of such a service. 



■ 31 



10/27/2008 
WT 148957 1 153 00