ckfred wrote:BNAMealer wrote:ckfred wrote:Here is the all important question. When will the ATS be operating? On Tuesday, my wife and I took our son to ORD. Since he is 17, she got to go out to the gate with him. I sat in the cell phone lot, until she came out at the baggage claim. While sitting in the cell phone lot, the test trains were running like it was regular operations. Test trains were running back in March, when I dropped off my wife for a flight to Tampa.
I know that the City has been bitten in the tush so many times, while trying to project a completion date. But, it seems to me that 7 months of testing should be sufficient to get the system up and running.
You know, at this point, I'm beginning to wonder if it would have been more worth it to tear down and rebuild the whole system from scratch, with a different type of track and cars. That way, they wouldn't have had to custom build new cars for the existing (outdated) VAL tracks. I am wondering if compatibility issues are the reason it keeps getting delayed.
I hadn't thought about that, but that's a good point. It's interesting that O'Hare's system became obsolete, despite being built in the late 80s/early 90s. The CTA rapid transit is the same gauge as the NYC subway system. But, because of the tight turns for the elevated tracks in the Loop, NYC rolling stock can't operate in Chicago.
However, knowing that Chicago has a history of projects falling behind and over budget, if they had done a complete rebuild of the tracks, starting when the extension to the rental car garage was being constructed, we would probably be looking at a longer time line.
The reconstruction of the Jane Byrne Interchange was supposed to take about 4.5 years. Now, the time line is 9 years, and the cost overrun is 33% and climbing. Granted, there have been a host of problems. It's common to find underground utilities are not where all of the maps indicated they should be. When they moved the curtain walls of Terminals 2 and 3 at ORD, they had the same problem. But one of the buildings at UIC is sinking, because of the excavation work. And work for the I-55/Lake Shore Drive interchange pulled funds away from the Byrne Interchange, slowing the project.
With the ATS tucked between the roadway around the terminals, the parking garage, and the Hilton, that would not leave a lot of room for cranes and other construction equipment to remove old track and install new track.
True, but OTOH, the Illinois Tollway completed the I-90 rebuilding/widening between Rockford and the Kennedy Expressway from 2013-2016 on time.
I think it would have been better to simply tear down and rebuild the whole system rather than attempting to adapt the VAL (which was even niche when it first opened) technology for today. Looking at videos of the SkyTrain in ATL, I just shake my head and think ORD could have done better.