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Metra service could expand to DeKalb
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Big Red Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-11-2023 06:52 PM)HawaiiToNIU Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 05:45 PM)McCareins_Fan Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 03:26 PM)MPython Wrote:  Greyhound stops twice a day in each direction at HSC AND HAS FOR SEVERAL YEARS


quote='epasnoopy' pid='18714829' dateline='1673360405']
All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.

I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.

Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.

Refurbish the old depot, turn the existing empty spaces in the area into parking lots and demo some of the vacant, old properties for extra parking as well.

[Image: HMIPhIT.jpg]

That would cost at least $800,000,000
[/quote]

Are there vacant buildings in proximity to the station?

Just from that picture and then going to streetview on Google, it looks like most of those buildings aren't vacant. There might be a storefront that is for rent but that's not the entire building.

I guess they could enact Public Domain but that's a political landmine I doubt they want to find themselves in...plus...that's not free. They still have to buy those properties just to demolish them.
01-11-2023 07:44 PM
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HawaiiToNIU Offline
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Post: #42
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-11-2023 07:44 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 06:52 PM)HawaiiToNIU Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 05:45 PM)McCareins_Fan Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 03:26 PM)MPython Wrote:  Greyhound stops twice a day in each direction at HSC AND HAS FOR SEVERAL YEARS


quote='epasnoopy' pid='18714829' dateline='1673360405']
All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.

I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.

Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.

Refurbish the old depot, turn the existing empty spaces in the area into parking lots and demo some of the vacant, old properties for extra parking as well.

[Image: HMIPhIT.jpg]

That would cost at least $800,000,000

Are there vacant buildings in proximity to the station?

Just from that picture and then going to streetview on Google, it looks like most of those buildings aren't vacant. There might be a storefront that is for rent but that's not the entire building.

I guess they could enact Public Domain but that's a political landmine I doubt they want to find themselves in...plus...that's not free. They still have to buy those properties just to demolish them.
[/quote]

Ah I see. $1.6B.
01-11-2023 09:02 PM
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pvk75 Offline
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Post: #43
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
Remember, they also have to acquire land to get the new rail to the station through town. Might end up using the station land for through-track and the station past the new west subdivisions. Open land is south of Route 38 for station and parking.

I suspect they'd do what was done for Elburn ... put it on the east side "facing" open land to the East>Chicago, maybe near the DeKalb municipal airport. Since it was/is a commuter rail line anyway, they didn't go into or through Elburn. People will commute to it anyway no matter where it is.

Use the Huskie campus bus system to NIU commuters? I recall reading that is the largest campus bus system in the state. With stops at student apartment complexes and a few others, might pick up some bus revenue.

Unless it's been done and I missed it, why did DeKalb passenger rail stop the last time?
01-11-2023 09:20 PM
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Big Red Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-11-2023 09:20 PM)pvk75 Wrote:  Remember, they also have to acquire land to get the new rail to the station through town. Might end up using the station land for through-track and the station past the new west subdivisions. Open land is south of Route 38 for station and parking.

I suspect they'd do what was done for Elburn ... put it on the east side "facing" open land to the East>Chicago, maybe near the DeKalb municipal airport. Since it was/is a commuter rail line anyway, they didn't go into or through Elburn. People will commute to it anyway no matter where it is.

Use the Huskie campus bus system to NIU commuters? I recall reading that is the largest campus bus system in the state. With stops at student apartment complexes and a few others, might pick up some bus revenue.

Unless it's been done and I missed it, why did DeKalb passenger rail stop the last time?

I have no idea but that's not going to stop me from confidently giving a reason for ending the passenger rail stop.

It cost more to have it than they were making on it.
01-11-2023 10:14 PM
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Rawdog10 Offline
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Post: #45
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-11-2023 07:39 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:59 PM)HawaiiToNIU Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:47 PM)GeorgeBorkFan Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:35 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:11 PM)epasnoopy Wrote:  Do most people in DeKalb travel to western suburbs and Chicago for work? I assume many aren't commuting to Chicago since that would be an awful daily commute unless you have hybrid work option.

I honestly have no clue. I always assumed there weren't many well-paying jobs in DeKalb/Sycamore outside of the university and maybe being a local teacher and police officer.

Many people that lived in the 'burbs and took Metra into the city never returned full-time to commuting in and have either stayed on remote work either full or part-time.

I'm sure Metra is hurting pretty bad on ridership right now during the week.

You are right on the numbers. They have not recovered to pre-covid levels. With the changes you mentioned, I don't see how they ever will (until maybe population growth pushes the numbers up way down the line).

The university has gotten noticeably smaller since my time there. Enrollment cut in half, thus I'm assuming means that faculty cut as well.

But at the same time gas is 2 -3x. It would be helpful for students and faculty to hope on the train to school. But that only further solidifies NIU as a suitcase school.

$400,000,000 isn't a bad number to create a new avenue of getting to DeKalb.

I think that's a hell of a lot of money to make a new avenue of travel for a relatively small amount of people.

You have it exactly backwards. The number of homes near the Elburn station has absolutely exploded in the last 15 years. You build a Metra station, and you are going to have people moving out to Dekalb for cheaper real estate.
01-11-2023 11:07 PM
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pvk75 Offline
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Post: #46
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-11-2023 10:14 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 09:20 PM)pvk75 Wrote:  Remember, they also have to acquire land to get the new rail to the station through town. Might end up using the station land for through-track and the station past the new west subdivisions. Open land is south of Route 38 for station and parking.

I suspect they'd do what was done for Elburn ... put it on the east side "facing" open land to the East>Chicago, maybe near the DeKalb municipal airport. Since it was/is a commuter rail line anyway, they didn't go into or through Elburn. People will commute to it anyway no matter where it is.

Use the Huskie campus bus system to NIU commuters? I recall reading that is the largest campus bus system in the state. With stops at student apartment complexes and a few others, might pick up some bus revenue.

Unless it's been done and I missed it, why did DeKalb passenger rail stop the last time?

I have no idea but that's not going to stop me from confidently giving a reason for ending the passenger rail stop.

It cost more to have it than they were making on it.

I was only looking at locations, but you are correct in your overall opinion imo. Some proponents are also not considering the cost and control issues of joining Metra as a county and all those attendant costs.

I wonder how much it would cost to extend the four-lane causeway on NIU's west side across Route 38, down south and around to the east to hook up with the Annie Glidden Road intersection just north of I-88. Some truck traffic needing I-88 would not cut through downtown. Access to NIU's west and west-central areas would be easier (Convo, etc.) and I'll bet NIU's proposals for west-end development would be more viable. Might even cost less than a Metra station, as a 4-lane limited-access causeway built through farmland.

Just thinkin'.
01-11-2023 11:35 PM
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thxjoenovak Offline
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Post: #47
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-11-2023 11:07 PM)Rawdog10 Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 07:39 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:59 PM)HawaiiToNIU Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:47 PM)GeorgeBorkFan Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:35 PM)Big Red Wrote:  Many people that lived in the 'burbs and took Metra into the city never returned full-time to commuting in and have either stayed on remote work either full or part-time.

I'm sure Metra is hurting pretty bad on ridership right now during the week.

You are right on the numbers. They have not recovered to pre-covid levels. With the changes you mentioned, I don't see how they ever will (until maybe population growth pushes the numbers up way down the line).

The university has gotten noticeably smaller since my time there. Enrollment cut in half, thus I'm assuming means that faculty cut as well.

But at the same time gas is 2 -3x. It would be helpful for students and faculty to hope on the train to school. But that only further solidifies NIU as a suitcase school.

$400,000,000 isn't a bad number to create a new avenue of getting to DeKalb.

I think that's a hell of a lot of money to make a new avenue of travel for a relatively small amount of people.

You have it exactly backwards. The number of homes near the Elburn station has absolutely exploded in the last 15 years. You build a Metra station, and you are going to have people moving out to Dekalb for cheaper real estate.

“If you build it…Will they come?”
01-12-2023 07:38 AM
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HawaiiToNIU Offline
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Post: #48
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-12-2023 07:38 AM)thxjoenovak Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 11:07 PM)Rawdog10 Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 07:39 PM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:59 PM)HawaiiToNIU Wrote:  
(01-11-2023 01:47 PM)GeorgeBorkFan Wrote:  You are right on the numbers. They have not recovered to pre-covid levels. With the changes you mentioned, I don't see how they ever will (until maybe population growth pushes the numbers up way down the line).

The university has gotten noticeably smaller since my time there. Enrollment cut in half, thus I'm assuming means that faculty cut as well.

But at the same time gas is 2 -3x. It would be helpful for students and faculty to hope on the train to school. But that only further solidifies NIU as a suitcase school.

$400,000,000 isn't a bad number to create a new avenue of getting to DeKalb.

I think that's a hell of a lot of money to make a new avenue of travel for a relatively small amount of people.

You have it exactly backwards. The number of homes near the Elburn station has absolutely exploded in the last 15 years. You build a Metra station, and you are going to have people moving out to Dekalb for cheaper real estate.

“If you build it…Will they come?”

It's worth figuring out for $3.2B
01-12-2023 08:04 AM
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BDB5yp Offline
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Post: #49
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
This project has been a pipe dream of NIU for a couple decades. Hope they are serious about it. It’s a big project; and Illinois is broke AF.
01-12-2023 08:05 AM
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HawaiiToNIU Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-12-2023 08:05 AM)BDB5yp Wrote:  This project has been a pipe dream of NIU for a couple decades. Hope they are serious about it. It’s a big project; and Illinois is broke AF.

Yeah, they were talking about it in the Northern Star when I was a student there a decade ago. Nothing ended up happening. I wonder how much it cost them to keep bringing it up. This looks like a $6.4B project now.
(This post was last modified: 01-12-2023 08:57 AM by HawaiiToNIU.)
01-12-2023 08:57 AM
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Big_Man Offline
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Post: #51
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
Honestly building a station downtown would be nice. But if DeKalb wanted a train they’d need a new station with ample parking. A lot of people from outside of DeKalb would use the train line. I’d say land across the from the Convocation Center would probably be in consideration.
01-12-2023 09:41 AM
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pvk75 Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
Posted the west-end idea above, and also east-side open space near the local airport for a new station. But I still see a lower-cost option with more benefits with a 4-lane, limited-access causeway sweeping down from Route 38 over to the Glidden Road intersection near I-88 as a better alternative. If west-end access is the idea, the road link might be better all around. NIU already has such a causeway north from Rte 38.

People will need to park at a train station anyway, and be subject to multiple station stops along the way. They will be subject to train schedules, which limits flexibility. Their cost will be both vehicle commuting/parking fees and train costs. I have ridden the Elburn>Chicago (Ogilvie station), and it's a real time-consuming pain. Also, put in that line, and you think Maple Park won't want a station too? That town also has some fairly new subdivisions (have friends who live there and just bought).

But if DeKalb voted to spend $100k on a consultant study, let's see what they come up with.
(This post was last modified: 01-12-2023 10:29 AM by pvk75.)
01-12-2023 10:26 AM
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7 Offline
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Post: #53
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
I think in an ideal world for NIU it would be something closer to campus, no?
01-12-2023 10:33 AM
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HawaiiToNIU Offline
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Post: #54
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-12-2023 09:41 AM)Big_Man Wrote:  Honestly building a station downtown would be nice. But if DeKalb wanted a train they’d need a new station with ample parking. A lot of people from outside of DeKalb would use the train line. I’d say land across the from the Convocation Center would probably be in consideration.

That would certainly bring traffic to that side of town/campus. But now the price tag is up to $12.8B pending further studies.
01-12-2023 10:36 AM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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Post: #55
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-12-2023 10:33 AM)7 Wrote:  I think in an ideal world for NIU it would be something closer to campus, no?

Any train to Dekalb would be a big deal for city and NIU. Taking a short shuttle to the in-town train station 3 minutes from campus would be huge for NIU. Guessing NIU would create a simple shuttle service from the student center. Not sure there is a proper track easement to get further into campus?
01-12-2023 10:45 AM
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HawaiiToNIU Offline
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Post: #56
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-12-2023 10:45 AM)NIUfilmmaker Wrote:  
(01-12-2023 10:33 AM)7 Wrote:  I think in an ideal world for NIU it would be something closer to campus, no?

Any train to Dekalb would be a big deal for city and NIU. Taking a short shuttle to the in-town train station 3 minutes from campus would be huge for NIU. Guessing NIU would create a simple shuttle service from the student center. Not sure there is a proper track easement to get further into campus?

They already have a shuttle from NIU to Elburn. This would be a no brainer.
(This post was last modified: 01-12-2023 12:02 PM by HawaiiToNIU.)
01-12-2023 12:01 PM
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HuskiePride12 Offline
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Post: #57
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-12-2023 10:33 AM)7 Wrote:  I think in an ideal world for NIU it would be something closer to campus, no?

Ideal would be where the run down hotel was demolished and the small shack that has tried to be multiple fast food places. Could hit a homerun and demolish the section 8 looking lincoln apts as you enter under the bridge by campus.

Pipe dream, I know, but would be good location for campus and still close to downtown.
01-12-2023 01:54 PM
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HawaiiToNIU Offline
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Post: #58
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-12-2023 01:54 PM)HuskiePride12 Wrote:  
(01-12-2023 10:33 AM)7 Wrote:  I think in an ideal world for NIU it would be something closer to campus, no?

Ideal would be where the run down hotel was demolished and the small shack that has tried to be multiple fast food places. Could hit a homerun and demolish the section 8 looking lincoln apts as you enter under the bridge by campus.

Pipe dream, I know, but would be good location for campus and still close to downtown.

That's a HOME RUN!
01-12-2023 02:26 PM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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Post: #59
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-12-2023 02:26 PM)HawaiiToNIU Wrote:  
(01-12-2023 01:54 PM)HuskiePride12 Wrote:  
(01-12-2023 10:33 AM)7 Wrote:  I think in an ideal world for NIU it would be something closer to campus, no?

Ideal would be where the run down hotel was demolished and the small shack that has tried to be multiple fast food places. Could hit a homerun and demolish the section 8 looking lincoln apts as you enter under the bridge by campus.

Pipe dream, I know, but would be good location for campus and still close to downtown.

That's a HOME RUN!

How about a metra station and Marriott hotel combo at that location 04-cheers
01-12-2023 03:16 PM
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Rawdog10 Offline
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Post: #60
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
This is great. I’ve been beating this drum on here for awhile. I’m not naive enough to think there won’t be barriers (we have been patiently waiting for Amtrak in the Quad Cities for 40+ years), but the first step is for the community to want the train. By the video, it looks like they do. Now that there’s the will (including political will), hopefully there will be a way. The federal infrastructure bill should help a lot in creating “a way.” This could really, really help the town and university.
01-12-2023 08:18 PM
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