johnsu01 (johnsu01) wrote,

Unimportant thoughts about Chicago transportation

I've been to the Chicago area many times in the past, but never rode any of the public transportation until this visit.

Do any of Chicago's El cars have the crossbar running parallel with the ceiling so that people standing in the aisle have something to hang on to? I was really surprised that the ones we rode didn't have them. Maybe people just don't stand in the aisle; the seating arrangement is a little different than what I'm used to in Boston.

The elevated effect is interesting. Makes for a fun and scenic ride. I'm not sure about the overall effect on the city. My first impression is, too many bridges with dark and scary spots under them. Also, you lose that nice winter benefit of waiting for your train underground.

The whole stairs-made-for-little-people thing on the commuter Metra trains is weird, as is the partial second floor. I felt like I was in someone's dorm room loft. I like our MBTA commuter cars much better. If you're going to have a second floor, why not go all the way?

Chicago's El trains run 24 hours, or at least that's the official claim. Maybe there are exceptions. When is Boston going to get its head out of its ass in this regard?

And while on the topic of train trips, this Amtrak trip from Chicago to DC is going well so far, almost 5 hours into it. So much more comfortable than flying, except for the boarding process and the fact that it takes 17 hours. Despite the assurances of some folks on IRC, there are no electrical outlets anywhere in this train car. That's ok, because I've got 7.5 hours of battery left.

Tags: amtrak, boston, chicago, diary, trains, transportation
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