Tuesday, January 02, 2007

HSR service to O'Hare

Why is it that whenever there is a Chicago weather delay if it's rain or snow, the media is quick to show delayed airline passengers camping out at O'Hare for places such as Milwaukee, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit to name a few.

Just imagine an intercity rail station at O'Hare where passengers can transfer to regularly scheduled HSR service serving destinations throughout the midwest. Why should valuable landing slots be used for a flight to Milwaukee when there are other options.

Another example is from the other side of the pond in London. During a fog disruption which reducted the number of take off and landing slots, British Airways cancelled their short distance flights in favor of long distance flights. Their rational? Passengers could still reach their destinations via the rail system including the EuroStar to Paris and Brussels. Ridership was up over 30% on the chunnel crossing trains and other railroads added trains to increase capacity.

Now imagine the potential to have an enhanced rail passenger network in the United States including a rail passenger station at O'Hare.

Why can't we have this in the United States?


Blogger Unknown said...

Apparently, the Milwaukee and Madison flights are the first to get cancelled when weather goes awry or flow control gets invoked. That makes sense, since it frees up slots for destinations which don't have hourly bus service from the airport, but it makes you wonder why those flights are even on the schedule in the first place. United Airlines will sell you a rail ticket on SNCF's TGVs departing CDG, but won't do the same at ORD.

Furthermore, the Milwaukee Road line runs just a few miles east of O'Hare, and the North Central line which runs right by O'Hare can access Milwaukee from the west (via Waukesha) and, naturally, Madison and the Twin Cities. Yet one million passengers a year flew between ORD and MSP, making it ORD's third busiest route. (Full disclosure: I think I accounted for four of those trips last year.)

6:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home