View from the rail

Ok, I’m going to try to redeem myself from my last blog, where I admitted committing the sin of driving my car into Chicago.
I took the Union Pacific-North line into the city a week or so ago. I haven’t actually taken this line in a few years. Years ago, when it was still Chicago & Northwestern, I rode that line pretty regularly.
Things I noticed on this trip — remember, it has been years since I took the UP-N (I’ve taken the train from Lake-Cook much more recently).
– I can finally understand what stations are upcoming, as the announcements are all automated now. I understand that the GPS system utilized for this had bugs when first implemented, but it seemed all good to me.
– It seems like every square inch of real estate on the north side that is being turned into condos or townhouses. I am just amazed at all the new construction, conversion, and congestion of residences along this line. I am amazed at the amount of residences being built up. It is nice, but it sure is different.
– I had the first occasion to walk along the rennovated Wacker Drive from the train terminal to IBM Plaza. I hear some of the concrete is cracking already, but I didn’t notice this. I did notice all the flower planters, nominally that are benches but really are just excuses to put more taxpayer money into gardening. I noticed too that the stoplights are still timed in such a way that you can pretty much continuously walk along Wacker from Lake to State without having to stop long at a crosswalk. When I regularly commuted downtown, six years ago, this was always the case – amazing that even post-construction, the stoplights retained the same basic timing.
I’m going downtown again this week and guess what — I’m gonna take the train again! (I think ;))

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