Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (NICTD)

Dune Park Station High Platform Construction

In 2013 a high level platform was built at Dune Park, replacing the low level boarding platform. This page chronicles the construction.
Construction Phase 1
As posted at the station in April 2013 and on the NICTD website, the construction plan closed the old platform east of the station building while phase one was built. Unlike other high platform stations a gauntlet track is not used. Freight and other non-stopping trains pass the platform on Track 2.

Construction of the new high level platform began April 29th, 2013. The first section of the high level platform opened August 30th, 2013.

Phase 1 Track Work
A major portion of the first phase was the trackwork needed to improve the second track for regular through freight use (instead of a slow speed siding used for passing and occasional storage). Turnouts at both ends of the siding were replaced by 30 MPH turnouts (instead of the 15 MPH turnouts commonly used on the NICTD South Shore) and the turnout for CP 43.7 at Dune Park was extended to the west.

Looking westbound along the platform toward the new signals at CP 43.7.
The new turnout was installed later in the evening. (April 27th)

Looking eastbound down the platform. This section of the platform was closed during Phase 1. During the closure six car or longer eastbound trains stopped just before the new catenary support shown in this picture. (April 27th)

Two views of the new track switch at CP 43.7 (prior to installation of the switch machine). The former turnout was a #10, which required trains to slow to 15 MPH while taking the diverging route. The new turnout has a shallower frog angle and less sharp turn allowing trains to take the track 2 route at a faster speed. When track construction completed Track 1 (nearest the platform) was closed to freight traffic - requiring freight trains to always take the diverging route. (Photos: April 28th)

The new CP 43.7 track and catenary work is complete. (June 15th)
New catenary poles support the point where the wires meet. The pole in the foreground is the location where the wires met prior to the switch relocation.

The back of the new overhead CP 43.7 westbound signals. (August 24th)
The low platform to the right was removed in Phase 2 of the project. The new high level platform ends at the first catenary support in this picture, with a ramp down to the spot where this picture was taken.

A temporary crossing provided at the far west end of the west parking lot allows access to the Calumet Trail. (April 27th)

The new CP 43.7 eastbound signal is in place just east of the SR 49 bridge. The crossing signals just behind this signal are for the new location of the pedestrian crossing that connect the platform and station to the Calumet Trail and Dunes-Kankakee Trail. (April 27th)

Building the New Platform

The first step in building the new platform was the removal of the old platform and the laying of a new base for the platform supports. (June 1st)

Preformed supports were placed every 24 feet with beams that will hold the new platform. The canopy supports attach to the back of the bases. (June 15th)

What appeared to be the first panel of the new platform sits ready to install. (June 1st)
The use and location of this piece is unknown.

The platform panels are the full depth of the platform in one piece that is eight feet wide at the platform edge. Each segment of platform has three of these pieces, two with notches in the corners for the support bases and one unnotched panel in the center of each platform segment. (June 22nd)

The new walkway from the east parking lot is shown here under construction. (June 15th)

The new walkway and curbs are in place leading to the station. (July 13th)
More curbing was later added to the right of the sidewalk.

During Phase 1 construction, trains stopped at the old platform and extended past the new platform under construction. (June 15th)

(July 7th)

(August 18th)

Westbound trains are shown passing the platform, preparing for their station stop. The July photo shows the bottom portion of the platform in place. The August photo shows a portion of the canopy complete. A 30 MPH speed restriction is in place as trains pass through the construction area.
Almost ready for use. The first phase of the platform nears completion:

The week before opening a temporary staircase was built behind the platform to allow access from the west end near the station during Phase 2 of construction. The permanent ramp at the east end of the platform provides handicap access. A post between the tracks has been placed for the westbound "Stop Here" sign, a stopping position which will allow a six car train to open all doors except the end cabs. (August 24th)

A closer look from the west end of Phase 1 of the new platform. Lights have been installed on each of the 24 foot sections of platform. A speaker has been installed on every third canopy support. The railing remains under construction. (August 24th)

A look from behind the platform near the east end of the old platform. The back of the base of one of the warming shelters is seen, along with one of the new platform benches (to the left of the photo) and an overhead electronic sign. (August 24th)

The east end platform ramp. As with the other high level platforms (Hammond and Hegewisch *) there are two ramp segments joined with a level segment where people can rest halfway up the ramp. (August 24th)
In this photo the center rest area is sitting on the ground to the left. The upper portion of the ramp was damaged during construction. Railings are in place on the lower portion of the ramp and a post for the eastbound "Stop Here" sign is near the midpoint of the ramp.

The new eastern entrance to the platform. A maintenance building has been built to shelter equipment used to maintain the platform and walkways. A wide walkway leads from the end of the platform to the east parking lot where handicap parking is available on both sides of the walkway. (August 24th)

(* East Chicago also has a high level platform but it does not have ramps. An elevator is provided to take passengers directly from ground level to platform level above East Chicago's embankment.)
First Day Photos
The high level platform opened August 30th, 2013, at Dune Park.

The new platform as seen from the Calumet Trail. A section of the old platform remained with the former light poles (originally catenary poles) cut off and painted orange. This section of low platform was closed and was removed and replaced in Phase 2. (August 30th)

A temporary staircase and walkway was provided at the west end of the new platform. (Handicap access was provided only at the east end.) (August 30th)

Looking east along the new platform. Construction fencing was in place for the length of the platform with a wood railing in sections where the metal railings had not yet been placed. (August 30th)

One of the new warming shelters under construction. The base walls are prefabricated with a poured concrete floor. (August 30th)

Benches are provided at two locations near the east end of the platform. Speakers and lights on the new platform were operational. The electronic sign was not operational on the first day. (August 30th)

The benches are supported by the platform railing supports. (August 30th)

The east end of the platform with new handicap parking just a few feet away from the platform. (August 30th)

A ramp is provided on the east end of the platform. (August 30th)

Looking west along the new platform. (August 30th)

The low level platform closed for Phase 2. (August 30th)
The remaining 264 feet of high level platform, west ramp and connection to the station building was built in this space just north of the station.

The westbound train stop was just west of the temporary end of the platform, right before CP 43.7. (August 30th)

The eastbound train stop was just east of the end of the platform. (August 30th)

An eastbound train comes to a stop at the east end of the new platform. (August 30th)

The first six cars of an eastbound train stop at the platform. (August 30th)

The final two cars extend past the end of the platform. (August 30th)

The platform lit up in the early evening, as seen from from the Calumet Trail. (August 30th)

Construction Phase 2
As posted at the station in August 2013 and on the NICTD website, the second phase of the construction plan closed the old platform in front of the station building. The first portion of the new platform (456 of 720 feet) plus the east ramp and new platform entrance was open during Phase 2 construction. The portable wheelchair lift formerly used to make Dune Park Station ADA compliant is no longer needed nor used.

Phase 2 construction began August 30th. The full eight car platform opened November 13th, 2013.

As with Phase 1 the old platform was removed and the ground prepared for the new platform. (September 8th)

Preformed supports were placed and the area filled with gravel. Beams that will support the platform are shown in place in the westernmost segments in the distance. (September 21st)

The platform segments are in place as the roof is under construction. (October 6th)

Most of the roof is in place and work has begun on the railing on the Phase 2 portion of the platform. (October 19th)

The benches and railings are in place on the west end of the platform. (October 27th)

The platform roof at the connection is higher than the rest of the platform. (October 19th)

The north lawn of the station shown near the beginning of Phase 2 construction. (September 8th)

The lawn and landscaping were removed as part of Phase 2 construction. (September 21st)

Two weeks later the old porch has been replaced with new concrete. (October 6th)

Then the foundation for the porch extension between the building and platform was poured. (October 19th)

The door leading out to the north porch was blocked to make it clear that passengers cannot exit the building through the construction zone. (September 8th)

Signs were posted throughout the building to lead passengers to the platform. (September 8th)

The original north porch of the station was closed for Phase 2 construction. (September 8th)

The porch was removed. Where the roof supports were cut temporary supports were put in place. (September 21st)

The old porch area was framed in and is shown ready for new concrete. (September 28th)

The old porch is ready for connection to the new platform. (October 6th)

The porch extension to the platform is framed in. (October 19th)

The extension under construction from the east. (October 19th)

The extension is ready for the top slab to be poured. (October 27th)

The foundation for the extension is in place. (October 27th)

The porch extension roof is taking shape. (November 2nd)

At the east end of the platform the track side handrail and fence is shown completed. (September 21st)

The track side handrail and fence at the east end of the platform. The fence is made up of cables strung the length of the ramp. (September 21st)

Supports for the ramp at the west end of the platform. (September 21st)

The support at the west end of the platform was designed to hold the platform support beams to the east and the platform ramp to the west. (September 21st)

The ramp is in place leading down from the west end of the platform. (October 6th)

Two weeks later the roof and railings are under construction. (October 19th)

The west end is getting closer to completion. (October 27th)

The view from across the tracks as the platform takes shape. (October 6th)

While Phase 2 progressed the railings and fence were completed on the Phase 1 portion of the platform. (October 19th)

A drainage ditch separates the east end of the platform from the parking lot. (September 28th)

The warming shelter closest to the east end of the platform is shown with walls, doors and ceiling grid but no glass yet. (October 6th)

The second warming shelter shown two weeks later. (October 19th)
The first shelter (not shown) had heaters installed but there was no glass in either shelter.
Glass was installed in both shelters the following week.

Supports are in place on this Phase 2 segment for a bench. (October 19th)
The electric sign was hung but not in service.

The bench is now in place. (October 27th)

The platform as seen from the west (looking east). (October 19th)

A new bike rack is just east of the station building. (October 27th)

Looking east along the new platform. (October 13th)

Looking west along the new platform. (October 19th)

The walkway between the station and east parking is shown completed with lighting. (September 21st)

The platform as seen in the evening. (September 21st)

The platform is brightly lit with the new sign in service. (September 21st)

Nearing Completion ...

The view from the west with the connection to the Calumet Trail along the treeline. (November 9th)

The temporary trail crossing near SR 49 has been removed. (November 9th)

The sidewalk has been poured west of the station platform. (November 9th)

The path from the west parking lot to the platform has been restored and is ready for use. (November 9th)

The space between the platform and station building is undergoing final landscaping. (November 9th)

The porch extension has a roof as construction continues. (November 9th)

The Phase 2 section of the platform is ready for service. (November 9th)

The view from the stairs behind the platform. (November 9th)

Inside the east warming shelter a seven seat bench is ready for use. (November 9th)

New positioning signs have been placed along the platform to identify where a 2, 4, 6 or 8 car train should stop. (November 9th)

The eastern driveway is now a two way road with a stop sign on US 12. The "one way" and "do not enter" signs have been removed. (November 9th)

New signs have been placed on catenary poles warning passengers to stay behind the yellow line. (November 9th)

Platform Open - Work Continues

The full eight car platform opened November 13th. Ramps opened at both ends of the platform. The elevated walkway between the station building and platform opened by the weekend while construction continued.

The western end of the platform is open. (November 16th)

Landscaping was done between the platform and the building. (November 16th)

Landscaping was done next to the walkway. (November 16th)

Number signs mark where westbound trains should stop. (November 16th)

The walkway to the new station is open but remains under construction. (November 16th)

Temporary railings were placed on the walkway. (November 16th)

Additional paint and accents have been added to match the main building. (November 23rd)

Steel railings replaced the temporary wooden railings along the walkway. (December 1st)

The old walkway east of the station has been removed. (November 23rd)

Landscaping has been completed east of the walkway. (December 1st)

Nearly all traces of construction have been removed. (December 1st)

Trees along the roadway have been trimmed back. (December 1st)

The warming shelter is complete with vents above the doors. (December 1st)

A place for advertising has been placed near CP 43.7. (December 1st)

The crossing signals for the trail have been activated. (November 16th)

A sign in the building announces accessibility. (November 16th)

An eastbound train stops short at the platform. (November 16th)

An eastbound train departs the station. (November 16th)


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