Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Nothing like a success they say...well the 2011 IRM Snowflake Charter, March 27, on Chicago's "L" lines has sold out. The six car train is at maximum capacity. Last year's train also operated at capacity, but this year's ticket sales reached that point with a week still to go.....simply amazing!!! Thanks to all who have purchased tickets.....we'll look forward to seeing you next Sunday, 9 am sharp!!

David Harrison
  by byte
 
I've been informed by the IRM volunteers handling the online ticketing for this event that a few tickets may become available via the IRM website on Friday, at 3:00 pm. Emphasis on "a few." However, if you missed out on getting a ticket earlier and still want to attend the event, this may be your last chance.
  by byte
 
The 2011 Snowflake Special is now 100% certifiably sold out. Thanks to all of those out there who bought tickets, and if you weren't able to get one or make the trip, look for photos and perhaps we'll see you in the future.
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Psst....Hey Buddy!!

Here's an insider tip for ya......folks on the charter are gonna get to go to two unused stations on the Blue line...Central and California and take pictures. But, ya didn't hear it from me.

DHarrison
  by Tadman
 
How did a set of 2200's get on the north side today? Seems as if a bunch of train buffs were cruising around...

I walked right under you guys today, south-bound around 5pm at Willow street (directly above the north portal of the red line subway). Hopefully it was a good trip.
  by byte
 
The trip went very well. Some delays were encountered and the train experienced some minor door issues at one point, but the crew was able to keep things going and we concluded things at about 6:30 pm. As expected, the crowd was heavy, but a good time was had by all, and something in the neighborhood of $10,000 was raised for the purchase of a pair of CTA 2200s.
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
I must agree that things went supersmooth. I'm counting twelve photo/video locations, some multiple like board a NB Brown line train and make a photo opt at any of three locations (Belmont, Addison, Francisco) and the charter train picked them up. The biggest crowd was at Francisco...a chance to get the 2200s on the ground level. The only thing we didn't do was the side by side at Seminary. That was KOed due to the sisngle track work area. They're installing new track on the Brown line curve coming off the junction at Clark Tower. The rustiest rail we ran over was the Central Park middle track on the Pink line. OK now, lets see the ics and video!!!

David Harrison
  by lstone19
 
Great time. A few hiccups including forgetting to stop at Fullerton (NB) to drop photographers but solved with a quick backup move (imagine what the revenue passengers thought - train forgot to stop, then comes back, and still won't take them). And once again a chance to mess with their heads and put Red Line trains on the Brown Line tracks with a bunch of revenue passengers refusing to believe that could really be a Red Line train on the wrong side. And the final hiccup was Forest Park routing us into an occupied station track.

Some cool rare trackage. Started by going as far west as we could on the "CA&E". Then an opportunity to stand on a rare platform (Central for me, California for some others). And, of course, the non-revenue connectors (Blue/Pink and Green to State St. subway) and loop routings (Lake (both directions) to south on Wells) and Van Buren to south on Wabash). Thanks to all involved.
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Hiccups???? Nah...those were diversions...stuff added to make the charter truly unique! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!! But speaking of the regular CTA customers, some were really genuine entertainment. Since we were sitting at Belmont with doors open, waiting for a train to race, I hung out the front window. At short intervals I would announce, "Please do not board this train standing.....this is a charter train." One couple were perfect vaudeville mimes, extending their arms in a gesture of genuine wonderment...."a charter train???" They turned from end to end, gesturing "what a wonderful train this is."

"The people paid $42 to ride this special train....they've ridden since nine this morning ad they'll be on after six o'clock." That was their cue to really show astonishment...patting their heads, outstretched hands...the whole act. Another couple came running up the stairs....saw the open doors...knew the doors were about to close...they dashed aboard with the speed of light. They were so fast, I could not evenbegin to say, "Do not board..."
Here are a couple of pictures to get things going.

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David Harrison
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Two more from the 2011 Snowflake Special

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Image

David Harrison
  by CTA Fan
 
Another great trip! Thanks to all who volunteer to put on such a good trip.

I just posted the Redline race on Youtube...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVloPH7ffZg

Or, if that doesn't work, search under the user name The1958mgmga. I've got a lot of video of the yard tours and such, I'll try to get as much posted as quickly as possible.

Sorry for the mid-race 'earthquake' in the video of the race...that was a passing northbound red line. Also, that wasn't me who shouted "Silence!"...but rather humorous indeed.

CTA Fan/Terry/Romeoville IL
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
That was super....thanks CTAfan. And you show it really well...I'll explain...look close...the Red line took off and eventually had a ten car lead at the beginning. "Go" I shouted to our jockey. But we had a red over red staring at us at the next interlocking. Fortunately Clark Tower cleared it. Now last year we had experienced "jockeys". The rail transit manager I and the retired special to the vice president commandeered the Red train and operated it. Our charter jockey evidently doesn't go to the track very often and the manager Sunday let the road operator run his train. In short...two newbies were in charge. But it was close at the finish and that's what counts.

David
  by lstone19
 
David, one question about another "stuff added to make the charter truly unique". Coming south on the Brown Line about halfway between Fullerton and the Loop, we suddenly stopped. One of the operators then "hit the (wood) ballast" to do something. Meanwhile, you guys up front suddenly closed the cab door as if to make sure we couldn't hear what had happened. We were only stopped a minute or so. Can you say anything about what happened there.

A couple of pictures: heading west on the "CA&E" and at the abandoned platform at Central.
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
Train went into emergency for no apparent reason.

David
  by lstone19
 
... and one complaint. I recall boarding a train yesterday announced as a Piccadilly line train to Cockfosters even though I thought we were on the CTA Blue Line. I suspect that the employee making that announcement was confused because the Piccadilly line is blue on the London Underground map. Or maybe he was confused due to the platform which required some "mind the gap" announcements. I suggest some remedial training is in order for this (retired) employee. :-)