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: JamesT4, metraRI

  by byte
 
Tickets are now on sale for the Illinois Railway Museum's 2013 Snowflake Special charter train on the CTA, which will be taking place on Sunday, March 24th.

For the first time since the early 1970s, the museum will be chartering a full 8-car train for this trip. The consist will be one pair each of the CTA's 2200, 2400, 2600, and 3200 series railcars. As far as we know this has never been done before. With the CTA's 2200 and 2400 scheduled for retirement in the near future (2200s certainly by the end of 2013), this is a unique - and likely the only chance for members of the public to ride a CTA train with four generations of rolling stock in the consist.

Because all of the DC-propulsion "L" cars do not operate out of one terminal, tickets are available for two departure/arrival points on the system. A four-car consist of 2200s and 2600s will be departing from Forest Park on the Blue Line at about 8:00a, which will then travel to Midway Airport on the Orange line. After a pair of both 2400s and 3200s are added to the train, it will depart Midway at about 9:15a. Tickets purchased for a specific terminal will be valid for passage back to that terminal at the conclusion of the trip. We expect the train to arrive back at Midway at about 6:00p, where the 2400s and 3200s will be cut off from the train. Forest Park ticketholders will then ride back to that terminal, and we expect the train to arrive back there at about 7:15pm.

Tickets for Forest Park departures are $55 each. As Midway riders' time on the train is a bit shorter, Midway tickets cost a bit less - $47 each.

As in previous years, the Snowflake Special will visit the "nooks and crannies" of the CTA system, and will feature expert narration & photo stops. Bathroom stops will be provided at CTA terminal facilities, and the train will take an extended lunch break in the loop area (riders will be provided with a list of open-on-Sunday restaurants in the area).

To purchase tickets, please visit the IRM online store: http://www3.irm.org/store/index.php?mai ... x&cPath=10

Proceeds from this year's Snowflake Special will be put toward IRM's efforts to acquire CTA 2200- and 2400-series railcars.
  by byte
 
Thought I'd bump this topic up - tickets for the Snowflake Special are selling at a good pace, but there are still plenty left for both Forest Park and Midway departures. If you've ever wanted to ride a train with four types of "L" cars on it ... this will be your only chance! Tickets sold sooner rather than later will be mailed to the buyer, which will save them time that morning as they won't need to pick them up at will-call.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Given the rare nature of this charter and the fact that this may be the only time these four car group run in one train, it would be fitting if 3199-3200 (the last cars built by Budd/Transit America) are included.
  by Chicagopcclcars
 
3199-3200 are assigned to the Blue line and we would be getting two 2600 Budd/Transit America's from the Blue line. We'll have to have the terminal people to look into the condition of those two cars. Terminals usually give us cars they feel are in the best of condition, but they do try to accomodate special requests. We'll give it a go. Thanks for the suggestion.

David Harrison
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone: With that thought I will suggest that 2201-2202 (Budd) and 2401-2402 (Boeing) cars be used if they are in
good condition for this interesting fan trip...I fully understand that the CTA would like their best to be on this trip...

What is the build date for cars 3199-3200 if someone knows offhand?

This looks to be a very interesting trip...

MACTRAXX
  by byte
 
2201-2202 have already been sent to the scrapper, so that's a no-go. Although they are still out there, the number of 2200s in service is still decreasing. 2401-2402 are work motors. Some work motor 2400s have been assigned to the Orange line, but in my daily commute downtown I have not seen that pair.

It's generally the CTA's call on which cars to use, for good reason - they pick the cars which are mechanically sound. A train with "significant" car numbers in it may make for neat photographs, but does not benefit the riders if the car has a flat spotted wheel, malfunctioning heat, etc.
  by MACTRAXX
 
David (Byte): Thanks for that information...

I thought that it would be quite interesting to use the prototype 22 and 2400 cars on this trip...

With 2201-02 gone and 2401-02 work cars that closes this thought...

How about using cars 3201-3202 on this trip making the car set 4 consecutive numbers?

Is the IRM slated to get at least a pair of each and will any other 22 or 24 series CTA cars
be preserved elsewhere?

MACTRAXX
  by byte
 
MACTRAXX wrote: How about using cars 3201-3202 on this trip making the car set 4 consecutive numbers?
Again, the CTA makes the call on car numbers based on cars' maintenance history. Theoretically it's possible to request a specific pair, but in the interest of providing a good trip for the Snowflake Special's riders, it may not be the best option. Neat photos with four consecutive cars are one thing, but riding around all day with no heat or a dirty floor is another.
MACTRAXX wrote: Is the IRM slated to get at least a pair of each and will any other 22 or 24 series CTA cars
be preserved elsewhere?
The museum will be getting one pair each from the 2200 and 2400 series. Ideally we will have our 2200s on the property this summer, although I was saying the same thing a year ago. As far as we are aware, we are the only museum which is interested and in serious negotiations to purchase cars from both series.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
MACTRAXX wrote:What is the build date for cars 3199-3200 if someone knows offhand?
This looks to be a very interesting trip...

MACTRAXX
3200 was completed April 3, 1987 as the last car at Red Lion, so 3199 was likely built at the same time or just prior.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
Multiple matching pairs of cars create an attractive train as they ran in service, it would be nice if IRM did not have the practical limitation of receiving only one pair of each series so some line specific combinations could be run. At least an extra 2200 pair is a nice thought.

The important question is will IRM be getting any parts from scrapped cars?
  by byte
 
The museum plans to get spare parts for 2200s, yes. There are also a few things which the museum already has which will fit 2200s (namely motors) which came along with the 2000s and the batch of spare parts those came with.