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

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  by lstone19
 
I'm Onboard 2247. Due to a switch problem at A-5, we we were just routed around the SE leg on to the Bloomingdale, then reverse back around the same leg and cross to 2, finally around the SW leg on 2 and back to 1 at the west end of A-5.

And it looks like they held 2248 at A-5 on Track 3 so he could cross to 2 rather than running him in 3. What does Metra have against using 3 outside rush hours?
  by doepack
 
lstone19 wrote:I'm Onboard 2247. Due to a switch problem at A-5, we we were just routed around the SE leg on to the Bloomingdale, then reverse back around the same leg and cross to 2, finally around the SW leg on 2 and back to 1 at the west end of A-5.

And it looks like they held 2248 at A-5 on Track 3 so he could cross to 2 rather than running him in 3. What does Metra have against using 3 outside rush hours?
Perhaps the switch outage had occurred just moments before your train hit A5, so when the normal route couldn't be lined, putting it on the Bloomingdale lead allowed it to clear the plant quicker, and expedite the reverse move. Why the dispatcher acutally arranged that as a "meet" for 2248 on 2 is a mystery, unless A5 lined something else on 3.

Speaking of which, also keep in mind that those WSOR freights between Janesville, WI and Clearing use track 3 at A5 in the evenings, with trains shoving to or from the Cicero West control point on the Elgin sub to either get on the Belt (Eastbound) or onto the C&M sub (Westbound), so it's understandable that A5 operators would want to keep 3 clear for those moves...
  by lstone19
 
doepack wrote:Perhaps the switch outage had occurred just moments before your train hit A5, so when the normal route couldn't be lined, putting it on the Bloomingdale lead allowed it to clear the plant quicker, and expedite the reverse move.
From what I could see, the plant could be lined for normal moves to/from the C&M so I was surprised we didn't pull up that way (probably a longer distance but could be done at higher speeds). By the time we were moving to the Elgin, the signal maintainers were on site and working on the movable frog where Elgin 1 crosses C&M 2. And as when we were starting our move on to the Bloomingdale (past the home signal but not yet to the switch), a Hiawatha went by eastbound on 2 at track speed, clearly they had been able to line the crossing for the C&M.

It was kind of funny. When we started moving, I assumed they had fixed the problem. But when the Hiawatha went by (and my car already past the home signal), I thought WTF since we obviously weren't lined to the Elgin. Put my book down, looked up, and my jaw probably dropped as I saw us curving around the wye to the Bloomingdale. But picking up some rare mileage is always good!
  by doepack
 
lstone19 wrote:It was kind of funny. When we started moving, I assumed they had fixed the problem. But when the Hiawatha went by (and my car already past the home signal), I thought WTF since we obviously weren't lined to the Elgin. Put my book down, looked up, and my jaw probably dropped as I saw us curving around the wye to the Bloomingdale. But picking up some rare mileage is always good!
Yeah, especially in revenue service! But another routing possiblity came to mind after I posted, which would have been forward onto the C&M, reverse around the north wye that connects C&M 1 to Elgin sub 1, then run west to Big Timber with the cab car leading, and the locomotive facing east. Certainly qualifies as a rare/unusual move, and I wonder if Metra or the Milwaukee Road ever actually sent a train west down the Elgin sub in that fashion.

And how to turn the equipment back around to reposition it properly? Just repeat the move in reverse at A5 when the train returns as 2252...
  by lstone19
 
doepack wrote: But another routing possiblity came to mind after I posted, which would have been forward onto the C&M, reverse around the north wye that connects C&M 1 to Elgin sub 1, then run west to Big Timber with the cab car leading, and the locomotive facing east. Certainly qualifies as a rare/unusual move, and I wonder if Metra or the Milwaukee Road ever actually sent a train west down the Elgin sub in that fashion.
I wondered why we just didn't go up the C&M and then back through the crossover. My guess is even though I saw the maintainers working on the MPF motor (Elgin 1 / C&M 2) and which clearly had just lined for the C&M since a Hiawatha just went by, they also couldn't get "lined and locked" on the track 1 switch to let us go up the C&M so Bloomingdale was the only option A-5 could line for us. Using the C&M to pull up and then back to the crossover would have been faster. All that 10 mph on the Bloomingdale wye took time while we could have gone much faster on the C&M. At least was once going forward on 2, there's less 10 mph through just the one crossover at the west end than there is when you go 3 to 2 to 1 which is a long, slow slog.

My first thought when we started around was they were going to send us around three sides which would have ended up with us pointed correctly.

To the second point, there was a recent report of a Heritage train protecting on the MD-N running "backwards".
  by lstone19
 
I forgot I took this picture. It's not all that great but I didn't have a lot of time.
  by AMTK347
 
lstone19 wrote:
doepack wrote: But another routing possiblity came to mind after I posted, which would have been forward onto the C&M, reverse around the north wye that connects C&M 1 to Elgin sub 1, then run west to Big Timber with the cab car leading, and the locomotive facing east. Certainly qualifies as a rare/unusual move, and I wonder if Metra or the Milwaukee Road ever actually sent a train west down the Elgin sub in that fashion.
I wondered why we just didn't go up the C&M and then back through the crossover. My guess is even though I saw the maintainers working on the MPF motor (Elgin 1 / C&M 2) and which clearly had just lined for the C&M since a Hiawatha just went by, they also couldn't get "lined and locked" on the track 1 switch to let us go up the C&M so Bloomingdale was the only option A-5 could line for us. Using the C&M to pull up and then back to the crossover would have been faster. All that 10 mph on the Bloomingdale wye took time while we could have gone much faster on the C&M. At least was once going forward on 2, there's less 10 mph through just the one crossover at the west end than there is when you go 3 to 2 to 1 which is a long, slow slog.

My first thought when we started around was they were going to send us around three sides which would have ended up with us pointed correctly.

To the second point, there was a recent report of a Heritage train protecting on the MD-N running "backwards".
I've posted some videos of MDN #2107 running with cabcar leading north on Youtube:
Part 1: http://youtu.be/wR5i19Zy6WU
Part 2: http://youtu.be/WBs-iCXL7a0
Part 3: http://youtu.be/TsGNG8ERYd4
Part 4: http://youtu.be/NuBeF1j0Duc