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 MikeF
In case anyone hasn't heard, the Central Electric Railfans' Association is running three "Last Run Under the Wires" fan trips with historic cars 4271 and 4272 tomorrow. It's too late to buy tickets to ride, but of course everyone is welcome to "chase" the trains. An approximate schedule is below.

Lv 8:30 Hamlin (Skokie Shops)
Ar 8:40 Skokie

Lv 9:00 Skokie
Ar 9:10 Howard
Lv 9:16 Howard (Track 1)
Ar 9:33 Sheridan
Lv 9:35 Sheridan
Ar 9:38 Addison
Lv 9:45 Addison (Track 1)
Lv 9:50 Sheridan
Ar 10:05 Howard
Lv 10:35 Howard
Ar 10:50 Skokie

Lv 12:00 Skokie
Ar 12:10 Howard
Lv 12:16 Howard (Track 1)
Ar 12:33 Sheridan
Lv 12:35 Sheridan
Ar 12:38 Addison
Lv 12:45 Addison (Track 1)
Lv 12:50 Sheridan
Ar 1:05 Howard
Lv 1:35 Howard
Ar 1:50 Skokie

Lv 3:00 Skokie
Ar 3:10 Howard
Lv 3:16 Howard (Track 4)
Ar 3:36 Sheridan
Lv 3:38 Sheridan
Ar 3:42 Addison
Lv 3:50 Addison (Track 4)
Lv 3:55 Sheridan
Ar 4:08 Howard
Lv 4:38 Howard
Ar 4:53 Skokie

Lv 5:00 Skokie
Ar 5:10 Hamlin (Skokie Shops)

  by byte
I was on the 3:00 trip and shot some video. Please, if you'd like to see thses, right click on the link, click "Save target as" and download then to your computer. It won't take much longer than if you just click on the link, it'll save my miniscule server some bandwidth, and if you want to watch it again you won't have to wait for it to load.

-link removed- (1.75 MB) - This was a Red Line train we blew past going southbound, somewhere near Howard. It was really loud and the people in the other train were pretty confused looking, wondering what this old green and orange train was that just passed them.

-link removed- (1.36 MB) - This is our train (going south) passing a station on the north side main. I'm not sure, but I think it's Berwyn. You can't really see it, but the people on the platform (and every platform we passed, for that matter) were all looking at our train like it was on fire or something. What, you've never seen a 4000 before? :wink:

-link removed- (1.89 MB) - Here is our train pulling into the unused North Shore Line platform at Wilson. If you look at the bottom of the picture towards the end of the clip, you can see there is quite a gap between the platform, which isn't very common at most platforms around the CTA.

(You should probably only download this next one if you have broadband)

-link removed- (11.3 MB) - A trip through Howard yard. The two railcars I've zoomed in on are: A pantograph equipped Skokie car, soon to be extinct, and work motor 2401, the very first 2400-series car built.

(You should defininitely only download this next one if you have broadband!)

-link removed- (25.4 MB) - An entire westbound trip on the Skokie Swift! Filmed from the right side of the first car, look for all the vegetation that grows close to the tracks (I wasn't sure my camera was going to make it through the trip!).

EDIT - 9/16: I've removed the links so not to eat up my bandwidth. PM me if you want to see any of the movies.
Last edited by byte on Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

  by MikeF
Nice video, Byte!

If you think you got strange looks, you should have been on the 9 a.m. trip -- between Jarvis and Loyola, we crawled along making frequent stops so two guys on the roof of 4271 could trim trees to avoid snagging a ventilator or trolley pole!

All in all, a fun and certainly historic trip. I got lots of pictures. Whenever Nikon gets around to shipping their backordered slide scanners, I'll be able to share. :wink:

  by byte
Thanks, Mike!

Unfortunately, this will probably be the last time those cars run on CTA property. During the trip, there were people talking about the cars, and one of them mentioned that car #1 (the wooden historic car that wasn't on this trip) was going to be sent to a museum, and when the trip was over, a group of people were talking to Bruce Moffat, and I never actually heard anything offcial come from him (I believe he's a planner for the CTA), but it did sound like this would be the last charter the CTA ran. Whether that means charters with the 4000s or any charters at all, who knows. Hopefully it's the former (fan trips could still be fun on newer cars, and the air conditioning would be appreciated!) but either way, the 4000s are probably done for. I'd read before that the cars needed a complete overhaul and there wasn't any money for it, and plus they're the only railcars the CTA still has that have air brakes, so finding someone who knows how to run them must have been a hassle - Bruce Moffat was actually driving the train for a portion of the trip, and like I said before, he's a planner, not a motorman.
Last edited by byte on Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by MikeF
You're right about the future of the cars. SSRT 1 is going to the Chicago Historical Society, which in my opinion is probably the best place for it; because it is in such poor shape mechanically, its best use is as an indoor static display. Chances are (although this is not confirmed) one of the 4000's will go to IRM and the other will go to Fox River.

As for the future of CTA charters -- this may well be the last trip with the 4000's, but you can rest assured there have been fan trips with newer cars in the past and there will continue to be such trips in the future.

  by ctaman34
  by ctaman34
where are the photos

  by MikeF
Here are some pictures from the trip. All photos by Mike Farrell; please do not use them without permission.

Before the first trip at Skokie

On the first trip at Addison

Before the second trip at Skokie

Before the second trip at Skokie

On the third trip at the North Shore Channel viaduct

On the third trip near Howard

On the third trip at Crawford Avenue

  by EricL
MikeF wrote:Image
On the third trip at the North Shore Channel viaduct

My stuff:

Obligatory "hey, it's the train" shot.

I wish I would have had my camera handy when Bruce Moffat was seen hitting his head on this while trying to board the train. (Seriously. It was pretty funny.)