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 ZMATF
 
So, my museum that I volunteer at, acquired (years ago) several old Pullman? METRA cars that were retired in 1997. However, they are in pretty poor shape. I am in the process of restoring it to fully operating condition. (It operates, and I can drive from the car, no issues). But there are some detail work, such as the doors, and other functions that I am trying to get to work correctly.

For example, I don't know how to get the doors to work correctly, but it may be just an old system. I managed today to find an air valve that was closed, however... below the doors. When Opening it, it seems to have recharged the doors. I'm also trying to figure out how the PA system works or... worked, and what parts of the ATC/ATS have been cannibalized. We have parts of it, but I think the "guts" are gone. I located a box under the car, which I took pictures of - which I only assume was for the ATC/ATS. - But I really have no idea.

I assume alot of you know alot more about these cars than I do, especially some of the switches and operation of cab controls. I know the basics - train brake, reverser, throttle, sander, bell, etc... but I don't know much else.

I've also started replacing the Lexan windows, and am trying to clean them / polish / sand them. There is really not much visibility out of them, so either my best bet is to remove the outside panes completely, or try to refurbish them.

In an effort to not overload everyone's browsers... the link to the gallery is here. If you would like more pictures... feel free to ask.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1099595696 ... directlink
  by Tadman
 
Great pics, wish I could help you more but I'm not a mechanic. It's interesting that the cab cars appear to use EMD-made control stands. If I recall correctly, those cars sat in Joliet's EJ&E yard for ten years, which couldn't have helped their condition. What museum are they at now?
  by ZMATF
 
Unfortunately I don't know much of the history. However, I took a picture of the certificate:

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 7122_n.jpg

Looks like it was inspected at the California Ave Yard. No idea where it was stored before that.

I'm not much of a mechanic either, but I have a good grasp of how the eqiupment works.

The 6 cars are currently at the Gold Coast Museum, in Miami, Florida.

I'd be curious to know more about the cars - what's different about them, and what's missing. There is a picture on the cab control cars, outside, is a box on ground level. I only assume this was for the ATC/ATS?
  by byte
 
IRM has three ex C&NW bilevels, with similar issues to the ones you describe. The PA system doesn't work due to a blown amplifier, and the ATS equipment was taken out by Metra to be placed in the new bilevels that replaced these. The same problem with fogged windows is also apparent on all three of our cars (one St. Louis car and two Pullmans). If you have a contact with IRM's diesel shop I wouldn't hesitate to ask questions, as these are similar problems that they've encountered over the years and probably know what exactly needs to be done. I'm an electric car guy at the museum but if you don't have a point of contact with the diesel shop I could probably dig one up.
  by Tadman
 
I used to drive past EJ&E's Joliet yard, that's how I know they were stored there. There used to be quite a few with twin maroon window strips. Now, I believe those are all gone and the only ones left are solid white.

See Bing Map:
http://binged.it/sA02u3
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
I remember seeing these cars for sale on the internet in the early 2000's. Some of them might have been leased to Caltrain before some of their newer cars showed up? There were some painted solid white with one thin red stripe below the windows. I think whoever got them from Metra, may have had a short deal with Caltrain, then wanted to sell or lease them but probably wanted too much with no market. They obviously even put in some extra money by repainting them to try to keep them appealing. Unfortunately there is a flood of clunky commuter cars such as these Pullman and St. Louis gallery cars, Long Island cars, and now Metra's Burlington Budd gallery cars, and more to come. I feel that a lot of the carbon steel stuff would have been better off scrapped except for a few museum examples.

Hopefully IRM can assist with advice. Coordinating with a larger group of cars might make future maintenance steps and part acquisition go smoother and more economical. Maybe some alternative to the expensive and fragile Lexan can be found.
  by ZMATF
 
Ah excellent information thus far. Byte, I'd love a contact at the museum. I know one guy there, but he's pretty busy, and I'm not sure he's actually worked on the cars. If you want to private message one to me, that would be great.

For the rest of the information, that really explains alot. Of course, these cars have relatively no historical value for us in Florida, but they're of great use to us, especially as they are hi-capacity cars. We have a couple of E9's that pull them around.

Likewise, I've read that you may be able to polish lexan, to clear it up a bit. I guess I'll give this a shot before I totally scrap the windows or do anything else.
  by ZMATF
 
Tadman wrote:I used to drive past EJ&E's Joliet yard, that's how I know they were stored there. There used to be quite a few with twin maroon window strips. Now, I believe those are all gone and the only ones left are solid white.

See Bing Map:
http://binged.it/sA02u3

Also very interesting. Perhaps these were one of these cars. I don't know much about Metra operations, is the conductor responsible for opening all of the car doors? Or does that rest with the engineer? I assume the panel above the doors is what does this, as I haven't found anything else in the cars. We obviously don't need the ATC/ATS alerters, but I wonder why they didn't remove all of the hardware, instead of just a few pieces.
  by Tadman
 
Conductors open doors here, or trainmen. The engineer has no door duties. The conductor usually is mid-train in a vestibule, and uses those door controls you see in the vestibules. Some kind of key is required to activate the controls. Do you have a way to open the doors without power? If so, I'd just leave the doors unpowered. They're usually air-powered for fast unloading at frequent stops, but since you're running a tourist pike and not a mainline commuter operation, I'd leave the air alone. Giant PITA.

Regarding the windows, I've seen guys clean lexan headlight covers with a drill, a polishing attachment, and a cream compound. I don't doubt those windows would take some heavy polishing, but if you get a hefty drill and high-cutting polish compound, you may be able to buff them out rather than replace. Amazon suggests this: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5 ... SS400_.jpg

Finally, I've heard you guys have a CB&Q E9. Although none of your bilevels are of CB&Q ancestry, they did run similar equipment from Budd. It might be interesting to put Burlington letterboards on some of them. A few Metra employees have recently re-applied Burlington lettering to some of the original Budd gallery cars, forty years after BN took them off post-merger:
Image
  by ZMATF
 
Tadman wrote:Conductors open doors here, or trainmen. The engineer has no door duties. The conductor usually is mid-train in a vestibule, and uses those door controls you see in the vestibules. Some kind of key is required to activate the controls. Do you have a way to open the doors without power? If so, I'd just leave the doors unpowered. They're usually air-powered for fast unloading at frequent stops, but since you're running a tourist pike and not a mainline commuter operation, I'd leave the air alone. Giant PITA.

Regarding the windows, I've seen guys clean lexan headlight covers with a drill, a polishing attachment, and a cream compound. I don't doubt those windows would take some heavy polishing, but if you get a hefty drill and high-cutting polish compound, you may be able to buff them out rather than replace. Amazon suggests this: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5 ... SS400_.jpg

Finally, I've heard you guys have a CB&Q E9. Although none of your bilevels are of CB&Q ancestry, they did run similar equipment from Budd. It might be interesting to put Burlington letterboards on some of them. A few Metra employees have recently re-applied Burlington lettering to some of the original Budd gallery cars, forty years after BN took them off post-merger:
Image
I'm on my iPad, so hopefully I can answer it all without forgetting something.

We have the Skeleton key that they use to open the doors, we also have the ability to manually push them open, but it can be a struggle. We have a cutout valve that we normally use to relieve the doors of the air, so they manually push open.

We actually use that same locomotive on our cars,as it has head power... So it powers the cars. Painting it to cb&q would be very interesting, if not just to match the engine.

I've looked into polishing the lean in a large scale, looks like the easiest way is to use a sander, and some different polishing pads and compounds. It wi ll be a experiment to see what would be best. Then, finally, I will have to re-coat them with uv compound so that they do not immediately fade again.

Good picture... I'll show one of the bosses and see what he thinks. B the way, if any of you are ever in the Miami,Fl area and want to see these up close, just let me know!
  by Tadman
 
Thanks for the invite! As for that pic, the only thing the Q painted the cars with was the script above the doors. The RTA, Metra, and BNSF logos all came in the 80s and 90s. After the '70 merger, they got the BN snowshoe where the swoosh is today, followed by the BNSF roudel in '95, and then the swoosh is '06. I bet the RTA roundel showed up ~80, while the Metra signs were probably more like ~1990. But for purposes of towing behind your E9, all you need is the Burlington script for a really accurate look.
  by ZMATF
 
Ended up routing all the windows out, so that the Lexan is all clear. Still working on some of the other improvements, but it's at a brief standstill.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
Actually, the Burlington gallery cars had the stainless steel rectangle with a black Burlington Northern logo and title spelled out after the merger. This was then painted over with the blue Metra logo, and the cars got the green BN logo by the door. The RTA logos were put on long before the Metra sign.
http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=934978

Budd Burlington Zephyr streamliner cars got the same stainless steel signs with the BN logo after the merger.
http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=641745

Also, just found these carbon steel coaches NP apparently bought from CNW, painted silver after the BN merger, with the same black logo. I would like to know what purpose they had- if it was passenger service or just work train use. Inspiration for those Pullman gallery cars.
http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=1761855

Go here for more easy links.
http://passcarphotos.info/Indices/BN.htm