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 doepack
Last night (Wed.) on UP/W, train 57 bit the dust somewhere around Bellwood. Remained dead on the rails until it's follower (59) shows up to give it a push. After getting everything linked up and tested, the 57/59 combo takes off for Elburn, eventually arriving there about 90-100 minutes late. Normally, 57 turns to 64 at Elburn, while 59 is a short turn run to Elmhurst, where it turns back east as 60; but all of that is thrown out the window due to 57's breakdown.

As 57's delay time increased enroute, trains 61 and 63 were lined ahead of the 57/59 combo so that their schedules wouldn't suffer extended delays. 61 yards at Elburn upon arrival, while 63 made its normal turn to inbound 66, and departed Elburn on time. In fact, 57/59 didn't arrive Elburn until around 8:40 or so; more than 20 minutes after 66 left. Right about here, the situation gets a little... strange.

Upon arrival at Elburn, commuter control decides to run the combo back to OTC but on 64's schedule (impossibly delayed by now) as a REVENUE train (?!) I cannot think of a good reason to do this, since 66 has already run ahead of it, and with everything else on time. While listening to the exchange on my radio, the crews on both trains asked why they couldn't just deadhead express all the way in, but commuter control instructs them to "make all stops into CPT", with a tone that suggested they are not to argue. So now you've got a useless revenue trip sandwiched between two regular runs, delaying the arrival of the crews that much longer into OTC, since at least one of them will have to make another return trip to Elburn to finish out the day. Hope they made it without outlawing on hours.

For the record, the combo train didn't leave Elburn heading east until about 9pm. Metra 68 departed on time at 9:18. Orders is orders, I guess...