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 F40CFan
 
What I heard, and I don't have first hand experience like you do, is the two levels are enclosed and that is what gives them the claustrophobic feel. Whereas the gallery cars are open in the middle.

I think the diesel hauled gallery cars are more roomy than the current highliners.

  by byte
 
Current Metra riders might not like them, since you lose that "group feel" to it when you effectively "wall off" the upper and lower sections, but new riders wouldn't mind. The number of conductors needed to get tickets in a timely manner, though, would go up a helluva lot. You can't collect two sets of tickets in one standing position on the newer cars, like you can with the gallery cars.

  by MetraF40C607
 
I would hate seeing Bomb cars on Metra. They're nice for Southern California, but...................................Imagine the train hits something. Those cars are made from like, fiberglass. They are poorly built and fold under pressure. Look at any Metrolink crashes. In any of the recent ones, have you seen a train that didn't have a car cut in half? Metra cars are made from stainless steel and are more durable then that.

  by David Cole
 
Presumably the Bombardier pillboxes must meet the same FRA standards as the Metra gallery cars. Metra has been fortunate in that they haven't had a major wreck lately (knock on wood), so we really don't have a basis for comparison.

I personally like the interior layout of the Bombardier cars, but I think they'd look much better if they had a continuous roofline, rather than slanting down towards the end of each car, and if they lost the useless shrouding in front of the trucks.

  by Metra kid
 
I have rode both the Bombardier cars on Tri-Rail, and the Kawasaki cars on MARC. I like the Kawasaki cars over the Bombardier ones, and those could have been an another option for the MED line instead of the ones they decided on. They are already a high level platform car, and are alreay set for ADA wheelchairs. These could have been turned into EMU's possibly. The only problem is collecting tickets since there are in essence four sections of the car, one on each end, and two in the middle. I can see why they chose that design though, to try and keep everything somewhat uniform. The Bombardier cars could be fitted with vestibules, and made fit for Chicago winters, but I like the stainless steel look of the Gallery and Kawasaki cars.

  by usa4624
 
The GO Transit Bi-levels are not 2 solid levels, but split levels. The Center of the car has 2 levels, but the ends are only 1 level. The seats are much more comfortable on the GO Transit cars, but the Galley cars are much easier for the conductors, as they can check both levels simultaniously.

As far as capacity, it depends on how they're set up. TRE in Texas has a lot of ADA and table seating arrangements, which reduces capacity.

  by F40CFan
 
FYI, speaking of alternate bilevel designs;

Last night and this morning I saw two of the cab control cars for the New Mexico RailRunner sitting in Bensenville yard. I don't really care for the look. I prefer the stainless gallery car. Reminds me more of a streamliner.

  by AmtrakFan
 
MetraF40C607 wrote:I would hate seeing Bomb cars on Metra. They're nice for Southern California, but...................................Imagine the train hits something. Those cars are made from like, fiberglass. They are poorly built and fold under pressure. Look at any Metrolink crashes. In any of the recent ones, have you seen a train that didn't have a car cut in half? Metra cars are made from stainless steel and are more durable then that.
Mr. Means,
You are right. All the cars when their in a dereailment. Even a CalTrain Gallery made it thru a very serious Derailment in Iowa on Amtrak in very good shape if it was a Bomb Car it would of jacknifed prorably.

  by MetraF40C607
 
I don't know, I just wouldn't feel as safe in a Bomb Car. After seeing what happens to them when they get into a wreck, wooo boy. Car gets jack-knifed, people get thrown everywhere (as would be expected), and suddenly, it's just one hell of a horrible moment.

  by AmtrakFan
 
MetraF40C607 wrote:I don't know, I just wouldn't feel as safe in a Bomb Car. After seeing what happens to them when they get into a wreck, wooo boy. Car gets jack-knifed, people get thrown everywhere (as would be expected), and suddenly, it's just one hell of a horrible moment.
That is true. I was once in a Bomb Car in LA and I was thinking this would be cathstropic if one got in a very serious derailment which happened a year and half later.

  by VRELackie
 
I am contracted to the VRE currently, and can personally attest that the VRE Kaw cars are AWESOME!!!

i love 'em, not offense to the metra people but they are FAR AND AWAY superior to the hunks o junk that we got when metra retired a lot of old 8xxx series gallery coaches.

If you want some better pictures of the kawasaki interiors i can take and post some when i'm out at the yard next tuesday, i can also get some of the Bombardier Bi-Level interior as VRE has some on lease from Puget Sound Transit right now

  by F40CFan
 
For comparison, have you ridden on any of the new Metra 6000/8500 series cars?

  by VRELackie
 
F40CFan wrote:For comparison, have you ridden on any of the new Metra 6000/8500 series cars?
in all honesty. The ride is very similar. Due to the fact that you are still using an Atchison Truck. You can only get so much juice out of a lemon. That truck design has been around since the early 1930's the Canton I-Beam design has been almost PERFECTED in that time. There are truck equalization advances and advances in wheel profile and track design and LOTS of work done on the wheel rail interface by APTA and the FRA, so yeah the 6000/8500 series cars feel a lot better but i think a lot of that has to do witht he car built on the trucks. not the trucks themselves. The cars feel much more solid and substantial. They weigh a good 50,000 pounds more but stainless will do that to you. I would compare the ride to a one of the Kawasaki Bi-Levels on rough or old track. You will never get airspring type ride out of a coilspring primary suspension design. Its just not going to happen.

But a layman's comparison is that the 6000/8500 series cars you guys just got are much nicer cars. It may be placebo but they are far and away more comfortable than the 4000 series cars

  by F40CFan
 
Interesting, thanks for the info.

  by Nasadowsk
 
BBD pillboxes are FRA compliant. They had to meet more or less the same standards as any metra car built at the same time.

Anything stainless doing well - no surprise, especially a Budd design - Budd tended to design fabulously light/strong cars.

As for the trucks Metra uses, I guess everyone sticks to what they know - inboard bearing stuff is STILL seen everywhere in the northeast, though most inboard trucks at least aren't total dinosaurs (save for the Pioneer III derivatives, very neat design but they tend to fall on the faces on rough track). I think Septa's asking for IB on their new Silverliners which should be fun to watch because they're also going to need huge motors on those things to get the performance (I'm guessing around 1000+hp/car, or 4x250hp motors/car)...

Heck, is anything Metra runs even airbag suspension? I never studied one of those cars up close...