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 justalurker66
Somehow I missed Joe when I went to IRM last month. It is good to see it running!

(Was it out of its usual place last month to be set up to run?)
  by lstone19
JLJ061 wrote:Wow! I didn't think 600 volts would even be enough to move that monster? lol
Pulling just a few cars and despite coasting pans down through the trolley frogs, it was quickly up to the 30mph track speed. I had a very nice ride behind it this afternoon.
  by F40CFan
Never thought I'd see one of those beasts move under its own power again.
  by dinwitty
I'll share a quick story posted on the Milwaukee group...

Back in 2000-1 when I was working out of Bensenville I spent a lot of time out at IRM working on the 1603 and 33C. Since I was a qualified engineer, I did a fair bit of "hostling" at the museum. (If it's a diesel and it runs out there, I've probably pulled the throttle before. 760 was a fave. I was engineer on it for the MRHA meet that went to IRM back then.) One night a few of us decided the Joe needed some fresh air. (I always called it the Joe which annoyed the electric guys there. heh It was an 800 to them) As I recall it had a compressor problem, so we pumped up the air off the diesel we used to pull it out with.

Once we had it in front of the depot and some air on it, I put the pan up and turned on the headlight. After climbing down and admiring the sight, in the darkness it looked like it was out in Ringling or Martinsdale in front of the depot, I climbed back up and figured what the hell. Let's see if it moves.

Yep, it moved no problem on 600 volts. (The South Shore was 1500 if memory serves)

As I recall now, it didn't really have a compressor problem other than it wouldn't pump enough air on 600 volts. It's been a while, but that's the recollection. Of course we had to pump it up with the diesel to get the pan up...

Was pretty cool sitting there with my hand on the throttle as we rolled along slowly that night.

Definitely different than the AC4400's and SD40-2's I was used to....

Todd Jones

  by BrianLM007
Really glad to hear (and see) that 803 can run under its own power. I wonder if it is possible that the South Shore and/or IC passenger cars could run then too (as they would also require 1500 Volts DC power as well)...
  by dinwitty
they need to install more pan-compatible frogs, they seem to enjoy running the CA&E cars of late tho,,,heh
  by Milwaukee_F40C
possible that the South Shore and/or IC passenger cars could run then too
Illinois Central suburbans and South Shore orange cars (and the line car) ran this past summer. They just lower the pantographs and coast under the special work in the overhead.

I think all of these cars have 600 volt compatible traction motors and air compressors, but wired differently for 1500 volts (pairs of 750 volt motors wired in series). Most 600 volt cars used 750 volt motors, as far as I know.
  by Tadman
You really want to get crazy? Have the MILW 261 consist show up and you've got the Duneland Hiawatha... Now that would be quite the show.
  by justalurker66
Having the UP Business Train on part of the line (for the Surface Transport Board) was special. It just shows how high up one has to be to get a special vehicle charter on the South Shore these days. :)

NICTD will still charter out their equipment (for ND football trains - although I don't know if they have done that the past couple of years). But getting something other than the standard vehicles on NICTD's rails isn't trivial.
  by Tadman
No doubt. I have a lot of respect for the NICTD guys. They run a tight ship without being neurotic about it. The place has friendly personnel and good service. I've rarely seen a breakdown or failure not caused by motorists. The only one I can remember is the 2008 heat wave resulting in slow orders and bum A/C units. But they achieve that success by not making risky bets. You run silver interurbans and CSS freights, and that's it. Once every five years you see an Amtrak detour. That's it.

This is in stark contrast to the Venango years when management would run anything with wheels. Busted old F45's, PV's, busted CMW power, run-through SP power, etc... I'm sure NICTD management took a lesson from those freewheeling days and said "no more shenanigans".
  by BrianLM007
NICTD does do a good job and seems to run a tight ship. Although being a regular rider for almost 12½ years and counting, I've had my fair share of delays that definitely weren't caused by motorists (lines pulled down, switches (generally on the ME) not functioning, Metra shenanigans to name a few). It's gotten better overall as of late, but the signal system likes to show red signals a little too often for my liking...

On the subject of excursions, if we're going to put the MILW 261 on the line, we might as well have the UP run Big Boy #4014 too (once its back up and running of course!)! :-D