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 fauxcelt
Thank you for sharing your work experience as a motorman, David. That was interesting to me.

Everyone: I remember the thought myself thinking about why the CTA uses an uncovered third rail and I will mention something additional
that no one has mentioned-the CTA uses a type of third rail primarily that is different then what is used in and around NYC and other "covered"
third rail types...The CTA's third rail resembles a "running rail" instead of the bulky square-shaped "beam" third rail used elsewhere and another
thought also is the height of the insulators that support the third rail-the CTA uses an insulator type that is different also again then the other
"covered" third rail systems also...I have noticed both third rail types were used by Boston's MBTA depending on the route also uncovered like
the CTA uses-the big difference being that the MBTA's equipment use shoes similar to the CTA 2200 series cars...

All of the CTA's equipment is designed to use the "trolley block" third rail shoe as mentioned by DH except the mentioned 2200 series Budd cars...
Another thought is how equipment is designed to clear the third rail-namely parts of the undercarriage such as grabirons-which may actually be
different from other system's clearances...

My Uncle like DH was a CTA motorman and I also recall being told about similar things like the scrapers used and I also remember that the CTA
would run longer trains when snow was forecast so there would be more shoes and scrapers to help keep the third rail clear...
CTA workers were also trained to work around that uncovered third rail-I recall the thought was to "respect" and not fear it...

Both my Father and Uncle were veteran railroad workers and I recall being taught about the third rail when I was a child about the dangers
that it can present and as mentioned to respect and not fear what is is and what it can do...