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 steve4031
If I wanted to ride the 5000's would a mid day saturday trip on the pink line work? I understand from the earlier post that a set a week has been added since early May. So by now that would make about 10 sets. How many sets are needed to protect weekend service on the pink line?

  by lstone19
Lots of 5000s on the Pink now. If a train isn't, the next one probably will be.
  by steve4031
Thanks. It will be fun to ride them.
  by doepack
Good to see they're back in business...
  by Pacific 2-3-1
And they've now been given the green light to run on the GREEN LINE!

The first 6-car trainset starts running today, according to the CTA.

I remember when the Lake Street Elevated was completely re-equipped with air-conditioned Pullman-Standard-built 2000's, which ran in 2-car trainsets off-peak (with conductors collecting the fares, because the stations were mostly unmanned). The same was true for Milwaukee-Congress-Douglas and Ravenswood.

Today, I think the only place you'll see 2-car trainsets is the Yellow Line (Skokie Swift).
  by byte
As a result of the 5000s going to Green, its 2400s are now going to Red. So far I've already seen a fair amount of them mixed with 2600s trucking up and down the Dan Ryan, sometimes with six 24s in an eight car consist. Unsure where the respective 2600s they replaced have been going for the past three weeks or so if the initial introduction of 5000s to Green is just happening today. Have heard nothing on changing the assignment of the Purple line's 2400s.

The reassignment of 2400s to Red is largely temporary, as those cars are up next for replacement when enough 5000s start showing up. At that point the new cars will be put into Red line service as 2400s are retired.

Pacific 2-3-1 wrote: I remember when the Lake Street Elevated was completely re-equipped with air-conditioned Pullman-Standard-built 2000's, which ran in 2-car trainsets off-peak (with conductors collecting the fares, because the stations were mostly unmanned).
If you want to see 2000s in operation, you might want to check out this year's Trolley Pageant at IRM, on Saturday July 7th...
  by Chicagopcclcars
I saw the Green line 5000s SB at Garfield/Green at approximately 1200. Consist was CTA5081, CTA 5021, CTA 5077. They are all older cars and only had yellow LED signage. The 2400 series trains were all four cars as opposed to the six car 5000 consist.

David Harrison
  by R36 Combine Coach
Pacific 2-3-1 wrote: Today, I think the only place you'll see 2-car trainsets is the Yellow Line (Skokie Swift).
There are videos and photos of 2-car Pink Line off peak service. Not sure if that is still the case.
  by Tadman
Any idea where the Red 2600's are going that are displaced by Green's 2400s? IMO, the 2400s are the biggest jalopies by far on the entire system, and should get the boot before the 2200s (I know, they want to get rid of non-ADA cars...). I've been on more stalled 2400s in the last few years, usually failed door relays. I don't ride blue often but I've never been on a stalled 2200 train.
  by byte
Right now the 2200s are the only cars being replaced, 2400s are still intact as a fleet. When the 5000s first came onto the CTA, they were placed into service on Pink. The Pink line's 2600s then went to Blue, replacing 2200s one pair at a time. Now that Pink is fully equipped with 5000s, the latest deliveries of 5000s are replacing displacing (note, not replacing) 2400s on Green. Those 2400s are now being placed onto the Red line, and the 2600s they're displacing are, one pair at a time, replacing 2200s on the Blue line. Once all the 2200s are gone from the Blue line, then you'll probably start seeing direct replacement of 2400s on Red. Unsure how the Purple line's fleet of 2400s will factor into this.

2200s may be perceivably more reliable than 2400s, but having worked on similar equipment, one thing is true: when stuff fails on cars that old and you need spare parts, GOOD LUCK. Aside from ~2 electrical circuits (one being the automated announcements), nothing on the 2200s is more advanced than a transistor. It's also been relayed to me by more than one CTA employee that 2400s maintained at the Harlem shop on Green are better cars than those on the Purple being maintained at Howard (because the former facility is nowhere near as busy as the latter). Based on personal experience I'd say they're correct - Purple 2400s are absolute dogs, with flat wheels and out of sync propulsion control groups.
  by R36 Combine Coach
The 2200s and 2400s share the same GE SCM cam control system - which is late '50s technology. The 2600s also had this as factory equipment, but was replaced with microprocessor equipment during the Alstom overhaul program.

I'd would assume at some point in the near future, 5000s would be assigned to the Purple Line, along their 2400s to be taken out of service.
  by Tadman
Is the out-of-sync propulsion the reason the purple 2400s buck and throw up that loud popping noise from the draft gear, where it feels like one car is in full brake application for a split second while one car is in full power?

I've always wondered wtf is going on in that scenario. It can't be good...
  by byte
That would be it. There are also components in the draft gear which would otherwise prevent that sort of bucking - when they're brand new and not worn out. Although the 2200s don't have the same door issues and the propulsion control groups tend to be more consistent, they have the same issue with worn out draft gear.

Edit: It should be noted that the 2200s have, in recent years, had a much smoother service life than the 2400s, since they've been confined to the Blue line (except for maybe six months several years ago when some were running on Pink) since the 2600s were delivered. Blue Line: Smooth track on a newer grade, long distances between stations, no junctions with other revenue lines. Green/Purple: More frequent stops on the elevated structure or grade level running, more stops/starts due to waiting on other trains at junctions. 2200s aren't necessarily "better" cars, they're just not being driven hard and put away wet like the 2400s are.
  by Tadman
Interesting comparison. The 2400s didn't have the same horrendous problems as the other Boeing cars (SFO and Boston) did, do you attribute any of the later problems to Boeing? I'm not looking to hang Boeing, just curious.

Also, ever notice the motors on the 2200s are quite a bit louder? They remind me of old heavy interurban cars and CTA plushies/baldies.
  by byte
Although not as well-loved by the traction foamer community as 2200s, the 2400s were considered to be good cars upon delivery, and in fact had fewer problems upon delivery than the 2600s. The difference between the ill-fated MBTA and MUNI LRVs and the 2400s was that the CTA's engineering staff was on Boeing at all times to ensure the delivered product would work well and wasn't loaded with unfamiliar technology. The LRVs didn't work all that well because the agencies receiving them were far less picky about the technology going into them ("build us a car that's this long, holds this many people, and goes this fast"), and they were also part of that USDOT sponsored, well-intentioned but poorly-executed, US Standard LRV project, whose goal was to produce a standardized vehicle for replacing all the aging PCC cars out there. The end conclusion to that was that you can't build a standardized LRV; every system is different and have their own unique equipment needs.

The 2200s do have a little interurban noise to them, though that might have to do more with soundproofing than anything else. You're going hear less noise on cars with sliding doors because there's fewer gaps in the doorway to let noise in. Once IRM gets the 2000s up and running on the mainline I'll have to see if they make the same noise at higher speeds (same type of motor on both series of cars). I do know that you can run a 2000/2200 motor off a car battery and it spins (albeit slowly...).