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 orangeline
Its been nearly a week, but I have several observations from my trip to the City last Sunday. Because of work circumstances I haven't had many opportunities to head downtown for more than a year and there've been a number of changes, not all for the better.

First, it was nice to see well patronized trains on a Sunday morning (my train left ~ 9:30). It was even better to see 8-car trains running on the Orange, Red and Brown lines (I assume Blue as well) and 6-car Green line runs. I know it was the last day of the Taste and fireworks were scheduled that night. Most of all I was very surprised to see a 6-car Pink line train! From the day it started, I don't recall seeing a Pink line train longer than 4 cars in length.

The reduced schedules were something of a nuisance, every 12 minutes instead of every 10 on the Orange line, but I guess its better than the every 15 minutes it was a few years ago. The 3200s look OLD inside. I know they're around for about 17 years, but they look more dated than that. And the trip between Midway and downtown seemed to take forever. Are there slow zones for the whole length of that line?

What happened to the new 5000s? I recall reading the test cars were removed from service at least a month ago due to mechanical concerns, but it'd be nice to get them into service to infuse new blood into a tired system.

Those are my $0.02.
  by Tadman
Maybe you got a rough pair of 3200's, I don't mind how they look. I ride brown/purple/red, and I'm thrilled to get 3200's. The A/C works perfect. On a hot summer day, there's nothing worse than a broke-a$$ pair of 2400's with faulty air conditioning and/or busted door relays. Those clunkers cannot be gotten rid of fast enough.
  by vxla
The 2400-series cars are just fine, I don't know why everyone hates on them. I rode them for years on the Lake street elevated from Oak Park, and hardly did a time come when the AC or heat didn't work.

The new 5000-series cars are still being tested on the system, and they're currently assigned to the Blue line. I'm guessing delivery isn't going to start happening by the end of 2010 like we were promised.
  by Tadman
I hate on the 2400's because I sweat thru my suit on the way to/from work when the AC doesn't work. That's always a classy move.

Or I hate on the 2400's because the door relay drops out and it takes ten minutes to fix while trains stack up behind the train in question.

Bring a leash, those trains are dogs.
  by byte
The 2400s aren't "bad" trains, they just never got the extensive mid-life rehabs the 2200s and 2600s got. Rather than shipping them out to a third-party rebuilder the CTA did the job in-house, and wasn't as comprehensive about it. Up until the 2600s got their mid-life rehab, the 2400s were generally considered better railcars (now the 2600s are electro-mechanically identical to the 3200s). Note that it was the 2600s dropping like flies during that blizzard in 1999, not the 2400s.

I really hope we get a pair of 2400s at IRM when they're retired. They don't have the "gee wiz" factor of the 2200s since those have blinker doors, but there's some real history there due to the fact that they were Boeing's only truly successful railcar product, and arguably the only product of the 1970s wave of aircraft manufacturers-building-railcars where the end product didn't fall short of its design spec in some way, shape, or form.