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 Otto Vondrak
 
My Chicago friend tells me that there was a purpose-built lounge/bar car that operated on the Kenosha train? Sounds like that's gone, too.

-otto-

  by TheGortex
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:My Chicago friend tells me that there was a purpose-built lounge/bar car that operated on the Kenosha train? Sounds like that's gone, too.

-otto-
I think he might be referring to 553, which is an old ACF lounge car from the C&NW. You can only ride it if you own your seat on it. It runs every week day, once in the morning, once in the evening.

  by byte
 
It was either the private car (the previously mentioned 553) or one of two ex-C&NW club cars Metra used to own. I think these were retired around 1998 or so. The club cars had more spacious seating and would have been suited pretty well for bar-car service had Metra gotten more of them from the C&NW (at the expense of total train capacity). Externally, they didn't look too different from a regular bilevel aside from something on the door denoting its bar-car status.

  by Otto Vondrak
 
I'm told there's another car, the 555? No longer in service?

555

  by TheGortex
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:I'm told there's another car, the 555? No longer in service?
I believe that either 555 was scrapped, or that it runs on the UP/Northwest line.

  by Tadman
 
I used to live a mile from the Clybourn station, where UP-N and UP-NW split. It was a nice jog from my house, and I'd watch the rush hour trains roll thru after work - I saw 553 on afternoon trains all the time, but never saw 555. I hear it's gone, and I believe what I hear due to the fact I never saw it in 2 years.

  by MetraRy
 
555 has been gone for awhile now
  by milw_north_rider
 
I ride Milwaukee North daily (m-f) and ride in the bar car on inbound #2108 (6:08) out of Fox Lake and on outbound #2129 (4:40). And I read the article in the Sun-Times/Daily Southtown about closing the bar cars. An aging fleet I can understand, but more room?!? How can they fit more seats into a vestebule? I brought that up jokingly to one of our normal conductors and he then mentioned platform space and how one car (either front or rear) can not open at some stops becuase the bar car takes up one extra car. Well, then throw the bar car on the front or back of the train. Not too hard.

  by Otto Vondrak
 
We got the same explanations for no bars... when M-1's and M-3's were ordered for New York State, no provision for bar cars. When the M-2's were ordered for the New Haven Line, Connecticut commuters raised holy hell. Bar cars were included in the design order (I think there are six in the system). When diesel-hauled coaches were ordered from Bombardier in 1984, some New Haven coaches were outfitted with a small bar at one end or like three or four cars. Two were removed, and I think the rest go unused. The New York State cars have no such provision.

The design for the coaches was based on the Pullman-Standard "Comet" design, originally built for EL/NJDOT in 1970... and there was a bar built into some of the coaches. Long removed, you can still see ghosted lettering on the exterior of the cars that says SNACK BAR under the old road number.

I think they gained like 8 seats from taking out the coach bars.

And like I said, they stopped doing the "vestibule" bar car service years ago.

I think I need to come out to Chicago and do some "research."

-otto-

  by milw_north_rider
 
Well, come on out before they get rid of them. They're a blast, especially on Friday's on the 4:40pm departure to Fox Lake out of Union Station.

  by Tadman
 
Coming from a one-time semi-regular Metra rider and frequent CUS/OTS platform rat, the "more space" is pure convenient excuse. Somebody has an axe to grind, likely the legal department, and they seem to have more clout than those of us that enjoy a friday afternoon beer. What I would have given for a beer on friday afternoons on my way to the dunes... (metra, as co-sponsor of the South Shore, does not feel NICTD trains need a bar).