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 octr202
M&Eman wrote:
octr202 wrote:Examples of inter-agency cooperation are few and far between. Aside from where two entities coordinate on joint service (the portion of RTA funding for South Shore operations, ConnDOT and Metro North, SEPTA and DelDOT) there are few to think of. About the only two I can think of are MARC and VRE's order for Kawasaki bi-levels (apparently successful, but I think this was mostly a cost savings measure on VRE's part to avoid having to pay design costs), or the ill-fated Boeing standard LRV (forced on the MBTA and MUNI in the 1970s). The Boeing project is probably enough to scare a lot of transit operators away from "joint orders" alone.
What about NJT and Septa on the SilverlinerIV/ArrowII?

Good catch. I should have looked to my left here on screen...although the two cars are not identical.

I suspect that if any of the bigger agencies that can afford to front the cost of new locomotive design can come up with a winner, that we'll see that set a startard for a while. So far, we've had Metra with the MP36, NJT with the PL42, and LIRR with the DE/DE30s. None appear to be real stellar products, with the LIRR's units a distant third, I would gather from what I've read. Should MPI ever perfect the MP36, or Alstom get the PL42 working right (I know, not holding my breath on either), I'd think we might have a chance at seeing other roads go for them. There's a lot of GP40/F40 units out there for agencies that don't have the budget that a Metra or NJT does, and they won't last forever.

Probably the closest we'll come to standardization.

  by octr202
byte wrote:
Tadman wrote:Funny thing is, our CTA 2400 series is Boeing-Vertol just like the Muni and MBTA trolleys, and about the same vintage too. While not my favorite cars on CTA as they are crusty and threadbare, I don't get the feeling they're junk. It's my understanding the Boeing trolleys were the biggest junk on rails.
You're exactly right, though I think the difference between the 2400s and the LRVs Boeing-Vertol built were in how they were specified by the customers. With the LRVs, the two cities that ordered them pretty much treated BV like they were a seasoned railcar manufacturer, and got a lot of bugs in their finished product. The CTA on the other hand, sent their own engineers into the project who worked with the B-V people to build a car that would work. In essence, the MBTA and Muni people said "Build us a car that looks like this" and got unreliable equipment where you didn't see, but the CTA people said "Build us this car" and showed them blueprints.

It's funny, the 2400s are the only Boeing-Vertol railcar fleet still running strong. I wonder if some of the larger trolley museums (other than the obvious IRM) will buy two-car sets when they're retired since they're the only cars they made that aren't junk and will more or less run reliably.

(and thus ends my off-topic CTA venture in the Metra forum)
At the risk of blatently contributing to a diversion, I think the CTA was blessed by working by themselves, and being in total control of the project. The LRV order was largely dictated by the Feds, and was designing a car that had to make compromises on both systems to get it to work. That's in addition to all the problems of using an untested builder.

Again, this probably just contributes to the sense that a commuter railroad/transit agency won't feel comfortable letting anyone else get invovled in designing their equipment if they can afford not to.
  by Metra210
Here's a question I would like to raise about the F40PHM-2s: Is anyone aware of when the rebuild program's scheduled to begin for these locomotives? According to the Metra Service Alerts that I receive to my Hotmail inbox, over the past two months, there have been a lot of delays/cancellations on the BNSF Line due to trains experiencing mechanical problems, and the F40Ms are used most often on that line. Thanks to this reason alone, I smell another rehabilitation project in the near future, and it smells awfully close, but I'm not expecting it to start until the MIA MPs and the F40Cs return to service. Any thoughts?
  by Backshophoss
Cat prime movers are a mixed bag when used in freight service(some good/some fails),
but never tested in passenger service,yet Progress/EMD is pushing a Cat prime mover (C-175 series)
to make Ca(CARB) happy for Metrolink(SCAX)service.

CARB=Ca. Air Resources Board.
  by F40CFan
Maybe now that Cat owns EMD and they are building the thing from the ground up, it'll work better. Can't be worse than the MP36-3S's.

Perhaps it will be a worthy successor to the F40PHM-2 (back on topic!).