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 E Runs
 
One of my running routes takes me along the MD-W line around MP8 and there's a freight that's been sitting on track 2, blocking the crossing at Galewood, for at least a half hour. I couldn't tell if it was East or Westbound but did see a CP truck driving along the ROW. Anyone know what gives? I don't want to presume anything but seeing as there's what's left of the Galewood Yard there, I'd have to think whatever the reason, it wasn't planned.

The only reason I bring this up is because it's unusual to have a train sitting at this location for any extended period of time.
  by doepack
 
Disabled frieght, eh? From your description, it sounds like Narragansett Ave. is blocked. If it isn't a derailment (hopefully), then locomotive trouble, or a broken air connection somewhere in the consist are among the more likely culprits, but that's just a guess. Sometimes it can take awhile to sort these things out, but since the freight is on two, it shouldn't be affecting the way Metra is routing trains through here; although I imagine there's a few Galewood passengers who'll either miss the train, or have to take an alternate route after getting off if they can't cross the tracks. Still, overall delays (if any) should be minor...
  by JamesT4
 
E Runs wrote:One of my running routes takes me along the MD-W line around MP8 and there's a freight that's been sitting on track 2, blocking the crossing at Galewood, for at least a half hour. I couldn't tell if it was East or Westbound but did see a CP truck driving along the ROW. Anyone know what gives? I don't want to presume anything but seeing as there's what's left of the Galewood Yard there, I'd have to think whatever the reason, it wasn't planned.

The only reason I bring this up is because it's unusual to have a train sitting at this location for any extended period of time.
That freight train you are talking about ran a absolute red signal at Galewood, think heard it was an Eastbound going towards the BRC??, I was out rail fanning the CP today , & happen to heard it on my scanner, & I had asked other people that was railfanning in the area to confirm it, and was told the same thing, that was heard on there scanners, Metra was still operating as normal, just inconvenience Galewood passengers who could not cross the tracks Legally.
  by E Runs
 
JamesT4 wrote:
That freight train you are talking about ran a absolute red signal at Galewood, think heard it was an Eastbound going towards the BRC??, I was out rail fanning the CP today , & happen to heard it on my scanner, & I had asked other people that was railfanning in the area to confirm it, and was told the same thing, that was heard on there scanners, Metra was still operating as normal, just inconvenience Galewood passengers who could not cross the tracks Legally.
Well that would explain it, thanks. Wonder if dumping the air caused any damage as there was a track gang just east of MP8.6 (Narragansett) by the crossovers doing some welding on Track 2 this afternoon.
  by lstone19
 
Normal Metra routing for eastbound trains off-hours that don't stop at Hansen Park or Grand/Cicero is to go 3 to 2 at Galewood. Entirely likely the plant was lined up for that move and the freight got through the switch. Having two out of service wouldn't be a problem for Metra so long as they could get the other end of the crossover lined back and then Metra would just stay on 3 until A-5 or all the way into CUS.
  by doepack
 
lstone19 wrote:Normal Metra routing for eastbound trains off-hours that don't stop at Hansen Park or Grand/Cicero is to go 3 to 2 at Galewood
That would be a somewhat strange routing, especially if A5 just sends him back up to 3 once it reaches Pacific Jct. But speaking of Galewood, is that an actual "live" interlocking now? Have the crossovers been upgraded to handle higher speeds?
  by lstone19
 
doepack wrote:
lstone19 wrote:Normal Metra routing for eastbound trains off-hours that don't stop at Hansen Park or Grand/Cicero is to go 3 to 2 at Galewood
That would be a somewhat strange routing, especially if A5 just sends him back up to 3 once it reaches Pacific Jct. But speaking of Galewood, is that an actual "live" interlocking now? Have the crossovers been upgraded to handle higher speeds?
Every time I've ridden on a weekend, we went 3 to 2 at Galewood (which are 40 mph crossovers - and since you've stopped at Galewood, you won't be up to the speed anyway) and stayed on 2 to CUS. I don't think 3 gets used much on weekends although I don't know why - just one of those Metra mysteries (I won't mention the day last week on a rush-hour inbound going 2 to 3 at B12, 3 to 2 at Galewood so we could pass a local, and then 2 back to 3 at A5 - oops, I guess I did mention it). The only reason I can think of for going 3 to 2 at Galewood means freights have no interference between Galewood yard and the BRC (although it takes only about 4 minutes to get from Galewood to the BRC so you'd think the operator would know if there was a potential conflict).
  by doepack
 
lstone19 wrote:
doepack wrote:
lstone19 wrote:Normal Metra routing for eastbound trains off-hours that don't stop at Hansen Park or Grand/Cicero is to go 3 to 2 at Galewood
That would be a somewhat strange routing, especially if A5 just sends him back up to 3 once it reaches Pacific Jct. But speaking of Galewood, is that an actual "live" interlocking now? Have the crossovers been upgraded to handle higher speeds?
Every time I've ridden on a weekend, we went 3 to 2 at Galewood (which are 40 mph crossovers - and since you've stopped at Galewood, you won't be up to the speed anyway) and stayed on 2 to CUS. I don't think 3 gets used much on weekends although I don't know why - just one of those Metra mysteries (I won't mention the day last week on a rush-hour inbound going 2 to 3 at B12, 3 to 2 at Galewood so we could pass a local, and then 2 back to 3 at A5 - oops, I guess I did mention it). The only reason I can think of for going 3 to 2 at Galewood means freights have no interference between Galewood yard and the BRC (although it takes only about 4 minutes to get from Galewood to the BRC so you'd think the operator would know if there was a potential conflict).
Right. And even if there was a potential confilct, it wouldn't seem that big of a deal to just wait until Metra was in the clear first before the freight gets a highball out of the yard toward the Belt, especially with the minimal service on weekends when they're not stopping at Grand/Cicero anyway. Another possible reason for the weird routings could involve some MOW work going on somewhere with certain track sections being out of service at any given time; particularly during one of those weekend maintenance windows.

Good to hear Galewood has been modernized into an actual interlocking (controlled remotely by the B12 dispatcher at Metra's CCF). There was a switchtender stationed there up until recently, but that has now been abolished. I think that leaves 11th Place on MED as one of the last locations on Metra's network that still staffs a full-time switchtender...
  by Tadman
 
Is that what that little shack is for between track 2 and 3 just north of the platforms?
  by justalurker66
 
Tadman wrote:Is that what that little shack is for between track 2 and 3 just north of the platforms?
At 11th Place? Yes.

I wouldn't mind seeing a day in the life of the switchtender at that location. I'm surprised that the switches are not at least automated from a tower but if there is any upgrade it would be directly to CTC.