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 MACTRAXX
 
c604: Interesting picture of NS's Diesel unit honoring US Veterans...Neat color scheme there...

Thinking of the SWS I recall that N&W used their Bicentennial 1776 unit on the Orland Park commuter
train sometime during the Summer of 1976...It was a nice touch there as it toured the N&W system.
This new NS unit reminds me of the N&W 1776 in some ways...

As a Heritage unit I would like to see at least one late 70s era F40PH kept in the RTA color scheme
that they were delivered with...Is there currently one in service now and if not how long ago was
there one? I have always liked those colors-and on the other hand disliked the color scheme of the
former C&NW and RI painted bilevel cars...Metra's colors look much better...

MACTRAXX
  by Tadman
 
As well as the blue N&W heritage unit, that was a Wabash-inspired livery if I recall. Too bad CUS is underground, it'd be a cool photo op at LaSalle. I've always thought it would be a cool fundraiser for a local museum if the IAIS 513, IANR 678, and RI 630/652 could pose at LaSalle Station with a few strings of bilevels. Charge $20 to get in, take as many pics as you want, money goes to IRM or something similar.

I think it would be relatively easy to borrow 513 for a weekend morning because it's in town on a weekly basis. The other three are not regulary in chicago and would have to be a special move (are 630 and 652 even running now?)
  by byte
 
Last I heard (and this was online, so it may not even be true) the RI 652 has one prime mover which will run, and the 630 doesn't run at all (except as a cab car).

Off topic jaunt: Here's a list of all the pre-E7 "skant nose" E-units still around:

B&O 51 (EA) at the B&O Railroad Museum
ACL 501(E3A) at the North Carolina Transportation Museum
CB&Q 9911A (E5A) at IRM
L&N 770 (E6A) at the Kentucky Railway Museum
CRI&P 630 (E6A) owned by the Iowa Northern Railway, stored off IANR property for the time being

Of these, B&O 51 was donated sans its main generators and has never run, and the L&N 770 is mostly a shell. The 630 operated at one time, and as I understand it its new owners are having it looked at to see what it needs to run again. Only the ACL 501 and CB&Q 9911A are currently operable.
  by Tadman
 
Byte, great post and thanks for the update on 652/630. The 501 also holds a special place for me - as a kid, I had a large picture of it hanging up. To me, it was one of a few key examples of "what a streamliner should be", along with IC's Panama and ATSF's Super Chief. I probably still have the picture somewhere, and I'm sure I still have my IC book and ATSF book. My parents like when the kids come home, so they leave our stuff be. We just happen to bring dogs and SO's, too.

Here's another crazy thought for a heritage fleet - wrap one set of new Highliners in dark green or chocolate brown with orange strip at the base.
  by Tadman
 
I've had a bit more thoughts on this topic lately. A Metra heritage fleet could really be more than just a railbuff play or a marketing play. A Metra Heritage Fleet could be a very interesting historic work - after all, Chicago is what it is today because of the railroads. The railroads moved captains of industry to the city before airliners, the railroads moved grain and animals to the trade markets and stockyards, they moved finished steel the the rest of the world, they moved new railcars to the rest of the world (and practically invented the sleeping car on the south side), they moved people to the world first split atom...

A heritage fleet, not just of the legacy commuter roads but also big name roads like NYC, PRR, and ATSF, could be an interesting way to illustrate Chicago's history for those that don't make it to museums every day.
  by mtuandrew
 
Tadman wrote:I've had a bit more thoughts on this topic lately. A Metra heritage fleet could really be more than just a railbuff play or a marketing play. A Metra Heritage Fleet could be a very interesting historic work - after all, Chicago is what it is today because of the railroads. The railroads moved captains of industry to the city before airliners, the railroads moved grain and animals to the trade markets and stockyards, they moved finished steel the the rest of the world, they moved new railcars to the rest of the world (and practically invented the sleeping car on the south side), they moved people to the world first split atom...

A heritage fleet, not just of the legacy commuter roads but also big name roads like NYC, PRR, and ATSF, could be an interesting way to illustrate Chicago's history for those that don't make it to museums every day.
Alright - if you are counting the lines with commuter or regional service at the transition period from steam to diesel, that gives:
-Alton/GM&O
-AT&SF
-B&O
-CB&Q
-C&EI
-CGW
-CMStP&P
-C&NW
-C&O/PM
-CRI&P
-C&WI
-Erie
-EJ&E?
-GTW
-IC
-Monon
-NYC
-PRR
-Soo (WC)
-Wabash

And I'm not counting the electric lines or lines hauled in by others (GN, NP, UP in particular.) Suppose Metra would be up for doing its own group of 20 locomotives?
  by ExCon90
 
The problem here is that NS is a profitable railroad and the chairman can do things like that if he feels it is of overall benefit to the company. I don't think Metra could cope with the flak that would result if they spent public funds on a project like this (though it would be great to see it happen). It would probably be necessary to approach the successor railroads to sponsor it as a joint project (would CSX and UP split the cost of the C&EI unit 50-50?). Considering how long it took participating railroads to fix Brighton Park, it could be a really long-term project.
  by mtuandrew
 
ExCon90 wrote:The problem here is that NS is a profitable railroad and the chairman can do things like that if he feels it is of overall benefit to the company. I don't think Metra could cope with the flak that would result if they spent public funds on a project like this (though it would be great to see it happen). It would probably be necessary to approach the successor railroads to sponsor it as a joint project (would CSX and UP split the cost of the C&EI unit 50-50?). Considering how long it took participating railroads to fix Brighton Park, it could be a really long-term project.
C&NW, CB&Q and IC seem easy targets, but you'd have a tough time convincing a railroad to donate that to a public agency. I doubt CP Rail would be interested in glorifying the classic SOO paint job in Chicago when CN operates all the ex-Soo trackage nearby, nor would CN want to show off the paint job of its bitter rival's American subsidiary. Meanwhile, the Alton nee GM&O has CN as a successor, even though the Union Pacific and the Kansas City Southern operate most of its remaining track. And, should we shake down Maytag, CSX, or IAIS for the CRI&P paint job?

If Metra wants heritage locomotives, the Class 1s aren't likely to just hand them over. Metra will have to do this itself, either alone or partnered with a railroad historical society. Perhaps they could convince an arts and cultural society to give them a grant.
  by CHTT1
 
Considering all the current public scrutiny about Metra's spending, I don't think spending a bunch on money on painting locomotives in the colors of defunct railroads would be a great public relations move.
  by ExCon90
 
mtuandrew wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:The problem here is that NS is a profitable railroad and the chairman can do things like that if he feels it is of overall benefit to the company. I don't think Metra could cope with the flak that would result if they spent public funds on a project like this (though it would be great to see it happen). It would probably be necessary to approach the successor railroads to sponsor it as a joint project (would CSX and UP split the cost of the C&EI unit 50-50?). Considering how long it took participating railroads to fix Brighton Park, it could be a really long-term project.
C&NW, CB&Q and IC seem easy targets, but you'd have a tough time convincing a railroad to donate that to a public agency. I doubt CP Rail would be interested in glorifying the classic SOO paint job in Chicago when CN operates all the ex-Soo trackage nearby, nor would CN want to show off the paint job of its bitter rival's American subsidiary. Meanwhile, the Alton nee GM&O has CN as a successor, even though the Union Pacific and the Kansas City Southern operate most of its remaining track. And, should we shake down Maytag, CSX, or IAIS for the CRI&P paint job?

If Metra wants heritage locomotives, the Class 1s aren't likely to just hand them over. Metra will have to do this itself, either alone or partnered with a railroad historical society. Perhaps they could convince an arts and cultural society to give them a grant.
Maybe Maytag, CSX, and IAIS could each pick one of the RI paint schemes and adopt that.