realtype wrote:The only answer I have is that MARC must not know how to maintain equipment properly. On the Milwaukee West line we have Budd gallery cars from 1964 that ride 1000% better than the new Japanese bilevels. I remember riding the Pullmans and they too were as smooth as silk. All of the doors in Chicago are functional and the conductors use the controls in them whenever they can. I will grant you that the seats are not as comfortable as they could be, but that is easily corrected with an upgrade. If the cars are not working or riding problerly, I would fault the MARC shop crews. I have seen inside of the Kow cars and there is no way I would try to cram myself into one of those claustrophobic seating areas. I agree, have METRA buy the cars back and send the Japanese crap out east.m11stephen wrote:YES!!! I love those cars! Does anyone know when they should be back in service and will they have the same paint scheme they used to have?Why do you guys love those ancient gallery cars so much? MARC's ex-Metra cars (identical to VREs) are the most hated cars in the system. Fortunately, MARC only has a handful (~12) of them, and they can be only be run on one line thanks to their low-level boarding configuration. MARC got them because they were extremely cheap, MARC needed immediate relief for crowded trains, and they already had MARC colors . MARC is currently the only system in the Northeast to operate these crappy cars.
I've actually seen many riders purposely skip trains (myself included) just because they have gallery cars on them. The cars have seats with virtually no padding or support, the doors don't even work so the conductors have to manually drag each door open, none of the restrooms work, and the ride is so bad it is almost painful to ride over switches. It is 100% impossible for me to sleep on those cars, even though I can easily sleep comfortably on our 'real' bi-levels and single level cars (identical to the South Shore EMUs). Comparing riding in them to riding in our Kawasaki Bi-levels (not really fair since the Kawas are aguably the most advanced commuter rail coaches in the country) is like comparing riding an airplane in first class to riding in the cargo hold. Interestingly, MARC's West Virginia riders, don't seem to mind the gallery cars at all (good for them since they get half the gallery trains anyway). I think a MARC conductor summed up the gallery cars best when he said that "riding in them is like riding in a schoolbus." I couldn't agree more.
Sorry for the rant, but would Metra PLEASE buy these cars from MARC also.
Sorry for my rant, but there is no comparison between a real rail car and a "modern" car. The traditional car wins hands down.
"No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously."