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 byte
FYI: IRM is having a Snowflake Special charter train on the MED (using the old Highliners, of course) on Sunday, November 9th. Tickets available here - http://www.irm.org/events/snowflakespecial.html

Note that this will likely be the only Highliner fantrip undertaken by any organization before the last of the old cars are retired.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
There are still some original St. Louis order Highliners running with mixes of older furnishing. I hope IRM selects those, or at least parts if the hulls aren't in good enough shape, so that they could make a somewhat accurate IC era set some day. A lineup of South Shore and IC suburban cars would make a good calendar picture.
  by byte
The Highliners have been modified extensively since they were built. In order to do a true restoration job (justifying a repaint), many removed interior components would need to be located or recreated, and significant changes to the propulsion systems would also need to take place. Speaking as a volunteer who will probably wind up working on these cars (but not officially for IRM), I would say it's fairly certain that any Highliners the museum buys will be preserved as "2014" cars as backdating them would be cost prohibitive.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
What was changed on the interior? I understand there were glass panels on the gallery, which never needed to be there. It looks like they got rid of the split pane windows on the blue stripe cars.
F40C and Everyone: I remember the comfortable seats used in the Highliners - I remember orange being used
and those glass interior windows were called "modesty" panels - back in the 70s more women wore dresses and
they were installed in a way to keep a passenger seated below from looking up the skirts or dresses of women
seated above in the single gallery seats...Those windows had originally the IC split-rail logos and later the ICG
dot-rail logos in white - these were decals...Did RTA or Metra logos be used in more recent years on those window
panels or were they removed?

My favorite "Highliner" feature was the square drop bar that allowed engineers to operate these cars with the door
open - a interesting feature for good weather but with vandals like rock throwers it could present a safety problem...

Preserving two Highliners and restoring them to their 70s appearance would be a good idea - especially if many of
the original parts and features these cars had could be kept...

  by Milwaukee_F40C
I never imagined that the glass panels would have modesty purposes, unless they were frosted. Metra stopped using the panels as far as I know, except for the panels on the end of the car above the train door (where there is a sort of floor connecting the two gallery sides). Those had etched or fake etch decal Metra logos.

The Highliner article on Wikipedia has a link to specifications and drawings for Bombardier cars:
http://www.sonic.net/~mly/Caltrain-Elec ... aft/a6.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It looks like the cars may have originally had seats on the "connection" between gallery floors as built.

From reading another forum, there may be a possibility that IRM will get two pairs of cars- two cars built by St. Louis and two cars built by Bombardier.
  by byte
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:I never imagined that the glass panels would have modesty purposes, unless they were frosted.
They were frosted.
  by byte
Just an FYI, there are still tickets available for the November 9th IRM Snowflake Special on the MED (featuring old Highliners). Go to http://www.irm.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and you'll see a big banner ad leading you to the purchase page. Order by Saturday and your ticket will be mailed to you; order after Saturday and you'll pick it up (will call) on the day of the trip.

Once again, for emphasis: This is 99.9% likely to be the only chartered trip on these cars before they are retired. IRM has been working with Metra for the past several months in order to make this trip happen; unlike previous years' charters on the CTA, Metra does not have a go-to policy manual for private charters, and this is kind of a one-off for them (and a rare opportunity for anyone riding). The last time the museum ran a charter on what is now the MED was around 1979, when it was the IC running the show.
  by CHTT1
I want to thank everyone involved with Sunday's Metra Electric excursion. It was a great day to travel on just about all ME trackage (couldn't get in to Blue Island station because cars are stored there on Sunday). Nice timing with our stop on Matteson, getting to see a CN container train make its way from southbound CN ex-IC to westbound CN ex-EJ&E on the new all-directions interchange.
I'm going to miss the original Highliners, the most comfortable commuter cars in the U.S.
The IRM always runs great excursions and I'm looking forward to the next one, promised for early in 2015, on the CTA, I imagine.
  by Tadman
If you get a chance, please post pics! I was in Pitt all weekend and couldn't ride the special, but the MED is a favorite of mine. Thanks!
Milwaukee_F40C wrote: The Highliner article on Wikipedia has a link to specifications and drawings for Bombardier cars:
http://www.sonic.net/~mly/Caltrain-Elec ... aft/a6.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
MF40C: Interesting comparison of two other Bombardier car types/orders to the late 70s RTA Highliner add-on order...

I remember the LIRR M7 drawings and plans well - the LIRR ended up with a fleet of 836 of these cars (7001-7836) and at the same
time Metro-North ordered 338 M7a cars (4000-4337) for a total of 1174 cars if my math is correct...

The drawing shows the LIRR car interior variation - MNCR's seat layout is literally the exact opposite of what the LIRR cars have...

I have never ridden or seen diagrams of the Montreal MR70 MU car and to me their strangest feature is the end door design...
I am not a fan of only using facing seats - a seat layout more resembling the M7s would be preferable-at least to me...

The Bombardier Highliner is a heavy weight MU car averaging 140,000 pounds - they outweigh LIRR's retired M1 MU cars by 50,000
pounds (M1s weighed 90,000 pounds) and the M3s by 30,000 pounds each...I was sort of surprised that such a heavy MU car can
use the relatively low voltage of 1500 VDC but they do - and as we know they have served the IC,RTA and Metra well over time...

I am glad that the IRM is involved with the Highliner retirement and will preserve at least one pair of each car type-the St. Louis Car
original and the Bombardier RTA add-on and it makes me wish that the IRM could have helped perhaps preserve two of SEPTA's now
retired former Silverliners - one PRR vintage Silverliner Two (1963) and one St.Louis Silverliner Three (1967-20 total built) instead of
all but one going to scrap as far as I know ( RDG S2 9001 for the Reading Company Technical Society) because once the're gone...

  by F40CFan
There was a string of Highliners on a storage track west/south of the MILW main opposite Western Ave. yard this morning.
  by CHTT1
Illinois Railway Museum has dibs on four Highliners. They were pointed out being stored at KYD during IRM's Snowflake Special tour of Metra Electric. And the Texas RR Museum wants Highliners? That's interesting.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
The fourth IRM car is still running.

My guess is they are "free" again for museums, so Texas decided to get some like those other museums did the last time. They still cost resources that could be spent on more historic artifacts, so I hope they make a lot of money using the Highliners as high capacity cars for Thomas or whatever they have in mind.
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