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 byte
 
AMTK84 wrote:If it took 3 years to work out the problems with there current ones, one can only wonder what new stuff will be like.
Think the current MP36es with 710 prime movers. No way they can keep getting away with 645s. Next time they order locomotives, it might not even be legal (per EPA rules) to put a 645 in an American locomotive.

And mechanically, the F40PHs probably have a lot of life left in them. Remember, the only other sizeable group to compare Metra's fleet to is Amtrak's - and those were pretty much beaten to hell (long trips across the desert, periodic mothballing, maintinence when it's affordable, etc,.). So just because all of Amtrak's are gone doesn't mean that clock is ticking very quickly for Metra's. They've been treated much better.

  by doepack
 
An obligatory reference for you F40C fans: On my NCS trip from Tuesday, 5/9, I did see 611 and 614 along with one 7200 coach sitting along the north end of Western Ave yard. Got a better view of them on the inbound trip, and while I don't know what shape they're in mechanically, they're starting to look a little worn on the outside. The red paint on 611's nose is starting to fade a bit...

  by F40CFan
 
doepack wrote:An obligatory reference for you F40C fans: On my NCS trip from Tuesday, 5/9, I did see 611 and 614 along with one 7200 coach sitting along the north end of Western Ave yard. Got a better view of them on the inbound trip, and while I don't know what shape they're in mechanically, they're starting to look a little worn on the outside. The red paint on 611's nose is starting to fade a bit...
They've been sitting there for a while. I see them every day while going to and from work. There used to be a Pullman cab car attached also, but its been gone for a few days if not longer. Hopefully they still run and hopefully IRM will get at least one so it/they can run again.

  by metraRI
 
How much more time do 611 & 614 have to stay on Metra property?

  by F40CFan
 
I don't know, but sometime in the last week, they lost the coach they were stored with. They're now sitting all alone at Western.
  by hymietown
 
I am a METRA engineer. I work at Western Ave. often. The 611/614 are not officially retired. As a matter of fact numerous members of the management are pushing to have them used in weekend service due to their larger fuel capacity. Some have even suggested using them as switch engines, but for the lack of platforms on front and back. I ran the 614 as recently as 8 or 9 months ago. They are on ground power. And on occasion they are moved around the yard to keep them in running order, and to make sure they don't rust to the rails. Keep your fingers crossed, and know that there are those among the ranks that are pushing for the return of the big boys.

  by AMTK84
 
I have not heard anything about the MP36's having fuel problems; from what I am told they have a fuel tank that can more then handle the job on weekends. The F40C's are well-liked by engineers, but are geting so old and unreliable that Metra likely wouldn't want them running, especially on weekend trains when Western Avenue is basicly unstaffed. I think the reason that we aren't seeing mainline service out of these things today is because Metra did just what they had to to keep them running, and only that. Had they been maintained propperly, all 15 of them would likely still be out there today. Now I haven't heard from my source yet (I will hopefully by 06:30) but guys, please don't get your hopes up.

  by byte
 
The F40Cs were maintained properly. It's just that after so many years in service, major components start getting worn out and in need of replacement or heavy overhaul (generator, prime mover, etc), and that requires the removal of the hood. The process of taking it off, and replacing the components inside is costly, and not very progressive in that it's still a locomotive of a 30-year old design. Although a new locomotive costs more, it will also have as-built improvements and have no age-related ailments.

  by MetraF40C607
 
All I can say is i'm going to believe someone who works for Metra and hears things a lot more than someone who doesn't. If they're pushing to get them back into mainline service, that would be great, even if only on the weekends. The MP36s don't have fuel problems, but let's note that on the MILW-W line, they don't use the same trainsets all day on the weekend. They use 3-4 different sets. This could be because the engines can't go two days without fueling. Top off an F40C, that wouldn't be any problem at all.

  by metraRI
 
All Metra lines use multiple sets for weekend operations, RI uses at least 5 different sets. The two Sunday sets now run with MP36's. If Metra decides to put the C's back into service..great, however I don't see it happening after Metra has refused to use them for months. Plus with the addition of F40PHM-2's to MILW's locomotive pool...there does not seem to be a reason to pull them out of Western Ave.

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Just a reminder...please watch what you post, there doesn't need to be another locked F40C thread.

  by AMTK84
 
I talked with my Metra source (head of the diesel house) today at 2:19 PM...

He said the following: "614 and 611 aren't going anywhere. The only reason we ran them in January of 2005 was because of an engine shortage; if the same exact thing were to happen today, we wouldn't run them, let alone run them in weekend service."

Time will tell...

  by Pro_F40C
 
hymietown,

It seems odd, to me anyway, that Metra would want to run their F40C's after they have adamantly refused to for so long. If what you say is true, and AMTK84 is wrong, why now after almost two years (614 was retired in June of 2004) would Metra suddenly want to bring out the two remaining F40C's? They have been running MP36's in weekend service.
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Just because this person says that he works for Metra, that doesn't necessarily mean that he works for Metra. From what I have seen, AMTK84 does his best to provide accurate information. When he's wrong, he admits it. Have the F40C's operated in regular mainline service since AMTK84 posted that they wouldn't? That's something to think about it. Until we find out the 100% truth (which I suspect will never happen), there's no need to question everything AMTK84 says. Remember...AMTK84 doesn't have to share any of the information that he gets. Would you rather AMTK84 not post at all? Now I don't know, because I have never talked with AMTK84 before, but my guess is that he shares his info to be nice because he wants everyone to have an accurate source of information. However, like AMTK84 said...only time will tell.
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metraRI,

Feel free to lock the topic. Obviously, nobody but those people who are actually trying to provide factual information, have taken this thread seriously, and nobody wants to accept what appears to be the truth; rather they want to go on thinking that the F40C's will return to mainline service, no matter what stories they have to make up to believe this.

  by doepack
 
F40CFan wrote:I don't know, but sometime in the last week, they lost the coach they were stored with. They're now sitting all alone at Western.
Does anyone know why those two were paired with that coach to begin with?

  by metraRI
 
From what I have seen, the coaches paired with 611/614 over the last few months were retired and waiting to be removed from Metra property.

As of right now there isn't a reason to lock the thread..I just wanted to remind anyone posting to be cautious of what they say.

  by CNW5022-A519
 
Hymietown can be taken for his word, he is a Metra Engineer and does know his stuff.
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