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 TrainManUPRR
 
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:I hope no bids. Time to put the dinosaurs in a museum as is instead of messing them up with enviro crap.
I agree completely!

None of this computerized junk we have now runs nearly as good as the tried and true EMD -2 modular electronics do.
  by F40CFan
 
I have to agree. I'd love to see them run again, but not with so many modifications they wouldn't be recognizable. The sad thing is that with so many parts harvested from them as noted above, they might never run again.
  by Tadman
 
I'm not sure why the stripped them, made them unusable, then bought (3) F59 because they were power short. Why not just run the C's?
  by c604.
 
From what I understand, what was said by the CMO in a board meeting a few months ago, the F59's are basically test beds/testing the waters of newer/different technology like the 710 engines and separate HEP engines. As a side note, the dealer that the F59's were purchased from had quite a few F40's for sale as well, so the reason of trying newer technology seems to hold true.

If no bidders are received for the F40C's or if plans change, what would be the odds of them being put through a Progress Rail rebuild like the 100's?
  by TrainManUPRR
 
^I'd say the odds are close to zero. The rebuild bid specifies they be converted them into "F59C"s.

As to why they continue to be stripped of parts and stored while we are so short of motive power? Your guess is as good as mine. The railroad industry as a whole does a LOT of stupid things, and the F40C saga is definitely one of them in my opinion.
  by Backshophoss
 
If the intention is to upgrade the F40C's to F59C's there's enough room to fit a 710 prime mover and a F59 HEP pallet,
with little change to the carbody shell.
Figure on some changes to radiator openings at best.
  by F40CFan
 
TrainManUPRR wrote:^I'd say the odds are close to zero. The rebuild bid specifies they be converted them into "F59C"s.

As to why they continue to be stripped of parts and stored while we are so short of motive power? Your guess is as good as mine. The railroad industry as a whole does a LOT of stupid things, and the F40C saga is definitely one of them in my opinion.
The bigger question is why did they scrap 13 F40Cs because they were "too old", and then rebuild F40PHs that were only 2 years younger? I heard unofficially that Metra wanted to get rid of them because they were the only pre-RTA locomotives left. Great idea. Scrap good working locomotives and try to replace them with MP36s which are crap on wheels. Only the government........
  by byte
 
I think a more reasonable guess as to why things turned out the way they did is that the agency did, in fact, intend on replacing the F40PHs when they reached a certain age, but it was only after the Cs were scrapped did the economy tank and the flaws in Chicago transit funding become glaringly obvious. Metra's not rebuilding engines (and buying used) because that's the preferred option; they're doing it because that's all they can afford.
  by TrainManUPRR
 
^Exactly correct.

To be honest I get the impression that if they were given some sort of "do-over" they would go back in time and just rebuild the C's rather than buy the MP36's.

The cost of rebuilding the F40PHs was FAR less than what replacing them with new units was, which was the main reason they went that route. Another reason is that I don't think they were all that happy with what the passenger locomotive market had to offer, either. They regret scrapping the F40Cs and learned from their mistakes.

Unfortunately the Progress rebuilds are crap. They run great now (after several modifications) when they are working properly, but they break down a lot. In time the mechanical forces will get them to a respectable level of reliability, it'll just take awhile. Currently all the geartrains on the prime movers are being redone (under warranty) at 47th because they weren't balanced properly by Progress. They were having a lot of problems with auxilary generators and main generator bearings because of the improper balance.

The MP36s' issues are well documented, but we've had them long enough now that they are actually the MOST reliable engines in the fleet. Metra has done numerous modifications, and the HEP conversion will eliminate the biggest problem these engines had.

The fleet is so small it's hard to keep everything maintained properly, but over time they really have corrected nearly all the problems with the computerized locomotives.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
The "F59C" sounds like what Metrolink wanted to do with a couple of F40PHs and SD60s. They wanted to have someone swap the guts. They actually did get no offers.
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