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 doepack
FWIW, doubleheading has been occurring less often on UP as well, especially on the west line, where everything I've seen has been solo lately; although I did see UP/NW 641 at OTC today with its usual extra unit. But sometimes I wonder if a protect unit is really needed on UP/W, it shouldn't be a big deal to fire up something from either Proviso or W. Chicago for a rescue mission in case an F40 goes belly-up on the Geneva sub...
  by F40CFan
They must be in a hurry. Saw 215 out on its own, shoving its train into CUS tonight (03/12/2010).
  by metraRI
There are now 8 known units out.. 123 has been gone for nearly 2 months, without anyone reporting it. There are now only 4 non-rebuilt units remaining on MD... 105, 114, 117, 121; HC has 112, 119, 124; SWS has 113, 120, 125, 126 remaining.
  by F40CFan
118 has been running on the break-in train. First saw it on 3/29/2010.
  by F40PH
It's taking me a 'minute' to get used to these upgrades as I am used to seeing the locomotive like this:

http://www.locophotos.com/pix/94/Metra% ... _94201.jpg

http://www.locophotos.com/pix/101/Metra ... 101273.jpg

http://www.locophotos.com/pix/87/Metra% ... _87451.jpg

The original pilot was a lot taller and balanced the front of the locomotive quite nicelyThe same goes with the large plow on the Amtrak F40s. I would not have minded a taller plow in lieu of the original pilot over the weed-cutter they used. I never did like the new angular fuel tanks no matter how much they simplfy construction. The air reservoirs, well, I'm used to seeing them in a similar location on freight units, so not that big of deal, but still, speaking only for myself, these changes not matter how sublte, take away from the 'classic' styling of the original F40 build. Heck, it even took me a while to get used to the paint change from the 'as delivered' 1977 scheme:

http://www.locophotos.com/pix/94/Metra% ... _94400.jpg

http://www.locophotos.com/pix/94/Metra% ... _94399.jpg

http://www.locophotos.com/pix/16/Northe ... _16695.jpg
  by c604.
I agree with you about the units loosing a little of their classic look and uniqueness when the original pilots were removed but I don't think the new plows look that bad either. But hey its a small sacrifice compared to what could have happened.....retire this group of F40's and order another batch of MP's. With their large angular fuel tanks these rebuilt units can now handle assignments on the MILW (and I'm guessing the same for the Rock)that could have only been handled by 400's or 200's in the past so that's a big plus. Now if they could just get these things to perform like F40's again, then we would be all set :-)
  by F40CFan
I was talking to an engineer about the rebuilds and he indicated that due to the wheel slip system, they sometimes have trouble getting up the slight incline when departing the north side of Union Station with an empty train if they don't have enough room to get speed up. Apparently, the detection is on the lead axle of the front truck which slips more, causing the computer to compensate. The cuts power on and off and the whole thing shudders. Kind of like the reverse of ABS kicking in. Oh well, you get what you pay for, just like the MPs.
  by EricL
Put the sand on! To hell with that rule about keeping the sand off over power switches... if we observed that rule with the P42s, aka Queens of Wheel Slip, we'd never get anywhere!

Speaking of sand, here's a question for the engineers who run Metra trains - do the cab cars have a sand button or switch to send a command thru the MU cables back to the engine? The Amtrak cab cars do not. Well, they do have a sand button, but it doesn't do anything. I hate running from the cab car on a rainy day, have it in 8 and before long you'll feel the entire train shudder behind you...
  by metraupwest
metraRI, I think the pics look best when it's cloudy out. Just a personal preference of mine, seems to make the colors more vivid.
  by F40CFan
Not often that you see Metra locos MU'd back to back and even more rare consecutively numbered. Also, that's the first rebuild I've seen off the MILW lines. Nice photos.
  by Tadman
One of the new units was MU'ed back-to-back with a winnebago a few days ago, I believe in preparation for the special moves last weekend.
  by F40CFan
215 is back on the MILW lines again. Saw it on an inbound MILW North Line scoot at Western Ave. around 8:15 on 4/14/2010.
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