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 CNJGeep
 
A post on the AltoonaWorks Facebook page shows two of the former GO/AMT F59PHs. It says they will be overhauled and painted for Metra. Is this true?
  by TrainManUPRR
 
Yes, Metra purchased 3 of them- ex-AMT 526, 530, and 532. The 3rd unit is on its way to Altoon now.
  by WelshPete
 
Any idea when Metra will be getting these units? I'm over from the UK in a couple of weeks and hoping they'll be about. Saw 532 at Altoona on April 30th.

Cheers
Pete
  by byte
 
There are some photos floating around online of these engines still in their old paint, sitting outside the shop at Altoona and (apparently) yet to be worked on. Guessing the soonest they'd be pulling trains on Metra would be late this year.
  by Backshophoss
 
Is it part of their rebuild to be fitted for Cab Signals to allow use on BNSF's "Racetrack" to Aurora, or are they
destined for exclusive use on former CNW lines?
  by TrainManUPRR
 
They will not have cab signals installed, so they'll be assigned to the Western Ave pool. I've heard they'll primarily work the Heritage Corridor, but I'm sure they'll be spotted on the NCS, MD-W, and MD-N from time to time as well.
  by Tadman
 
I think CNW requires cab signals as well so that rules out the UP/CNW lines.
  by Krusty
 
What is the status on the acquisition of the three Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (AMT) F59s?

What number series will be assigned to them? 300s, 500s?

For what purpose is Metra acquiring the orphans? They will be the only 710-powered locomotives in the fleet. My recollection is Metra acquired and rebuilt to F40PH-3 standards 215 and 216 to backfill for F40PHs being rebuilt. Are the F59s for the same purpose but for when MP36s are converted from -3S to -3C?
  by TrainManUPRR
 
One (526) is at KYD getting painted. Another (532) is scheduled to be delivered to Metra in Blue Island tomorrow. Not sure where the 3rd unit is.

They will be numbered METX 97, 98, and 99. They're desperately needed, since the -3C conversion, MP36 overhaul, and F40PHM-3 programs are all happening at once. Metra barely had enough spares already before those programs started.
  by Krusty
 
Thank you, TrainManUPRR. Will 97-99 be upgraded before delivery? If I recall correctly, Metrolink modified at least one of their F59s with a NOx after-treatment system. Metra is not planning to use urea. Right?
  by byte
 
The other day a part-time train enthusiast buddy of mine was visiting his sister, who has a condo overlooking the BNSF where it connects with the St. Charles Air Line; he sent me a couple photos of a METX switcher wying the 526 in that area. Altoona apparently primed it (it's white) but it was still numbered 526. Still has its Canadian-looking marker lights too.

I don't usually care about minor aesthetic details, but I was somewhat relieved that, per the photos, they apparently removed that silly sheet metal around the front handrails which had the GO and AMT logos on it under its previous owners. (always thought that looked kind of dumb...)
  by TrainManUPRR
 
The F59s will not receive any mechanical upgrades.

The class lights (unfortunately) are being removed at KYD. Altoona did all the prep and body work and primed all 3 for paint. The bell was removed from the cab roof in front of the windshield and placed on the frame where it belongs. An oscillating light was installed where the bell used to be.

I wholeheartedly agree on the sheetmetal!! It looked awful from day 1, and it looks MUCH better without it!

All 3 will be painted into the MP36 scheme.
  by byte
 
Found a photo someone else took of #526 when it was in Blue Island earlier this week: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=4296715

Regardless of which paint scheme it gets put on, these locomotives are going to look pretty bizzaro on Metra with that front porch.
  by MACTRAXX
 
byte wrote: I don't usually care about minor aesthetic details, but I was somewhat relieved that, per the photos, they apparently removed that silly sheet metal around the front handrails which had the GO and AMT logos on it under its previous owners. (always thought that looked kind of dumb...)
Byte (David):

That sheet steel on the front handrails was a GO Transit design feature - that began with the 1967 GP40TC units in which 8 were eventually were
acquired by Amtrak - and used the helvetica lettering "Amtrak" on their front ends...

Getting these F59s could be a good strategic move for METRA saving them major money as compared to brand new locomotives...If these work out -
and if there are more available - a small fleet group of F59s adding to these original 3 could help in a locomotive shortage...

MACTRAXX
  by c604.
 
Thats a shame they are getting the MP36 scheme. With their angular bodies i thought the F40 scheme would look pretty good on them.