Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:Hopefully IRM got some mechanical and cosmetic parts.Nope, we sure didn't.
Milwaukee_F40C wrote: I think most of the brown and orange cars still had a lot of the IC era exterior features which were changed with the silver paint scheme.There weren't any IC-era exterior features on the orange/brown cars which the blue/silver cars didn't have. Every single Highliner was put through a rehab in the early 90s which revised all cars in the fleet to the same specification; the first cars in this process were done in-house by Metra and kept the brown/orange. The rest of the cars were done by MK and painted blue/silver.
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:A plausible reason is that they didn't fit the mission of such a small museum, and they take up too much space. Hopefully IRM got some mechanical and cosmetic parts. I think most of the brown and orange cars still had a lot of the IC era exterior features which were changed with the silver paint scheme.That makes total sense but it's kinda nuts seeing as that they never did fit, and the museum held on to them for 10-ish years. I took the chief quite a lot from 2004 to 2009 and always wondered what the cars were doing there, along with a MILW combine and a Cadillac and Lake City diner. None of which had much to do with Mendota, CB&Q, or western Illinois.
Tadman wrote: That makes total sense but it's kinda nuts seeing as that they never did fit, and the museum held on to them for 10-ish years. I took the chief quite a lot from 2004 to 2009 and always wondered what the cars were doing there, along with a MILW combine and a Cadillac and Lake City diner. None of which had much to do with Mendota, CB&Q, or western Illinois.I had a chat with some volunteers at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum (tidy place with friendly people) last summer. When the first twenty-six new Highliners were delivered in ~2005(?) they were one of three non-profits which immediately got some of the old cars (Mendota and the Boone & Scenic Valley RR being the others). HVRRM got four, Mendota got two, and BSVRR got six - and all were free. I think that's the big reason they wound up in some unlikely places - the price was right. The HVRRM folks told me it was their original intent to use the cars as coaches, but discovered the Highliners are very, very different from any other type of passenger car out there. You can't MU them to a diesel to use as a cab car. They don't use the typical 480vDC Head End Power spec and are electrically a one-of-a-kind fleet. Adapter couplers are comparable to the Dodo bird in their rarity. HVRRM also falls under FRA regulatory authority (they operate on track owned by a local municipality and is officially considered within the national network). Because of this, a Highliner is considered a locomotive and must undergo the same regular inspections as they received while in Metra service. A necessary obligation for a commuter rail authority, but hardly worth it for a museum which might run them a hundred miles in a calendar year. Want to make them a non-locomotive in the eyes of the FRA? All you have to do is drop out the traction motors and disable the driving cab. But then you have the question of whether the artifact is preserved properly. And the issue of how to power the lights, doors, and HVAC in train service still hasn't been addressed if you can make it a coach in the FRA's eyes. Also remember that running sealed-window cars without operating HVAC is a sure-fire way for your local RR museum to generate some very nasty Yelp reviews from paying customers. These circumstances which prevent cars like these from being usable in a museum setting are unfortunate, but when the cars themselves are free it's not such a huge loss for the organization.
MACTRAXX wrote:Is anyone planning a "Farewell to the Highliners" fan trip?I might be wrong but I think IRM ran such trip about a year ago or more. I couldn't make it, unfortunately.