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 Tadman
So I've got this neato idea:

Take the old Pullman shops on the ME/Blue Island branch, and allow IRM to use some as annex space. The Blue Island branch of the electric distric doesn't operate on weekends, so IRM-annex could have it all to itself. Further, for tourists in town for the day without a car, or fans not wishing to drive out to Union, it could be a great opportunity to ride some historic equipment such as IC 1100-series MUs, CSS Orange MU's, the Little Joe, and anything else 1500vDC, as well as a diesel train or two. A shuttle could operate between Kensington, West Pullman, and Blue Island on the hour to deliver those visitors not using a car. Because of closer location to downtown and easier access to those without a car (ie tourist or city dwellers) the potential for a limited operation to expose many more people to IRM and Chicago Rail History is quite large.

I have no idea what this would cost, and it pretty much falls under the category of a foamer-dream. I don't usually publicize ideas that fall in this category, because it's kind of silly, but this sounds like the right combination of backers, interest, and City participation could make it fly.

My 2 cents, and I'm open to criticism. Just please keep in mind I acknowledge this as a foamer-dream, so please be constructive in your criticism.

  by doepack
Well, even if all the required forces somehow came together to make this happen (an iffy proposition at best), this IRM "event" would be restricted to Sundays and holidays most likely during the summer, since there is Blue Island branch service Saturdays on ME. It would also be a good idea to restrict fantrips with the vintage equipment to the BI branch only; it would be much easier to deal with an equipment breakdown there than trying to rescue something on the mainline, with live Metra service still running.

Consider too, that Metra is an agency that finds itself these days with slowly shrinking financial resources, and as such, even if Metra was amenable to the idea, it may not be economically feasible for them to assume the additional labor costs that this would surely bring...

  by octr202
I would assume the single largest issue would be insurance -- as long as its on Metra property, a good lawyer would find a way to sue Metra for something going wrong. I can't imagine they'd find the positive publicity would outweigh the legal risks.

Do you envision Metra or IRM personnel operating the trains, as well. Could be labor agreement issues there if IRM's going to operate.