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


With METRA re-acquiring some of its Pullman-Standard painted bilevel cars from MARC and VRE is there an easy
way through the numbers or other identifying features of being able to tell which ones were from the small group
of what I believe was 20 cars that date from around 1970 and were originally painted in the Rock Island red and
yellow color scheme lettered ROCK ISLAND?

I know that most of these cars were from the C&NW and were painted at first in the green and yellow color scheme
and then after the RTA takeover they were painted RTA colors - in which the locomotives looked fine and these
cars not so good in my opinion - I never cared for those colors on these cars and METRA colors were a big
improvement over the drab RTA colors that these cars once had...

Both MARC and VRE painted some in their color schemes and they looked fine - and I will add Nashville's Music
City Express commuter rail service uses former METRA painted bilevel cars also - and has Montreal's AMT kept
any of the former METRA cars that they had - have they sold them off or returned them to METRA?

I used to have access to ephemera about this rolling stock when the NRHS Library in Philadelphia was still open
before February 2008 - at which time it was closed and the contents placed into secure storage - but without that
access I believe Railroad.net is the place to ask about spotting and identifying these former RI cars...

Last edited by MACTRAXX on Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by c604.
I was told that a good spotting feature was their windows had rounded corners as opposed to more square on the ex-cnw cars. I believe they were used quite a bit on the north central when it first started so that might be a good place to look for photos. Their rta numbers were 7881-7885.

I remembered Bill Vandervoort's http://www.chicagorailfan.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and found the information and rosters that I was
searching for - it turns out that the Rock Island group of 1970 vintage gallery cars was only ten - five cabs and
five coaches...

METRA 7867-7871 formerly RI 155-159 and 7881-7885 formerly RI 115-119 - deactivated cab cars...

I was thinking originally numberwise of the 20 single level P-S cars with the large quarter point low level platform
doors which date from 1949 (RI 2700-2719) and never realized that the ten 1970 RI painted gallery cars were this
rare - in comparison RI had 20 Budd 1965 gallery cars:

METRA 7242-7256 Budd 1965 formerly RI 140-154 coaches
METRA 8220-8224 Budd 1965 formerly RI 110-114 cab cars

This is the type of ephmera we had on file at the NRHS Library - I now remember printing rosters from the
Chicago Railfan site and filing them into the collection there - and it is good to know they are still available.

  by Milwaukee_F40C
I have been thinking about making a partial list of secondhand owners of Metra cars for a while. Or someone else can do it. :-) The Pullman/St. Louis cars and the retired group of Burlington Budds have ended up all over the place.

I don't think AMT ever used the cars they got. I think some might have been sold to a sightseeing train in Quebec or scrapped.
  by Backshophoss
Any word why the MARC/ex METRA cars were cycled back to MARC? A CSX foulup or some other reason?
In the MARC thread,the MARC 79xx cars were shipped to METRA,then sent back!
  by Tadman
Good question about the red Rock bilevels - those along with the 1948 single-level P-S cars in red are some of my favorite. Those 1948 cars must've been in awful shape as they got dumped pretty early.
  by TrainManUPRR
All 11 of the ex-MARC cars are in the yard at Blue Island.

What were the numbers of these cars when before MARC renumbered them in the 7900s? I was curious if all 11 are ex-CNW or if some are ex-RI.