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 lstone19
I'm wondering if loads today are higher than Metra expected (given 80 degree weather in this last week of Winter). Other than an extra on the BNSF, their announced plans only were "additional seating". I was out and about in Roselle a little while ago and saw 2716, the 3:12pm CUS arrival go buy with eight cars (the six and seven car sets are normal on Saturday). Then, 15 minutes later, the ten-car set went inbound. I wasn't in position to see if there were passengers on board - my guess is it was deadheading in to run out as an extra. Very unusual to see the ten-car doing anything except it's Mon-Fri single round-trip.
  by doepack
Anytime Metra says there'll be "extra seating capacity" on its website during special events, it's a pretty good bet that longer trains will be the norm, especially on certain districts that have no extra trains scheduled. Nothing like unseasonably warm weather on a Saturday to bring out the crowds for a parade, and with that in mind, UP/W ran 9-car sets today, and all cars were open on most trains, which is rare. About the only other time that happens is during the Taste. Normal six-car sets should return for Sunday...
  by lstone19
Seeing the eight-car wasn't a surprise - I was thinking one of the longer trains would be out. Seeing the ten-car deadheading in was a big surprise. Since I now see newspaper accounts are indicating turnout for the parade was double what was expected, I'm not surprised Metra had to put on unplanned extras. I'm guessing the ten-car ran as an advance express to the 4:30 (the planned BNSF extra was at ~4:30 so that seems to be the time the peak was expected).

Operationally, the ten-car was a surprise since it's too long for all stations Roselle and east. We get the ten-car on the pre-holiday extras and us regulars between Bensenville and Roselle know about the car restrictions. But think about a packed train of non-regulars who then are told (if they can hear) that not all doors open at all stations.
  by metraRI
RI didn't seem to have any changes today. 2 of the 3 sets I saw were running with the usual 6 cars. Last weekend was RI's parade weekend, 3 extra sets ran to handle South Side parade-goers.
  by justalurker66
MED had one train run express because it filled up Saturday morning. Otherwise no service advisories for the MED.
  by sipes23
By chance I was walking by the Crystal Lake station in time to see the crowd waiting and boarding the 10AM train. It was massive. No, strike that, I've never seen a crowd that big waiting for a train. Double the size of a Cubs game crowd. Easily 200+. I'll bet it was standing room only by Palatine.

I didn't notice the train being any different than normal.
  by JamesT4
I was out railfanning that day with a couple of guys, & I noticed metra did ran an RI extra on the main line that stopped at Blue Island,it was around 3pm, I had seen it while crossing western ave. bridge over the line, even thou metra never posted about adding service on the RI, & it cane about 10-20 mins. before the regular RI off the Beverly came. Was heading to the station to get photos of the Chicago Rail Link when I seen the Metra RI extra.
  by Tadman
If you're out railfanning the CRL, you could save yourself the hassle by watching some footage of the Memphis Belle movies... CRL seems to only run power that is about to return to its carbon base, similar to a totally shot up B17.
  by lstone19
From talking to a trainman yesterday, it sounds like two extras were run on the Milwaukee West: the 9-car at 3:30 and the 10-car at 4:30. Two extras for 19 cars strikes me as a bit more than just the announced "additional seating".