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 Tadman
 
So I'm on hold at my desk and I pull out an old edition of Trains Mag (10/83) and I see that MILW withdrew from RTA in early 1982, then sold the operation to RTA in late 1982. Am I correct in understanding that MILW operated commuter trains as a completely private carrier for a while in 1982, no subsidy or otherwise gov't interference other than the usual FRA and ICC?
  by doepack
 
The RTA had been directly operating the MILW's commuter service under a purchase of service agreement which took effect shortly after the MILW's bankruptcy. As I understand it, in early 1982, the MILW began having doubts about the RTA's ability to subsidize the service due to the latter's financial crisis at the time, so they withdrew from the service. There may have been other factors at work as well, but I suspect that being the main one. At that point, the station facilities and ROW became the property of the recently formed NIRC (a direct Metra predecessor which was created the year before to operate the Rock's commuter service after CNW said "no mas"); while the commuter cars and locomotives (including all F40C's) remained the property of either NWSMTD or NORTAN.

The NIRC began operating the service under a lease agreement with RTA in early 1982, but then assumed direct operation of the service later that year after the MILW sold it off. They eventually bought the entire commuter service as Metra a few years later...
  by F40CFan
 
I have a collection of monthly passes and they cover the period when the MILW ran the service on its own.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
So what it sounds like is Milwaukee withdrew from RTA but still ran the service under NIRC, NWSMTD, and Nortran who procured capital improvements and purchased the existing stations and equipment. Did any of those three agencies also subsidize any operating expenses? If not, then Milwaukee was probably running the trains (staffing, maintenance, and supplies) out of its own pocket. Did they make a profit? :-D

Hang on to that collection of monthlies, it might be the only one.
  by doepack
 
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:So what it sounds like is Milwaukee withdrew from RTA but still ran the service under NIRC, NWSMTD, and Nortran who procured capital improvements and purchased the existing stations and equipment.
Correct.
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:Did any of those three agencies also subsidize any operating expenses? If not, then Milwaukee was probably running the trains (staffing, maintenance, and supplies) out of its own pocket.
I remember a conversation awhile back about the RTA's 1982 fare increases at a transportation seminar I attended at U of Chgo. As stated before, RTA's 1981 funding crisis had damaged their ability to subsidize the service, chief among the reasons MILW didn't renew the contract. But specifically, the discussion centered on how the increases for the MILW commuter service seemed disproportionately higher than those imposed on other routes. In the most extreme example, a monthly pass to Walworth, WI spiked from $92.95 in 1979 to over $200 in just three years. And, perhaps not coincidentally, service to Walworth ended and was cut back to the current Fox Lake terminal when RTA/NIRC took direct control of the service on 10/1/82, after Walworth declined chip in for a subsidy to continue the service. That much is known.

Also keep in mind that the 1982 version of the Milwaukee Road was a more leaner, regional railroad after it emerged from its 1977 bankruptcy. As a restructured company, they were likely not equipped financially to handle the commuter operation and it didn't take them long to put the lines up for sale. So when considering all of this, it seems likely that Milwaukee was indeed operating the service privately for awhile in 1982, with no direct subsidy from RTA or the mass transit districts, and likely at a loss. But unfortunately, the finer points of events that happened over 30 years ago become faded with time, and there's still some key unknown details, such as: Who was in charge of the railroad at the time? What was their philosophy? Were all decisions strictly shareholder driven? (I'm inclined to think so, especially at a restructured company, but again, that's guesswork). Knowing the answers to these and other questions will help us better understand what was really going on at the time.

In any case, I think a trip to the library is in order, to get the full story...
  by F40CFan
 
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:Hang on to that collection of monthlies, it might be the only one.
Here are some of the ticket images. This is the last original Milwaukee Road monthly and the first RTA/MILW monthly; I couldn't copy the images and paste them, but I hope this link works.

http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/hom ... 800&part=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


This is the last RTA/MILW ticket and the first MILW only;

http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/hom ... 821&part=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


And this is the last MILW only and first RTA/NIRCRC ticket;

http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/hom ... 820&part=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Ken S.
 
F40CFan wrote:
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:Hang on to that collection of monthlies, it might be the only one.
Here are some of the ticket images. This is the last original Milwaukee Road monthly and the first RTA/MILW monthly; I couldn't copy the images and paste them, but I hope this link works.

http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/hom ... 800&part=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


This is the last RTA/MILW ticket and the first MILW only;

http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/hom ... 821&part=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


And this is the last MILW only and first RTA/NIRCRC ticket;

http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/hom ... 820&part=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Links don't work.
  by F40CFan
 
Sorry, I'll work on it. I tried copying and pasting into the post, but the paste wouldn't work.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
F40CFan wrote:Sorry, I'll work on it. I tried copying and pasting into the post, but the paste wouldn't work.
Just upload the images directly into this thread, or put them on flickr or photobucket or whatever. The link you posted take us into your email, so unless you want to hand over your username and password (please don't do that)... :-)

-otto-
  by F40CFan
 
Ok, I think I have it. This first image is the last Milwaukee Road monthly and the first RTA subsidized monthly.
MILW_RD_Monthlies_1.pdf

This is the last RTA subsidized ticket and the first "independent" Milwaukee Road ticket.
MILW_RD_Monthlies_2.pdf

This is the last Milwaukee Road ticket and the first NIRC ticket.
MILW_RD_Monthlies_3.pdf
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