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 byte
A while back the owner of Island Model Works (http://islandmodelworks.com/) had me send him a copy of a set of blueprints I have for the new Metra Highliners. From those, he's been able to make plans for the production of both the diesel-hauled 8500-series cabs & 6100-series coaches and the new Highliners themselves. According to their website, they have almost enough pre-orders to make the diesel-hauled cars a reality, but that no interest in the Highliners had been shown. I figured that if there were any interest in either set of cars, it would probably be from people on this forum, so here's the link to said cars pre-order page: http://islandmodelworks.com/Chicago.html#gallery. As per that page, he's taking pre-orders for the electric cars until June 15th, which I'm seriously thinking about plunking down some scratch for within the next few days. The pre-order reservation is $15, and overall most coaches they sell go for $65. Not really a bad price considering no one else has what they're producing. I don't think I'm the only one who does HO-modeling on this forum, so maybe others would be interested as well, particularly before the opportunity for the Highliners dries up.

{A buddy of mine ordered some CTA 4000s from IMW a little while ago, and the supplied carbodies and underbodies are of good quality and easy to work with if you know what you're doing. (Their products are not complete cars, but shell/frame/window kits) I have some CTA 3200s on the way as well, although they probably won't be here for a few weeks (everything they do is custom-cast).}
  by jetfan
For those interested, here is an early shot of the cab car, it will undergo a few minor revisions prior to release later this month.

  by justalurker66
Looks nice ...

It is a shame there wasn't enough interest in the electrics - I might have bought a pair of the South Shore ones but I doubt if there are enough fans to make it (the extra doors, missing windows and moved trap door make them different from the ME cars). Another model company has been trying (and promising) for years to come up with the 1982-92 South Shore electrics. If there was a demand they would be in production.
  by jetfan
We may produce the South Shore cars in the future taking a chance on them, no promises though. The decals are being made along with Metra's electrics, so they would be useless without something to go to. Who knows what the future will bring, possibly even the single level cars.
  by mlrr
Here's the progress on my Cab car thus far (I have three coaches in addition to this). If all runs smoothly with this batch, I'll strongly consider a second purchase.

I hope to post a photo of the finished model within a month or so. So far all of the necessary resources are lining up pretty well for this project (decals, extra parts, etc.)

  by mlrr
Just an update:

I finished the shells with all the necessary markings and window inserts. IMW has more photos on its website but here's one of them.



There are some profile issues that need to be worked out and which I'm in the process of addressing now. I'll create a web page on my site in the future that will explain the necessary modifications that have to be made to correct the issue. If the tooling is improved for future models, these steps won't be necessary but they're not impossible or difficult to make at all. It just involves depressing the center of the trucks about 1/16" and re-adjusting the chassis.
  by bones
There are alot of issues that need to be worked out. I'll just wait for Walthers to come out with them.
  by Tom 677
Have you seen the new ROCK ISLAND/MILW stainless bi-levels coming soon from http://islandmodelworks.com/Chicagocommuter.htm ?

The website says "Available in June" (2010). I believe that the price will be in the sixty dollar range, just like the current Metra bilevels.

These will look nice when mixed with Kato/Walthers Pullman Standard bi-levels in a prototypical Rock Island Dummy (Suburban Train.)

A single cab car with one Proto 2000 Milwaukee Road E8/9 will make a COMPLETE, beautiful prototypical Scoot (Yet another Chicago slang for Suburban Train.)

From the look of the atached prototype photo, these kits will put the out of production Holgate & Reynolds / K Line / 3 Brothers kits to SHAME!

I think that the coach is also planned.

Tom 677
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  by mlrr
Just beware that you'll have to fool around (alot) with getting the cars to rest at the correct height if you want to mix them in with the other cars like you mention. These cars are significantly taller than the Kato or Walthers current Metra bi-levels that are circulating around out there (unprototypical). These cars are even taller than the walthers Superliners and are just about even with the height of the modern autoracks.

I've managed to re-claim about as much as I reasonably can with the height of these cars. I've been trying to see what can be done to correct this but my emails to IMW have been ignored over the past 2/3 weeks. Apparently not enough people are buying these so there's little incentive to make the necessary corrections to the model even for those who shelled out over 60 bucks a piece for them.

As mentioned in my earlier post, you'll have to depress the center of the trucks about 1/16" and make sure that the chassis is straightened out. They all seem to come with a raised center due to slight warping. This can be corrected by putting them on a baking sheet, putting them in an oven on low setting and sanding down the ends slightly as extra resin has appeared to make its way to the top side of the chassis. Just make sure that the underside of the chassis is completely straight and then sand down the ends on the tops side accordingly. these car will still tower over the Ex-CNW gallery cars but not as bad as they will if no modifications were made.
  by Otto Vondrak
This is one of the risks you take when you work with limited edition craftsman kits... Be prepared to "rework" them extensively to get exactly what you want.

  by mlrr
Otto Vondrak wrote:This is one of the risks you take when you work with limited edition craftsman kits... Be prepared to "rework" them extensively to get exactly what you want.


It's good to at least have a base to work from. Unfortunately, when the base itself is flawed, it's just money wasted :(.