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 doepack
F40CFan wrote:Well, here's a new one. I was waiting on the platform for 2220 this morning and the automated station announcement came on and said that the train was running 5 minutes late due to "waiting on other trains en route" and "accommodating passenger boarding". Huh? Aren't passenger trains supposed to board passengers? The train was not crowded by any means. I asked the conductor about it and he said it was a new one to him and had no idea what it meant. Seriously, they need to either make useful announcements or scrap this ridiculous system. They still haven't got the announcements right on 2227 either. As usual, the only useful announcements were made by the train crew.
Sometimes, "accommodating passengers" can mean several uses of the wheelchair lift en route. Or it could be "codespeak" for a train delayed due to being stopped somewhere waiting on the cops to remove an unruly passenger, or someone that balks at paying the fare. Either way, there's "accommodation" going on - one way or the other...
  by F40CFan
I find it disturbing that the conductor had no idea what it meant or why it was made. He's no rookie either.
  by lstone19
F40CFan wrote:I find it disturbing that the conductor had no idea what it meant or why it was made. He's no rookie either.
Assuming it was our regular conductor (I'm on vacation so was not on the train), he's very high seniority - started with the Milwaukee Road.

But the announcements for that train at Roselle, where it originates, are always messed up. Never a "will arrive in approximately X minutes" and the "now arriving" message seems to have no rhyme or reason to when it is announced. Sometimes, he's still sitting down at Roselle West changing ends (which had me first thinking it was when the dispatcher lined him up there) but other times it's when it's on its way from Roselle West to Roselle.

But Mr. Satellite makes the on-board announcement ("This is Milwaukee District West Line Train 2220 ...") at the programmed time (two(?) minutes before scheduled departure) whether it's in the station or not (I've had him in as early as 7:31 for our 7:37 departure but there are other days when it's after 7:37) so often, the announcement plays to an empty train.
  by F40CFan
It was the regular conductor. That whole automated announcement mess has never worked properly.
  by lstone19
The station version of Mr. Satellite has been in rare form this week. Yesterday, 2220 at Roselle was announced as an express "and will not stop". This morning, most inbounds were running late and 2218, which does not stop at Roselle, came through very close to 2220's time. But Mr. Satellite was busy with the fare increase announcement so people were running across the tracks thinking it was a slowing 2220 rather than a 70mph 2218. Finally, just as 2218 cleared the station, the "next train is an express" announcement played, a little too late to be of any good.
  by lstone19
On 2239 tonight, Mr. Satellite was announcing every station twice a few seconds apart. Probably means the system was turned on on two different cars. Maybe he thinks doing it twice makes up for the times he doesn't make announcements.