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 Tadman
 
There's the answer I'm looking for. Thanks Mike.


In regards to CSS using H1's, it could happen like this:
High levels at EC and Hammond, two very busy stations in Indiana, to the loop, would work - that would take the load off regular trains, allowing them to run express thru EC and Hammond while H1's run extras from EC to the loop. However, it's my impression that before the passenger capacity crunch, the CSS still was at capacity at the KY interchange, with the amount of trains passing through at the limit already. Further, I heard there was a 8-car limit to CSS trains passing thru KY interchange. For more interesting reading on this topic, the First and Fastest magazine had a neat story about running KY interchange in about 1960 a few issues ago.

  by MikeF
 
In order for the Highliners to be viable on the South Shore, they'd probably have to be rebuilt with AC propulsion like the rest of NICTD's fleet. Compared to the AC single-level cars, the Highliners are dogs.

Here's why I don't think they'd fly on the South Shore: the lack of toilets. South Shore riders complain about the absence of facilities on the trailers and the 100's ... imagine the backlash from entire trains of non-restroom-equipped cars!

  by octr202
 
Tadman wrote:There's the answer I'm looking for. Thanks Mike.


In regards to CSS using H1's, it could happen like this:
High levels at EC and Hammond, two very busy stations in Indiana, to the loop, would work - that would take the load off regular trains, allowing them to run express thru EC and Hammond while H1's run extras from EC to the loop. However, it's my impression that before the passenger capacity crunch, the CSS still was at capacity at the KY interchange, with the amount of trains passing through at the limit already. Further, I heard there was a 8-car limit to CSS trains passing thru KY interchange. For more interesting reading on this topic, the First and Fastest magazine had a neat story about running KY interchange in about 1960 a few issues ago.
Ahh yes, that's something like I was thinking about, with all the talk about the need for Dan Ryan alternatives. I envisioned them being a short-term measure just to provide more service on the west end of the CSS, since its been commented that CSS is running pretty much at capacity.

As to the toilets, perhaps if they are properly identified as temporary equipment for the duration of construction, and only for short (less than an hour) runs. I know I wouldn't want to be on a toilet-less Highliner all the way to South Bend!

  by METXElec
 
I live next to the Metra Electric mainline in Hyde Park, and I had been keeping note of which trains were using the new highliners, but I lost my annotated timetable. Have any of you been keeping track? If so, do you think we could put together a comprehensive list of trains that use the new equipment?

  by Tadman
 
I rode ME today for kicks, and although I rode H1's both ways, the engineer was thrilled to have the H2's on the property. When asked why, the predicted answer came up: brakes that work. If anybody has ever read Santucci's column about the three-way braking system on H1's, you would understand why.

  by Tadman
 
Are the bells on these cars electric simulators? They don't sound as mechanical as those on H1 or CSS.

  by doepack
 
Last time I checked, Metra runs two and four car trains respectively on its Blue Island and So Chgo shuttles, although I wonder if Metra has ever considered running one-car trains on these branches during nights and weekends, and if there are any actual operational reasons preventing them from doing so. Doubt it's going to happen, but for subsequent deliveries of the new Highliners, it would be interesting to see five or six of them with cabs at both ends for single unit operation...

  by byte
 
They probably would do that if they were double ended. I've never been to the end of the South Chicago branch, but at least at Blue Island, it's a pretty cramped "terminal" (if you can call it that) and there's not much room for switching yesterday's single car run onto today's early morning rush hour trainset going downtown. They also might not trust the reliability of a single car's brakes - if two are coupled together and one car decides to take a break from braking (no pun intended), the train will stop at the expense of platform distance. With one car, if the brakes start acting up then it could result a lot of complete platform overshoots and an overall unreliably timed operation. (I'm sure the H1s have better brakes than it would seem like I'm incinuating, however even if they're only "a little" unreliable I doubt Metra wants to take a chance on it.)

  by MikeF
 
Tadman wrote:Are the bells on these cars electric simulators? They don't sound as mechanical as those on H1 or CSS.
Yes, the new M.U. cars have the dreaded "e-bells."

  by octr202
 
It would probably be a question of whether the reduced cost of running a single car (after factoring in the added switching) would be worth it versus the added cost and lost space of putting two cabs on a car.

Are the H2's married pairs, or single units (mechanically) like the H1's?

I looked for Santucci's column about the H1 brakes, but couldn't find it. Could anyone describe briefly what is so unusual about the H1 brakes? Thanks in advance...

  by byte
 
I think the site it was hosted on went down, and for a while it was only accessible on Google's cache. However, I'll try to explain to the best of my memory. Basically, the H1s were built with a blended air/dynamic/hydraulic braking system. When it worked, according to the column, you could hit a platform at 40 mph and stop with no problem. However, the hydraulic brakes had a tendency to cut out entirely when they were applied. They apparently found no fix for this, as the H1s had their hydraulic brakes removed when they were rehabbed by MK and KYD in the mid 90s. Even so, there still seem to be problems with the reliability of the brakes (my guess is that it's with the air brakes, since a problem with the dynamics would indicate an electrical problem).

  by octr202
 
byte wrote:I think the site it was hosted on went down, and for a while it was only accessible on Google's cache. However, I'll try to explain to the best of my memory. Basically, the H1s were built with a blended air/dynamic/hydraulic braking system. When it worked, according to the column, you could hit a platform at 40 mph and stop with no problem. However, the hydraulic brakes had a tendency to cut out entirely when they were applied. They apparently found no fix for this, as the H1s had their hydraulic brakes removed when they were rehabbed by MK and KYD in the mid 90s. Even so, there still seem to be problems with the reliability of the brakes (my guess is that it's with the air brakes, since a problem with the dynamics would indicate an electrical problem).
Very interesting. Thanks for enlightening this east coaster.
  by metraRI
 
Bringing this old subject back to life; Metra today approved the purchase of another 160 Metra Electric Cars. The first cars of this second order will arrive in about two years.
  by justalurker66
 
metraRI wrote:Bringing this old subject back to life; Metra today approved the purchase of another 160 Metra Electric Cars. The first cars of this second order will arrive in about two years.
Good news.
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