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 Scotty Burkhardt
I saw them at Roosevelt Rd. this morning. Metra electric has many 2 car trains. Most of the Blue Island runs are 2 cars as are many of the 93rd street runs.

  by bones
1203 and 1204 arrived at B.I. about 6:30PM.
NIRC 9 picked them up and they should be at KYD now.

  by PRRGuy
Cool, maybe I'll get lucky and see em over at 12th st.

  by Scotty Burkhardt
1201-1204 are now in service. I just watched 1203 and 1204 take off south from Van Buren Station. These things are cool and its real interesting to see bilevels without an engine.

The LED numberboards are a cool touch too. I think they would of looked sharp on the (front/rear?) of the cab units on the diesel lines.

  by doepack
Scotty, do you recall what route they were assigned to?

  by Tadman
I thought I saw them at 18th today, but couldn't look quick enough. Those dang walls make it a sea of pantographs and wire, but it's hard to actually see the trains.

  by doepack
We finally have liftoff: The new Highliners make their official debut on Monday, 12/19. See below for more details, and go get those pics...


Electric Line riders finally get relief
Tribune staff report

December 16, 2005, 8:57 PM CST

After years of complaining, Metra's Electric Line passengers will be able to ride on restroom-equipped commuter cars starting Monday.

The Highliner cars will make their maiden voyage on Train No. 114, which is scheduled to depart University Park at 8:26 a.m. and arrive at Millennium Station at Randolph Street at 9:29 a.m.

The four restroom-equipped cars also will be on Train No. 121, which departs Millennium Station at 12:30 p.m.; Train No. 126, which departs University Park at 1:57 p.m.; and Train No. 129, which departs Millennium Station at 3:35 p.m.

The schedule is expected to stay the same through the week.

Metra has ordered 26 Highliner cars, which will be added to trains as they arrive over the next three months. Initially, they will be only on the main line of the Electric Line.

Metra had intended to purchase 186 Highliner cars for the Electric Line, but deferred buying 160 earlier this year because it never received state funding for them.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

  by metraRI
Went out and saw train #129 this afternoon. It was nice to see a change of equipment on MED.

#1205 making a quick stop at Olympia Fields.

  by Tadman
I was always surprised at the way both generations of highliner had the pantographs mounted at opposing ends of the cars, rather than all on north end or all on south end - if you snag a pantograph, you're guaranteed to take out at least one other because of their proximity.

  by Metra 47 607
I rode train # 129 yesterday I think the cars look odd but I do like them the interior is pretty much the same as the 8500s except the upstairs is smaller due to the pantograph. Some passengers complained that there were less seats beacuse of the restroom but they were complaing that they had no restrooms before so you cant make anybody happy. I thin they should have designed the cars so they could MU with the highliners so every train could have restrooms. These cars are ok but I still like the highliners more.

  by byte
They would have designed them to MU with the old highliners if it was possible. However, the only way that could have been done was at the expense of the newer, better technology on the new cars. The new cars undoubtedly have completely different propulsion and braking systems, and "downgrading" those so they can MU with the older car would not be smart - the technology that drives the old highliners is almost 40 years old. The CTA bit the bullet of rolling stock incompatibility when they took delivery of the 2000 series in the 60's, Metra can too.

  by metraRI
How many new Highliners have been delievered? Last night 1205 was leading toward University Park, today 1207 is, with 1205-1206 behind.

  by Nasadowsk
Interesting that the pans are next to each other - that's frowned on here out east (though i believe it's still permitted anyway).

While I'm thinking of it - was the wire on the old IC raised for the highliners or was it always so high? IIRC, those cars can reach a bit higher than an Arrow or Silverliner, and especially near NYC, the wire can get awfully low (I recall hearing once about a surfacing operation that raised the track *just* enough that at times the wire would get low enough to lock the pan if the train bumped at just the right time on a warm day....)

  by byte
Pretty sure the wire's always been that high. The highliners ran alongside the old single-level MUs until the second order of highliners was delivered, and I doubt they would have spent the money to put new pans on all the old cars, which were slated for retirement in the near future anyway (when the first batch of highliners were delivered).

  by Tadman
No wire adjustments that I've ever heard of - if you look at old pics, those single level cars had fairly tall pans. Also, the original highliners had the pan mounted at the end of the carbody where it was only at single level. Immediately past the pan, the carbody steps up to bilevel.
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