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

Mike F and all ME fans: I like the photos of the ME - call them Highliner 2s I presume - It shows that a gallery hybrid car can be constructed possibly to Eastern clearances.Caltrain as another user of Gallery cars should be watching closely for possible electrification of the SF-SanJose rail line. Another thought would have been to take a MARC/VRE type bilevel and construct a MU version of it. VRE has really taking a liking to the Chicago-style Gallery car. This car can work for some other rail commuter agencies. MACTRAXX

  by MetraRy
i like the look too. its kinda weird because awhile ago the gallery car was considered a dying breed. No new orders as ever agency under the sun was going with the trilevel.

  by Tadman
It's kind of wierd how the gallery died, but Metra kept it alive, with VRE joining. What remains to be seen, though, is if this trend is happening because Metra has a diehard equipment commonality issue or if the trilevel (don't like 'em) was just a 20 year fad in the scheme of bilevels. Any ideas on the superiority of one to the other?

  by Nasadowsk
The gallery died because passengers generally hate them, at least outside of Chicago...

Anyone got a spec sheet on the new MUs? I can't find one anywhere...

Caltrain electrification? It's been kicked around for a few decades now. I'll believe it when I see it...

  by Tadman
I can't believe passengers hate them that much, I've never been on a trilevel, but I enjoy riding gallery cars on the Rock line now and then... They seem to ride nice, and the climate control works well - I'm not really sure what the gripe is. I especially like how Metra has mid-train snack bars in the vestibule - what a great concept for the exhausted commuter.

  by MetraRy
i never understood the problem with them either. Its seems to always be a nice smooth ride. I know there was a group on the westcoast that started a petition to have caltrain sell off its bilevels. I never road in a trilevel, so i dont know the comparsion.

  by metraRI
The complaints from non-Metra commuters may be caused by how other railroads have the interior set up. Caltrain may not have the same seating arrangement as Metra.

VRE's new "8500" cab cars will also not have the same type of seating, they are using bombardier type seats.

Here is a picture I found of a different seating arrangement in a 7600 series car not used by Metra:

  by MetraPace
CalTrain's bilevels are very similar to Metra's. The only real differences that I noticed when I was on them was that there were no sidways (bench type) seating on the upper level (although some Metra cars don't have them), a lever needs to be pulled to flip the seats from one direction to the other (at least on the upper level) and the cars that hold bikes have a number of seats removed to accomadate them. I think a typical passenger wouldn't even notice the difference between the interior of a CalTrain and Metra car. That's my two cents anyway.

  by MikeF
MetraPace wrote:a lever needs to be pulled to flip the seats from one direction to the other (at least on the upper level)
Can you explain this a little further? Or are you just referring to walkover seats, as opposed to the Heywood-Wakefield type "flipover" seats used on some pre-Metra cars?

  by MetraPace
The seats are similar to the ones on Metra's 7400/8400 and 6000/8500 series cars where the back of the seat slides from one side to the other to reverse the direction of the seat. However on CalTrain, a lever needs to be pulled to unlock it to allow for this to happen. I hope this makes more sense than what I previously posted.

  by RMadisonWI
Maybe Caltrain has different car interiors (or newer cars have different interiors than older ones). I've ridden Caltrain exactly once (in January), and sat in one gallery car, and the seats were like commuter/coach bus type seats (high backs and armrests) rather than Metra-style.

  by MetraRy
every caltrain gallery car that i have been on has high back seats unlike the seats metra uses.

  by MetraPace
I guess CalTrain must have changed the seats. Now that I'm thinking of it, I do remember hearing that they rebuilt their cars a few years ago. I was on CalTrain in 1998 and the seats at that time were what I described. Sorry if I've caused any confusion.

  by Metra kid
Is there any word on where the new "Highliner II's " are at. I heard from a crew member that they were being sent back to Japan.

  by Silverliner II
MikeF wrote:The 8400-series and 8500-series push-pull cab cars on the diesel lines have had desktop controls. The difference is that the push-pull cars have standard "diesel" desktops, with a throttle, automatic brake and independent brake, while the new M.U. cars have just one handle that combines acceleration and braking.
Off-tpoic question from an East Coast engineer. Am I to assume that the cab cars on the diesel lines there have an independent brake as well as an automatic? On cab cars from MBTA down to MARC and VRE, there is only an automatic brake (no independent). Blended braking is obtained from the cab car via the automatic brake, and I'd assume using just an independent brake from the cab would produce some nasty slack action when assisting a train to a stop in push mode (if so equipped)
Last edited by Silverliner II on Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.