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 Jersey_Mike
 
I might be in a position to finally take a NICTD ride out to South Bend and I was wondering if there is a reliable way to catch a Gallery car equipped train so I can video out the front window. Thanks.
  by Tadman
 
Mike, it used to be that they had fixed assignments but I'm not aware that happens anymore. The only constant I'm aware of is no trains to South Bend use 300's. This is because they only have single pans and the east end is still on 1927 catenary, which is far more frail than the rest of the railroad's modern catenary.

Filming out the front is fun, here's one of mine right after the new bridge went up at Hegewisch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRHmpI8 ... NazozsJKrw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you're out in the area, take time to fan a number of spots. I love the platform at Hegewisch due to the adjacent NS autorack yard. The north approach to CUS is also fun, as is anything along Roosevelt road with a mile of the river. Also given your signal/infrastructure penchant, you may want to hang out a bit at the parking garage at Wells/Lake, which looks down on Tower 18. 18 is one of the busiest junctions in railroading. Of course the downside is the fact that you'll be watching an endless parade of stainless 48' L cars with almost no variety... Good luck!
  by Jersey_Mike
 
Tadman wrote:Mike, it used to be that they had fixed assignments but I'm not aware that happens anymore. The only constant I'm aware of is no trains to South Bend use 300's. This is because they only have single pans and the east end is still on 1927 catenary, which is far more frail than the rest of the railroad's modern catenary.

Filming out the front is fun, here's one of mine right after the new bridge went up at Hegewisch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRHmpI8 ... NazozsJKrw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you're out in the area, take time to fan a number of spots. I love the platform at Hegewisch due to the adjacent NS autorack yard. The north approach to CUS is also fun, as is anything along Roosevelt road with a mile of the river. Also given your signal/infrastructure penchant, you may want to hang out a bit at the parking garage at Wells/Lake, which looks down on Tower 18. 18 is one of the busiest junctions in railroading. Of course the downside is the fact that you'll be watching an endless parade of stainless 48' L cars with almost no variety... Good luck!
I'm not a stranger to Chicago, I've just never been able to fit the NICTD into my schedule. Curtailing my trip at Michigan City might work, but I think I'll only have time for a trip to Dolton Junction, which I learned is METRA accessible.
  by ExCon90
 
Nice video. It's hard to identify the color of the bottom unit on the approach to the bridge before it changes to red. Is it lunar white? And do you know its significance? Usually a high green won't have anything under it but red.
  by justalurker66
 
ExCon90 wrote:Nice video. It's hard to identify the color of the bottom unit on the approach to the bridge before it changes to red. Is it lunar white? And do you know its significance? Usually a high green won't have anything under it but red.
The bottom signal is Red. It appears to be white for a moment, but there is only one color per element. NICTD does not use Lunar White (although Metra does - the signals entering Kensington Interlocking have lunar elements). Where Metra would use Lunar White for "Restricting", NICTD uses a flashing Red element.

Each signal head will have at least a red element. Yellow is added to the bottom head if needed to show Approach Diverging for a CP at the next signal. Yellow and Green are added to the bottom head at a CP if a diverging route is available and Diverging Approach or Diverging Clear are valid (respectively). The top head is normally complete, but can have the Green element removed if there is no Clear route (for example, the next signal is a CP at the end of a double track where the track the signal is for ends - Approach or Approach Diverging would be the least restrictive aspects). At a CP where the track ends the top head will be just a Red element.

The signal that is Green over Red in the video is an intermediate signal past the new bridge (the parking area to the right/north is for the Ford plant).

BTW: NICTD uses the inverted traffic light ... green over yellow over red vertical signal heads. Except at CP 35.2 (Sheridan Rd in Michigan City) where the eastbound signal head on the siding has the Red at the top. (Or at least it did the last time I saw it lit.)
  by ohioriverrailway
 
As of a couple weeks ago, the 5:58P out of town had gallery cars. We rode it to MC. It seemed like they were running just 1 set.
  by ExCon90
 
Justalurker, thanks for the detailed explanation; it's always difficult to determine the colors of a signal in a video -- and one of the advantages of a head-end video is reading the signals.
  by justalurker66
 
No problem ... I like signalling and operational details. Sometimes I am more of a rail fan than a train fan.