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 BrianLM007
 
There have been times where NICTD has stepped up to the plate and made all of the stops north of Kensington on the ME. The last time I recall this happening was in December 2008 when there was a massive ice storm that hit the South Suburbs worse then anything else. The storm coated the catenary with a large amount of ice and it stranded the great majority of the Metra Electric fleet that morning. The South Shore fleet was not stranded and ran, albeit very slowly. I happened to catch Train 110 that morning and can recall the slow running on the SS and the noise the pantographs would make when they made contact with a piece of ice on the catenary. When we reached Kensington, the conductor got on the horn and stated that we were going to help Metra out this morning and make ALL the stops between Kensington and Randolph Street. What proceeded was the South Shore putt-putting North along the Metra Electic line, with the conductors trying to figure out all those intermediate stops. I recall the conductor announcing at one point, "some station being next, but I'm not sure which one it is, but we're heading north!". Train 110 is generally due to arrive at Randolph right around 7:50 AM, and I think we finally got there sometime around 9 - 9:30 AM. I imagine if something similar happens that knocks out the ME fleet, the South Shore would step up.

Also, on the way to Indiana since the new track has been put into operation, the South Shore has "unofficially" stopped at Kensington a couple of times to let an ME rider off that incorrectly got on a South Shore train (similar to the "unofficial" stop the SS makes when they pick up a South Shore Freight crew at Burnham Yard when that crew is done for the day). This works since on the return trip, the South Shore still uses the "traditional" route to switch off the ME to its own tracks.
  by Tadman
 
What was the 9/11/2011 evacuation? I don't recall this.

Also, little know fact, but Metra leased a handful (6?) NICTD cars in the early 90s to run Blue Island trains when they started the orange-to-blue rebuilds of the highliners. It was in First and Fastest, and for a while, you could still find a few MUs with Metra train number signs in the window.
  by justalurker66
 
Tadman wrote:What was the 9/11/2011 evacuation? I don't recall this.
It is called a typo. I figure that much should be obvious and since I can't edit a post that old hopefully the next reader will be more understanding.
Tadman wrote:Also, little know fact, but Metra leased a handful (6?) NICTD cars in the early 90s to run Blue Island trains when they started the orange-to-blue rebuilds of the highliners. It was in First and Fastest, and for a while, you could still find a few MUs with Metra train number signs in the window.
It seems fair. NICTD/CSS&SB leased enough Metra trains over the years to keep their service running. Metra owned eight of the single level cars (31-38), which had a prominent RTA logo and leasing plate. With cars being replaced over time and the change in ownership/operation of the line from CSS&SB to NICTD I do not know how many (if any) South Shore cars Metra still owns.
  by justalurker66
 
BrianLM007 wrote:I happened to catch Train 110 that morning and can recall the slow running on the SS and the noise the pantographs would make when they made contact with a piece of ice on the catenary. When we reached Kensington, the conductor got on the horn and stated that we were going to help Metra out this morning and make ALL the stops between Kensington and Randolph Street. What proceeded was the South Shore putt-putting North along the Metra Electic line, with the conductors trying to figure out all those intermediate stops. I recall the conductor announcing at one point, "some station being next, but I'm not sure which one it is, but we're heading north!". Train 110 is generally due to arrive at Randolph right around 7:50 AM, and I think we finally got there sometime around 9 - 9:30 AM. I imagine if something similar happens that knocks out the ME fleet, the South Shore would step up.
That would have been an interesting trip to be on. Was NICTD ridership down due to the storm? While helping out Metra isn't a bad thing I'm surprised that a peak train had the capacity to add extra passengers.
BrianLM007 wrote:Also, on the way to Indiana since the new track has been put into operation, the South Shore has "unofficially" stopped at Kensington a couple of times to let an ME rider off that incorrectly got on a South Shore train (similar to the "unofficial" stop the SS makes when they pick up a South Shore Freight crew at Burnham Yard when that crew is done for the day). This works since on the return trip, the South Shore still uses the "traditional" route to switch off the ME to its own tracks.
An "outbound" NICTD train can pass either side of the platform but yes, a stop is still possible to rid the train of confused Metra passengers. Not that NICTD passengers can be less confused. EVERY time I have been on the platform at Kensington when trains are present I have seen or met a confused NICTD passenger. My last trip to Kensington was in February after the bypass was completed and trains didn't stop. On my way through the station I overheard a potential passenger on the payphone complaining that the train just rolled by. He was standing about 10ft away from a poster warning that trains would not stop after February 15th.
  by BrianLM007
 
I recall the parking lot being fairly empty since the schedules were out of whack anyway (in other words, we were getting the "Next Westbound Train is X to Y minutes late because of weather conditions" announcement). As for the train, it was already pretty packed when I boarded, but I got a seat. Everyone who got on at Hegewisch and afterwards got the glories of standing room only. On the plus side for those passengers standing, there weren't many people at all of those minor stops, such as 83rd Street, 75th Street, etc. All in all, when I finally made it in to work that day, I declared that I should have taken the day off.