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 MACTRAXX
 
Everyone: from looking at all the PDFs on http://www.metrarail.com/ it looks like they are all in the new folder format-as mentioned similar to NJT's timetables with the noteable exception being the Metra Electric TT.
I recall that the Morris and Essex Lines were previously in a stapled bound folder - it was changed to a large fold-out with two "pages" like this: http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/r0040.pdf
Just remember that the NJT M&E,NE Corridor,NJ Coast and Main Line-Bergen County Line TTs are two fold-out pages and the other PDFs are both sides of a single folded sheet.
I wonder if METRA is making this change as a cost cutting measure...MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by CNW5022-A519
 
Milwaukee North Line has the same type schedules, they look interesting and easy to read with inbound and outbound on the same page for week days and the other side with weekend service.
  by F40CFan
 
They had some new schedules my inbound train today and I picked one up. They are much easier to read and I do like the inbound/outbound timetables on the same page. I just wish they would have picked better graphics for the cover and kept the map. I could also do without the computer-like icons on the cover. Save that for the web site.
  by ohioriverrailway
 
If you use the website to access a specific route, it doesn't list the weekend $5 fare as an option.
  by tobuadantoq
 
I think SWS schedule is currently making under new format just like BNSF, MD.
  by doepack
 
F40c611fan wrote:And they still haven't come out with an MED schedule in the new format (both links are to an old format schedule).
Getting schedule information for 49 stations and two branches for Metra's busiest route (in terms of number of trains) on one page is going to be a challenge. The format may have to retain a booklet-style in order to accomodate all of that...
  by Batman2
 
doepack wrote:It's beginning to look more and more like the end of booklet schedules. Over the last few weeks at Ogilvie, I've noticed schedules now being printed landscape style on both sides using regular 8 1/2 X 11 colored paper, no fare or station information listed. Checked the schedule racks at CUS, and it's the same thing; at both stations, there's still a few small, wallet-sized schedules for various routes, but only HC and UP/W were still available in booklet form. Guess this must be a budget saving move...
Wait, so my old schedules could end up becoming collectors' items?! Finally, Metra did something smart. In all honesty though, the whole "modernization" plan that Metra is doing because other people made (will make) them (http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 25#p718935) is rather strange and nonsensical. It seems like they're just picking out things to do at random because they think it might be close to somehow being the in thing to do.
  by doepack
 
superjoo wrote:
doepack wrote:It's beginning to look more and more like the end of booklet schedules. Over the last few weeks at Ogilvie, I've noticed schedules now being printed landscape style on both sides using regular 8 1/2 X 11 colored paper, no fare or station information listed. Checked the schedule racks at CUS, and it's the same thing; at both stations, there's still a few small, wallet-sized schedules for various routes, but only HC and UP/W were still available in booklet form. Guess this must be a budget saving move...
Wait, so my old schedules could end up becoming collectors' items?! Finally, Metra did something smart. In all honesty though, the whole "modernization" plan that Metra is doing because other people made (will make) them (http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 25#p718935) is rather strange and nonsensical. It seems like they're just picking out things to do at random because they think it might be close to somehow being the in thing to do.
I won't quite go that far; I don't think they're trying to reinvent the wheel. Sure, new isn't always better, but in Metra's case, some modernization was badly needed. Despite this, Metra remains a very conservative railroad that still doesn't do much "outside the box"...
  by doepack
 
New format now available for MED: They've split it up into smaller schedules with each form showing a portion of the service; mainline trains between 59th & Randolph is shown as one schedule, with service in both directions on one side of the page, similar to the others. This is the only one available so far at the schedule rack in OTC, I'm guessing the rest of the service including the branches will have two or three more "pieces" in separate schedules. Should probably work fine for those that have traditional suburb-to-downtown commutes since breaking up the schedules makes it more station-specific, but it could be a hassle for intermediate travelers that board a South Chicago or Blue Island branch train somewhere on mainline. They're going to need two schedules...
  by Amtrak7
 
I discovered what is really going on with the METRA online schedules:

If you go on the main page for the line and click the "Download PDF Schedule" link on the right under the button bar, it gives you the old format.

Go to the Schedules tab and click the "Download PDF Schedule" link roughly in the middle of the page, it will give you the new schedule.

Both links for Electric give the old style, despite the fact that it took effect 11/22/2009.

Why is METRA wasting server space by keeping 2 copies of the same thing on its site?
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
I was finally able to get a wallet sized schedule for MDW. Even though there was space for them on the rack, I wasn't sure if they actually existed because they were always empty. Never had a problem finding one for UPW.

For the new format, I like the tweaks in how the information is displayed but the futuristic cover graphic and iphone-looking icons are kind of lame. It looks like they were trying to follow the general trend in graphics but didn't quite get it. I think that was the same problem with the MP36 paint scheme. I do miss the map.
  by byte
 
Milwaukee_F40C wrote: For the new format, I like the tweaks in how the information is displayed but the futuristic cover graphic and iphone-looking icons are kind of lame. It looks like they were trying to follow the general trend in graphics but didn't quite get it.
YES, this is exactly what it looks like. Like some higher up stormed into the office where they put graphics together and started ranting and raving about how "It needs to look more futuristic, G*******t!" and so whoever is in charge of that just threw it together with no actual guidance.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I was in town last Thursday evening for a Chicago Symphony concert and, for a friend now residing in Wash DC, I "raided the rack' at CUS.

The only Milwaukee West available was the wallet size - at my age, danged if I could read without a magnifying glass.
  by doepack
 
MED schedules are now available in the new format, this one also folds out vertically as well. One side has all weekday inbound trains, while the fold-out shows both weekday outbound and Sunday service in both directions. Train numbers with schedule times are shown in pretty narrow columns, but due to the amount of information that needed to be presented, I guess it was necessary. Looks like the schedule makeovers are now complete...