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 doepack
 
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...
  by byte
 
I saw that at Oglivie a couple weeks ago. The schedule rack at Union is always a mess, but the one at La Salle is always good and orderly. IIRC, the selection of schedules at Millenium is limited.

Looks to me more like the summer crowds have been pretty heavy this year and rather than ordering more regular schedules, they're just xeroxing the schedule page itself - the most important information that people want. Crews probably got tired of picking up half-crinkled booklets (that got read once) at the end of each day and some higher-up noticed it was a waste of paper to throw all of them out.
  by F40CFan
 
I'm glad I grabbed a couple while they were available. I like the small ones because they fit into my monthly ticket holder.
  by ohioriverrailway
 
Lot of folks get that information electronically these days. I suspect that in another 10 years or so paper schedules are going to be about as common as Alcos.
  by doepack
 
F40CFan wrote:I'm glad I grabbed a couple while they were available. I like the small ones because they fit into my monthly ticket holder.
The small ones are cool, but they can be a bit hard to read sometimes because the print is so small. I've never seen the wallet-size version for BNSF, but I would probably need a magnifying glass to read it. Or very strong bifocals... :-)
  by MetraBNSF
 
doepack wrote:The small ones are cool, but they can be a bit hard to read sometimes because the print is so small. I've never seen the wallet-size version for BNSF, but I would probably need a magnifying glass to read it. Or very strong bifocals... :-)
I have the wallet size schedule for BNSF...the print's quite small. But readable :wink:
  by MetraPace
 
It appears that Metra is changing the format of the schedules. If you go to their website and pull up a schedule page, click where it says "Click Here for a PDF of this schdule" you can see some of the new formats. The NCS, SWS, HC, and Metra Electric are still in the old format. I have not seen any of these available on paper yet - I was just at Union Station and Ogilvie a few minutes ago and most of the timetable slots were empty, just a few of the old format.

Here is the direct link to the BNSF schedule:

http://metrarail.com/Sched/PDF/bnsf.pdf

-Brad
  by metraRI
 
Nice catch with that... kinda cool, wish they would have kept with the F40 background of some kind. New website, new schedules.... I should have grabbed some old schedules while I could, collectors items now.

I don't like that they got rid of the system map... or the map of the line on the cover.

They kinda remind me of NJT schedules in a way:
http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/r0090.pdf
  by c604.
 
I was thinking the same thing, they look sort of like NJT schedules. I liked the F40/skyline background cover, that added a touch of class, plus there was some individuality to it - there was no mistaking that it was a RAILROAD timetable for a Chicago area service.
  by MikeF
 
Although I also liked the train/skyline graphic that's been on the timetables for more than 20 years, I think the real loss is the elimination of the route and system maps. Sure, they weren't especially detailed, but at least they gave someone unfamiliar with the system a general idea of where the lines went. Hopefully system maps will continue to be prominently displayed in stations.
  by doepack
 
I like the modern look, although I'll agree with the others about the loss of some individuality (and the new UP/N schedule has a very nice ad for Chicago Botanic Gardens). But I will differ, however, on the removal of the maps. I don't think we should mourn that too much because maps are most useful when they show relationships with other things, be they similar or different. As such, the maps provided on the MED and the Rock schedules were more useful because stations like Gresham, Kensington, 59th St., Blue Island, and Joliet are shown prominently as transfer points between other routes and/or branches. But these are the exceptions, because otherwise, Metra's network sprawls in all directions from one central hub (the Loop) with very limited connectivity between routes in suburban locations, and on the schedules for most of the other diesel routes, the maps aren't quite as functional...
  by F40CFan
 
I liked the old cover too, map and F40. Guess I'll have to get used to the new ones. At least they don't have an MP on it.

Could you imagine a pocket size IC (Metra electric) schedule. You'd either need a microscope to read it, or it'd be so thick it wouldn't be pocket sized. :-)
  by metraRI
 
All the pdf schedules online are now in the new format besides MED, which is probably the most challenging to fit on a 'one page' format.
  by byte
 
I've also noticed the SWS Saturday service isn't listed on the SWS page on Metra's website, but of course it is on the .pdf they have posted there. Pretty odd because I swear seeing the Saturday schedule on there before. Regardless, a new rider would never know trains ran on Saturday unless they pick up a physical schedule or look at the .pdf.
  by metraRI
 
It is listed, probably just over looked it. Seems they got lazy and didn't seperate the cells when they posted the schedule. It appears to happens a lot. On RI's inbound schedule, on the first page only, the "-----" for Blue Island trains is missing for Hickory Creek. It has been this way since schedules were first posted in the 90's, and no one has bothered to fix it, even with schedule changes. 5 more days :-D