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

  by bones
 
byte wrote
The village manager of Oak Lawn actually lives in one of the condos right next to the Oak Lawn station, and told me he'd see people milling around there on weekends waiting for trains.
If that's true then these are people that probably can't read, otherwise they would not be waiting for a train that never comes. In my experience on this planet, most adults who can't read are usaully homeless, or atleast moneyless. So if those are the people screaming for weekend service on the N&W, I would say it's a losing situation.

I just don't see enough people riding these trains to justify paying more train crews, coach cleaners, carmen, etc, to run 3 round trips on Saturday. Just my thought.
  by doepack
 
bones wrote:doepack wrote
But I hope they stick to the original plan, and run the entire way to/from Manhattan. Which would be ironic since Laraway Road and Manhattan would actually get more service on Saturday than they would during the week. Just one of those things, I guess...
Train 815 (the 12:35) will go to Manhattan and 830 will start out of Manhattan. So. there will be 3 round trips a day out of Manhattan. I hate to say this but I hope this Saturday Service fails, because chances are now greater that I will have to work one of those jobs. And who's going to ride those trains besides railfans? You will be lucky to see 8 people on those trains, 22 during the Taste Of Chicago.
So have they turned your job into a Mon-Sat. run? I remember you mentioning that you didn't want to work weekends...
  by bones
 
They haven't quite turned it into a 6 day assignment yet. But if they run short handed they could force me to come out and work on Saturday. I'm a railfan, but not that much of a railfan to where I would want to take a train downtown, and then sit down there for 5 hours before it's time to go home.
  by F40CFan
 
bones wrote:They haven't quite turned it into a 6 day assignment yet. But if they run short handed they could force me to come out and work on Saturday. I'm a railfan, but not that much of a railfan to where I would want to take a train downtown, and then sit down there for 5 hours before it's time to go home.
Please forgive my ignorance on how things are done at Metra, but wouldn't it make more sense to staff the train off the extra board, or create a "part-time job" for Saturdays as to not impact "regular" crews rest? I know, I'm an optimist, but that just makes sense to me. I realize that sense isn't a management attribute. :-)
  by bones
 
There isn't much of an extra board. I think between the Rock & the N&W We have 5 guys.
  by metraRI
 
So the first two trains on SWS have run... there is no deadhead like I had expected. The trains use two different sets. The first inbound ran with Manhattan's 8 car set, with one car open. It appeared to have a decent amount of people for running early on a Saturday. #864 ran with Manhattan's 7 car set, and had 6 cars open.... highly doubt all will become full, though there were two families with kids boarding this train at Laraway Road, which is exactly what Metra wants.
  by MetraSWS
 
MetraRI, I was on the train this morning at 11am and 5pm on the way back, where were you? I also found out from Chris a really nice conductor, what the crew runs are.

6:15am Crew 1 Returns 1:30pm (Ends Day)
11:00am Crew 2 Returns 5:00pm (Ends Day)
3:15pm Crew 3 Returns 10:30pm (Ends Day)

He said its quite fun to just run 1 set a day, and have 5 hrs downtown, hope everyone enjoys it, I find the service convienent.
  by MetraBNSF
 
Welcome aboard MetraSWS. We have on here metraRI, MetraBNSF, people with screen names named after the F40C's, and a few train crew members from Metra and the contract carriers. Hope I'm not missing anybody :wink:
  by metraRI
 
MetraSWS wrote:MetraRI, I was on the train this morning at 11am and 5pm on the way back, where were you? I also found out from Chris a really nice conductor, what the crew runs are.

6:15am Crew 1 Returns 1:30pm (Ends Day)
11:00am Crew 2 Returns 5:00pm (Ends Day)
3:15pm Crew 3 Returns 11:55pm (Ends Day)

He said its quite fun to just run 1 set a day, and have 5 hrs downtown, hope everyone enjoys it, I find the service convienent.
Thanks for that, interesting... I didn't ride anything today, just went out to see what the deal was going to be. Tho its not a suprise, the one outbound train I did happen to see (#865) was already 8 minutes ahead of schedule by the time it reached 153rd Street, arriving at 11:20, scheduled for 11:28, would not be suprised if this train ends up at Manhattan 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

Train assignments follow that of the crew assignment.
Set #1 (8 car set ) #862, 861, 866, 865
Set #2 ( 7 car set) #864, 863
Makes a little bit of sense, as the 8 car set only makes one round trip for its weekday cycle, while the 7 car set makes 2.
  by metraRI
 
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:Did that train have to wait 8 minutes before leaving? That is a long dwell time.
In this and most cases, no... Metra crews usually don't wait around for the 'scheduled' time.
  by MetraSWS
 
Yeah we got into manhattan 10 minutes early on the 5pm.
  by Illinifan
 
On trains 861 and 866, the crews used two cars ( the sixth and seventh cars from the engine). In both cases, we arrived at least 5 minutes early into the final destinations (Manhattan and Chicago) On the inbound trip, we had to kill time at two station stops.

There was a small group of people with balloons who cheered for train 866 during its station stop at Palos Heights. The engineer gave a friendly toot with the horn (a very sick horn I might add).
  by doepack
 
I can understand the padding for the weekday schedule since there's more trains (thus increasing the odds for delays due to freight train interference), but since these are the six slots that Metra negotiated with NS, CN, CSX, IHB, & BRC in order to run the Saturday service, it wouldn't have hurt to at least start out with a somewhat faster Saturday schedule than the one currently published. Then again, who knows; if the ridership projections exceed expectations, then the schedules could become more accurate in time...
  by metraRI
 
I can see the need for padding between Wrightwood and CUS or around Chicago Ridge, but south of the ridge there is no traffic... and even there Metra pads way too heavily. 4 minutes between Palos Park/Palos Heights, easily be 3.... 6 between 143rd/153rd, could be 5. It just baffles me that the timetable was lengthened while there were speed increases with the 2006 New Start.