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 MetraBNSF
 
What is defined as a "mechanical problem"? Does it always mean the problem is with the locomotive? Consider this:

This morning, BNSF inbound train #1204, with METX185 and 10 cars, stalled at Naperville station around 5:40am. The culprit was mechanical problems, but I couldn't get a good idea of what actually happened, although I was hearing stuff about the axles on METX185. As a result, passengers on #1204 detrained at Naperville and waited for the next inbound train, #1208 on the north platform. The passengers from #1204 and the regular passengers on #1208 crammed into the 7-car train for the express run into CUS. Needless to say, this was quite an uncomfortable ride from Naperville to CUS, although #1208 arrived only about 5 minutes late from its 6:38am arrival at CUS.

As a result of this mechanical problem, two trains were cancelled and some equipment had to be shuffled around.

  by metraRI
 
Most "mechanical problems" are caused by locomotive issues, as there is not much that could go wrong with a cab car...but I have heard of problems with cab cars before. This mornings problem on BNSF just points out that it is not always an MP36 causing problems on Metra.

  by Tadman
 
Ever see that Seinfeld episode about the plane pilots loosing the keys to the airplane, and making up all these technical-sounding excuses to cover for loosing the keys? That's what this post makes me think of.

PA Announcement: "attention, we are delayed due to mechanical problems"

In the cab: "call boise, see if they can send a pattern of the key to the Home Depot"

  by byte
 
Hahaha. Another translation of "mechanical problems" is "the engineer has to take a leak."

  by MetraBNSF
 
If what happened this morning wasn't enough.

The past two days, 402 and 405 were out of service and 181 and 184 ran in their place. 402 was back in service today and it was on a 6 car train that had 3 8500's in the consist. 8584 and 8596 were the two rear cars and 8606 was two cars behind 402. I guess multiple cabs in the same consist isn't just limited to NCS...

The stalled train was pushed into Chicago with train #1210's set, which is an all-stop local that runs with 8 cars and a double header.

  by doepack
 
So, let's add it up: Assuming normal car assignments are in effect, with 1210's equipment pushing the stalled 1204 into Chicago, that's three locomotives plus eighteen bilevels altogether. Wow. All that Metra equipment coupled together in a single train must have made quite a sight this morning. But I don't understand why everybody felt the need to cram onto 1208, when 1212 was due to arrive in its normal slot 20 minutes later, because from what I understand (and please correct me if I'm mistaken), all of the other scheduled inbound Naperville express trains weren't affected. And if so, was this fact effectively communicated to passengers at Aurora, Rte. 59 and Naperville?
metraRI wrote:This mornings problem on BNSF just points out that it is not always an MP36 causing problems on Metra.
Amen.

  by MetraBNSF
 
On the way home, a lady said that the following Naperville express (#1212) was a little more crowded that usual. #1204 and #1212 run with 7 and 8 cars, respectively. A later Naperville express, #1252, uses #1204's equipment that leaves Aurora at 7:42am. It used an 8 car set instead.

  by AMTK84
 
Keep in mind that the early MP36's are due for 3-year inspections...Is 405 still out?

  by RAS
 
How quickly time passes! The Metra and the NJT bids were originally around the same time frame, and Boise units are reaching three years in service! "Another MP bites the dust"? Check out the discussions on the NJT Alstom units, some haven't gotten into service yet!
  by MetraBNSF
 
Talk about an irony...

A few weeks ago, BNSF inbound train #1204 had problems with METX185.

This morning, the same train had its power die completely at the same spot, Naperville station. This time, METX404 was the victim. #1210 became trapped behind #1204.

METX201 was attached to METX404 to provide power to the train so it can be run express from Naperville to CUS. I don't know if 201 was taken from Hill Yard or if it was peeled off train #1210, which is the one of the double headers. #1210 rated a single F40M once it was able to move.

Instead of being run express from Naperville, passengers were let off and METX201 pushed METX404 and its 10 cars into Naperville curve so that trains that were staged west of Naperville could be diverted around the dead train and be looked at.

As a result, the following Naperville expresses #1208 and #1212 picked up the passengers from #1204, with #1212 picking up from the north platforms at Rt. 59 and Naperville. Compared to the mechanical breakdown several weeks ago, no trains were cancelled today.

For the most part, commuters were pretty patient with all the happenings and it seemed as if service disruptions were kept to a minimum.
  by doepack
 
MetraBNSF wrote:Talk about an irony...

A few weeks ago, BNSF inbound train #1204 had problems with METX185.

This morning, the same train had its power die completely at the same spot, Naperville station. This time, METX404 was the victim. #1210 became trapped behind #1204
First we get two Rock Island derailments in precisely the same location, now 1204 dies in the SAME spot as before. The railroad gods must have a sick sense of humor...
  by metraRI
 
doepack wrote:First we get two Rock Island derailments in precisely the same location
Not to mention the same locomotive involved in both. :wink:
  by byte
 
metraRI wrote:Not to mention the same locomotive involved in both. :wink:
I wonder if Metra could send Lionel a bid request for equipping the 409 with Magna-Traction. You know, just to make sure it doesn't happen again.