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 Alcochaser
Generally the computer selects a pre-programed order. of which ones to Idle first.

The locomotive might change this depending if inverters fault out. But heck, an SD70MAC with four traction motors would still probably out pull the rest of the fleet.

I am looking at what EMD (PRLX/EMDX) has "sitting on the lot"

20 pre-production SD70ACe ex CSX.
14 first gen SD70MAC ex BN
50 to 60 SD70M/SD75/SD75I from CSX and BNSF

I might guess that they might be rebuilding the BN units... but where will the 15th come from
  by mcgrath618
Hello Chicago! Philly here. I have visited your city recently and I absolutely loved it.

Question: will these rebuilds keep the side walkways? Or will the locomotives be "streamlined?"
  by Tadman
Good question. The renderings haven't been much help in that department, and I admit to having the same question. I hope they leave the walkways unless there is a good engineering/technological reason not to. Even though most guys like the cowl look for passenger trains and the streamliner is a piece of Chicago history, is it worth spending all that money to cover up a perfectly good design?
  by mtuandrew
I’d be shocked if EMD rebuilt them with cowls. I bet these units aren’t just supplementing the F40 and F59 fleet, they are supplementing the SW1s, SW1200s, and SW1500s. Maybe replacing most of them.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
Metra had shown a drawing with the SD70ACe body style in Metra colors, which is probably wrong.

I read elsewhere that these would have two axles powered and one unpowered on each truck, either A1A-A1A or B1-1B. You could still have 6 inverters- 1 for each traction motor, 1 for HEP, and 1 redundant. It doesn't make sense to have 1 unused traction motor all the time when 4 working will do for this service and the train could probably even get by with 1 more failed. The AC motors are supposed to rarely fail.

SD70MACHs don't seem like they would make good switchers. Definitely not a replacement for #1 which has the MU car couplers on it.
  by eolesen
There is somewhat of an argument for cowls -- conductors need to be able to get to/from the cab while the train is in motion.

It's a nightly occurrence on the UP McHenry branch which is still by track warrant and not signaled, so the conductor has to write it up and hand to the engineer, usually west of Barrington.

I don't expect Metra to do that, but it wouldn't be done for appearances only.
  by ConstanceR46
It's not like passenger hood units supplementing switchers in work service is unprecedented - Metro-North uses BL20GHs as MOW and passenger units; LIRR MP15ACs were both passenger and work units nearing the end of conventional diesel passenger service; etc. I don't think these are intended primarily for that, however.
  by Tadman
There have been plenty of such over the last thirty years. You'd be hard pressed to find one that was labeled a failure, either. VRE, MARC, NJT, and MBTA have all had large fleets of "freight" engines in passenger service.
  by Tadman
Any word on when these bad boys are to show up? It's been six months since the order, eh?
  by bostontrainguy
M ETRA.png
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  by Pensyfan19
AmtrakP32705 wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:51 pm
bostontrainguy wrote: Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:23 pm M ETRA.png
Nice to see that the livery did not change. Unlike the Coaster Siemens Charger. :(
  by Tadman
Keep in mind that's a rendering, no idea if it's actually going to be reality. At this point it looks like delivery will happen in 2027 after all the excuses get out...

Someone said recently that the project was pushed back because the locomotives that were once allocated for the project are no longer available. Not sure how that happens when something like 1/5 of all freight power is stored.
  by Pensyfan19
So the rebuilding process begins! (Possibly)

An ex-KCS SD70MAC (3907) and an ex-TFM SD70MAC (1656) have been spotted on CSX train Q415 rumored to be going to Metra for rebuilding into SD70MAC-Hs!

  by John_Perkowski
SD70MACs have been a mainstay of BN, then BNSF’s fleet since 1994. I remember when they arrived on BN in Grinstein Green. For years they were the dedicated power of the coal fleet.

I’ve seen them haul the executive train of BNSF a few times, when they are free of 100 loads of coal they accelerate to passenger speeds quite nicely. Having HEP instead of steam cures them of the one-off ill of the Amtrak design failure (and why Amtrak just didn’t reorder the FP45 I’ll never know..,)

As Tad said, this is a good choice for METRA.
  by WorldwideRailfan (Youtube)
On August 2nd, blue PRLX SD70 #3907 was spotted on a train in Waycross, GA. This is believed to be the first SD70MACH moving from the ProgressRail facilities in Patterson, GA to the CSX classification yard in Waycross, GA. Some sources say this locomotive is headed to Metra in Chicago for testing, while some say it's headed to Pueblo, CO for testing, as it's a new locomotive. I suppose only time will tell where this locomotive will go.