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 Kablam76
 
byte wrote:Is there a trainman on that private car, and do the doors open/close from the controls in the bilevels? Seems like Metra wouldn't want to pay someone just to sit in that car, yet surely there would need to be some measure of security to make sure us mongrels of the general public don't ride it. :P
Might as well put two trainmen in there just to be safe. It would be a travesty if the rich folk from Glencoe and Highland Park would have to sit in the same car as a *gasp* commoner. :wink:

  by TheGortex
 
Kablam76 wrote:
byte wrote:Is there a trainman on that private car, and do the doors open/close from the controls in the bilevels? Seems like Metra wouldn't want to pay someone just to sit in that car, yet surely there would need to be some measure of security to make sure us mongrels of the general public don't ride it. :P
Might as well put two trainmen in there just to be safe. It would be a travesty if the rich folk from Glencoe and Highland Park would have to sit in the same car as a *gasp* commoner. :wink:
Don't forget Lake Forest!

  by milw_north_rider
 
I ride North Line everday. Metra runs fully operable (open) bar cars on outbound train numbers 2125 (3:55pm); 2129 (4:40pm); 2131 (4:45pm); 2135 (5:12); 2139 (5:25); 2141 (5:30); and 2143 (5:50pm); which is all rush hour trains that run all the way out to Fox Lake

  by ne plus ultra
 
milw_north_rider wrote:I ride North Line everday. Metra runs fully operable (open) bar cars on outbound train numbers 2125 (3:55pm); 2129 (4:40pm); 2131 (4:45pm); 2135 (5:12); 2139 (5:25); 2141 (5:30); and 2143 (5:50pm); which is all rush hour trains that run all the way out to Fox Lake
I rode the 5:25 today, in the seat closest to the bar. It was a bit of a nightmare. There was a somewhat drunk, none-too-nimble overweight dude doing some sort of joke where he was "running laps". I really thought the guy was going to put an elbow in my ear or trip and collapse in my lap.

When he finished, the drunks in the doorway of the bar all laughed, and one asked "was it good for you?" Ahh, great. Not only a stupid joke, but public sexual innuendo that no one on the car cared to hear.

I'm not a regular rider, so I wasn't forewarned. Next time, I'd bully them out of the way in order to continue further forward to find seats.

If that car is an example of Metra bar cars, and if they're getting rid of them, I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

  by milw_north_rider
 
Well, like all the conductors say, and I back them up, if you do not like the bar car there are 7 to 8 other cars on the train to choose from. I agree it does get rowdy in there sometimes, but that is the way it is. Put it this way, if they get rid of the bar car, then you'll have those same people buying their own liquor (which happens now as well), but instead of homing to the BC, they'll just spread out over the whole train.

  by MetraRy
 
If Metra put a bar car on the 1st afternoon HC train they would rack in the cash. I ride this train every two weeks and the majority of people in each of the six cars is drinking and a few are drunk.

  by SlowFreight
 
SlowFreight wrote: I don't know the heritage of the private club car, but I have photos from Kenosha showing that the vestibule had apparently been cut into a car (parlor car?) that didn't originally have one--it had some very strangely blanked partial windows.
I finally found that pic:

Image

Anybody know what was REALLY done to this sheet metal?

  by byte
 
According to a page on chicago.railfan.net (http://chicago.railfan.net/cgi/photos.pl/?page=METX_553), the private cars were converted from long-distance lounge cars in 1961 for commuter service. Looks like they weren't initially built with vestibules since you wouldn't get on a lounge car if you were boarding a long-distance train.

I'd like to see what the interior of the 553 currently looks like. I'm sure a private car would be nice, but with all of the old bilevels either sold off or rehabbed, the current fleet is now newer as a whole and thus have car interiors that are a little more up-to-date and nicer. It would seem likely that the reason the 555 was scrapped was because of some big problem it had that was going to cost too much to fix (I'd guess body rust), otherwise they would have sold it. It might be cheaper and easier for all parties involved if the "private car" consisted of a regular bilevel with the half closest to the engine roped off for the private group and the rest used by the public.

  by SlowFreight
 
It's not really a problem for Metra because it doesn't own the car. That mysterious "they" pays all of its out-of-pocket costs and Metra graciously lets it separate the scoot from its F40, as long as the HEP keeps passing through.

  by Tadman
 
According to my north shore-dwelling summer neighbor, a group of lawyers and big wheels that are mostly over the age of sixty use 553 to roll downtown. They're old enough and well off enough that they show up on the mid-morning train and leave earlier than most, because they can. I would assume the newer, younger big-wheels either drive, don't care, or aren't big enough wheels to want/get a private club car. I also assume the 555 owners are all retired or gone, because otherwise they probably would have bought a replacement.