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 PRRGuy
You are correct about Icehouse/M.P.74 thats one of the new "High-Speed" crossovers installed. It's rated for about 40 mph like the ones at tamarack and wilson.

The following crossovers have been removed:







East Chicago

  by JLJ061
Oh boy, goes to show how out of touch I am! LOL

  by PRRGuy
Sounds like someone needs a railfan trip!

  by PRRGuy
Today, in training was my first day in "Uniform" if you will. When ou first start in Transportation you need to buy your own uniform to last the first couple months until your actual one comes in. Basically, its just blue slacks and a white dress shirt plus the hat (supplied by the rr) as well as a certificate for steel toe shoes I was lucky enough to have a blue jacket and that made up my temp uniform.
This week I'm on the 401-12-7 run until friday. Usually 401 doesn't carry passengers as it goes from MC to south bend but every so often you get 1 or 2 people. I used this time to study the fare chart, thats the only thing I think that is going to be a problem. As for sidings, substations and signals I'm slowly getting the hang of it. As for #12 well, thats a different story as you all know about the rush hour trains. The cars I was in were filled plus another 12 people standing in the center doors area. I think the total for that train was in the 700 passenger range from what I remember. I'm surprised I remembered anything from being so nervous being back working with the public again. Hopefully, I'll feel more confident by the end of the week. Next week's job is 104-205-212-109.

  by PRRGuy
Today was another interesting day on the rails. I practiced more with the seat checks and punching tickets so far I've been leaving cash fares to the conductor as I'm not too familiar with fares yet. I know a few but not them all.
#12 was a little less crowded today with only 703 on the train as compared to the 774 yesterday. Also, I'm learning all the different paperwork that comes with the job and dealing with that amount of cash.

I'm getting more familiar with locations along the line. I glance out the window or a certain curve and I pretty much know where we are. I've been told it's helpful if your working crowded cars and another stop is coming up.
Tomorrow looks like another day of practicing paperwork and seat checks, I think i'll be trying cash fares also...hopefully thats not too bad.

  by PRRGuy
Today was certainly an "interesting" day on the rails.

I was working a job on #509 with a fair amount of people because this was the last tday for the auto show downtown. Metra called our train just past 57th or a pan inspection, a bad pan was found and we pulled up to the 53rd st station. that pan would only go about half way down and would pop back up when you let go of the button. as luck would have it, the afternoon carman was on his way to work on this train. He climbed up and locked it down and tied a rope around it. I attempted to tell him that someone should be holding the " pan lower" button down whiule he was tieing it down so its lower to the car. He said it should be ok. So, we get permission to proceed. Now, I know that the wire drops lower before McCormick Place and started to look in my metra special instruction book....soon as i got to the page. "BAM...zzzzzz" the a shower of sparks later . The pan did in fact hit the wire at about 33rd st. so..we stop again and as the engineer gets back there I show him my trick. He goes up and ties it down and away we go...30 minutes late at final arrival at Randolph.

The lesson in this story? No..don't trust the young guy with experience.

  by JLJ061
PRRGuy wrote:The lesson in this story? No..don't trust the young guy with experience.
So you're saying you're responsible for the defective pan? LOL

(sorry, couldn't resist :wink: )

  by PRRGuy

Its just another case of railroad knowhow.

If it makes too much sense they'll never go with it.

People get fired for ideas like this.

  by Tadman
that's got to be a costly issue - I heard pans cost $75000 at CTA Skokie Swift.

  by PRRGuy
I think I remembered ours costing about $30,000 a piece.

  by dinwitty
mm, why the CTA may have switched Skokie Swift to all 3rd rail.

the other line may have been switched just for convenience.

I don't think trolley poles cost THAT much however.

rather more simple construction a pole is.

  by MikeF
dinwitty wrote:rather more simple construction a pole is.
... And also much more labor-intensive -- you need one crew member for each trolley pole to be operated, not to mention poles are more susceptible to dewiring than pans.

  by PRRGuy
Today I found out that car # 38 is now in Midlife for it's rebuilding. Now Car #43 is the Only active car with the "Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad" letterboards I'm not sure if it was the 38 or the 43 that had the RTA lease plates on them. Also car #30 is out of midlife and in regular service.

  by Tadman
Likely 38 as that car is owned by RTA. 43 is owned by NICTD. If I recall, RTA owns about 6, all numbered in the 3X's, to represent their portion of the route.

  by JLJ061
Does the RTA still own those cars, or does NICTD own the whole lot now?