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 lstone19
 
"What we have here is a failure to communicate." A comedy of errors on the MD-W Saturday. I was going into the city on the 12:17pm MD-W train from Roselle. About five minutes before it was due, it was announced it would be on Track 1 (outbound). Those of us listening headed to the other side and convinced those not paying attention to do the same. About 10 minutes late, the train finally appears ... and as I watch, through the crossover to track 2! Train had to sit outside the station for a minute to let everyone cross.
On board, I heard from the crew that the Dispatcher caught them by surprise putting them on 1 and without letting Metra control center know so they had already lost time at Bartlett and Hanover Park letting people cross. Metra finally started making announcements only to have it crossed back to 2.
So then, with the tie gang working on 3 between B-12 and Galewood, I think the plan had been for us to go in on 1. But we were now so late, that would have delayed an outbound so we went in 2 and did the "align one car with a crosswalk" game for the stations. 20+ late out of Galewood; into CUS 16 late by the "real" (but padded last year) schedule and 6 late by the current construction padded schedules that allows 23 minutes for the 2.5 miles from Western to CUS.
Oh yeah, I was trying to do a railfan fun ride on the one Saturday trip possible on the Southwest line ("Manhattan Cannon Ball"). In at 1:28, ran through the Amtrak lobby, and just made the 1:30 departure by about two seconds.
  by doepack
 
That sounded like fun. Sort of a similar deal that's been happening on UP/W lately, especially when people hear the announcement for the outbound train, and think it applies to the inbound. Nowadays, if I happen to be catching a train downtown during off-peak hours, I'll listen to my radio first (that hotbox detector at MP 29 never lies), and plan accordingly. But the engineers on UP will usually wait anyway most of the time for those on the wrong side, and is the only time you can actually get away with crossing the tracks when the gates are down.

As for those construction schedules ...I don't know. Sometimes I wonder what good the information is doing since the only thing that has been adjusted is the arrival time downtown, while leaving the other station departure times alone; and including the "Scheduled trains may experience delays up to 10 minutes." caveat. But if Metra ever saw fit to augment the construction schedules (that for now are only listed on the website separately with no mention of it on the regular NCS and MDW schedule pages) with actual announcements at the affected stations during the construction window, that would be beneficial. Now that I'm thinking about it, this could be a comment for OTBL, hopefully they'll take heed and make the adjustment (or not...)
lstone19 wrote: Oh yeah, I was trying to do a railfan fun ride on the one Saturday trip possible on the Southwest line ("Manhattan Cannon Ball"). In at 1:28, ran through the Amtrak lobby, and just made the 1:30 departure by about two seconds.
You know, I was thinking about taking that ride myself a couple of days ago, but local railfanning yielded better rewards. It's even better when the cab car is open on the return trip downtown...