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 John_Perkowski
 
From Trains Magazine: Federal Judge Sides With Union Pacific In Metra Commuter Dispute

Brief, fair use quote
A federal judge on Thursday ruled that UP has no common carrier obligation to provide commuter service on the UP North, UP West, and UP Northwest Lines. Metra had sought to show that UP had an obligation to continue to provide service on the three routes.

But UP, which provides crews for the Metra service, disagreed, and wants Metra to operate the commuter service itself or find another operator
  by eolesen
 
This is a big deal... Metra will either have to hire a ton of operating crews or someone like Herzog or Keolis.

It also sets the stage for BNSF to exit operations if they wanted to.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by justalurker66
 
Since Metra already employs operating crews the easy response would be to expand to employ the crews needed for UP service. Hopefully the current crews will have a reasonable shot at continuing to work on the tracks where they are qualified.
  by west point
 
What are chances of ruling going to appeal maybe all way to SCOTUS ?
  by eolesen
 
Less than 1%.

0.1%.... About 10% of district court rulings are appealed to a circuit court, and SCOTUS only grants cert to 1% of the appeals made.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone: This court ruling creates an interesting situation - Can METRA take over and directly operate the
three former North Western commuter rail lines with UP retaining ownership of the three routes?
Direct operation looks to be the best option instead of contracting a third party such as Keolis.

This reminds me somewhat of Conrail's exit from contract operation of northeastern commuter rail services
back at the end of 1982 - the difference here is UP continuing to own the three routes instead of them being
conveyed to the new commuter authorities that began operation in 1983.

Can an agreement be worked out between the UP and METRA for the direct operation of the three routes?
Back in 1982-1983 T&E employees as example had the option of working for one of the new commuter rail
authorities or remaining with Conrail to work in freight service. Can METRA directly employ T&E crews from
UP that choose to go to METRA in passenger service or remain in UP freight service?

The direct Metra operation of the three routes would leave only the BNSF Aurora Line run under contract.
How is the relationship currently between BNSF and METRA if anyone knows?

Can a reasonable compromise be worked out between UP and METRA that both parties can live with?
MACTRAXX
  by eolesen
 
I said this in the other thread over a year ago... none of the crew I know will give up UP's benefits to go work for Metra.

Will be interesting to see if M19A closes down or not. I can't see Metra wanting to operate a third locomotive shop.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by justalurker66
 
I'm not sure how the employee contracts would work ... But Metra running trains over UP would be the same as anyone else with trackage rights on a railroad. Hiring current UP crews would be a good source of qualified experienced people and would help not create a job loss situation for UP. But crews would have to accept the move.

I assume the people who stay with UP would bump others with less seniority.
  by eolesen
 
I doubt it will help much on paper if they're currently qualified on the UP. 99% chance Metra will need to requalify them as Metra employees.

If Metra were to second them from UP (essentially leasing the employees to work under Metra workrules but leaving them on UP payroll) that might be a short term solution.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Engineer Spike
 
I think that Metra is capable of stepping up and running the C&NW services. The organization and its predecessors did so in the wake of the shutdown of the Rock Island, and the bankruptcy of the Milwaukee. That's not to mention the startup of service on the WC. Metra seems to coexist OK with other freight carriers such as CN on the former IC and WC. The same arrangement is in place on the SOO Line.

As far as the crews are concerned, I addressed it in the previous thread on the topic. I'm sure that even some senior engineers, trainmen, and conductors like the passenger service lifestyle, so they may come over. There may be some sort of labor protection like New York Dock. This would require the crews to get paid based on their earnings under UP for 6 years. Younger crew members may not have the seniority to stay with UP. Hopefully the agreements like NYD can give them steady work with Metra.
  by John_Perkowski
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:52 pm Everyone: This court ruling creates an interesting situation - Can METRA take over and directly operate the three former North Western commuter rail lines with UP retaining ownership of the three routes?
Direct operation looks to be the best option instead of contracting a third party such as Keolis.

This reminds me somewhat of Conrail's exit from contract operation of northeastern commuter rail services back at the end of 1982 - the difference here is UP continuing to own the three routes instead of them being conveyed to the new commuter authorities that began operation in 1983.

Can an agreement be worked out between the UP and METRA for the direct operation of the three routes?
Back in 1982-1983 T&E employees as example had the option of working for one of the new commuter rail authorities or remaining with Conrail to work in freight service. Can METRA directly employ T&E crews from UP that choose to go to METRA in passenger service or remain in UP freight service?

The direct Metra operation of the three routes would leave only the BNSF Aurora Line run under contract.
How is the relationship currently between BNSF and METRA if anyone knows?

Can a reasonable compromise be worked out between UP and METRA that both parties can live with?
MACTRAXX