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 VRELackie
here's a little chart to show you the metra numbers and the year made for each gallery car in service with VRE if you're interested

(VRE designation --- Metra Number --- year Built)

Gallery II's

Gallery III's
V431 ---7798---1961

There are a bunch of other cars yet to be refit that i will post later

  by metra 613
Junkers? I wish metra never sold them. There far more better to ride on then the 6000s and 8500s we have now.To me the seats are way to hard on them.the old cnw cars were much more better.

  by MikeF
I agree with the comment about the seats; the high-back walkover seats (and, to a lesser extent, the "flipover" Heywood-Wakefield seats) in the older cars are definitely more comfortable than those in the ADA cars. The 7400/8400 series have the worst cushions I've found -- I can't sit through a 40-minute ride on one of them. The cushions on the newest cars are at least a little softer, but since they're low-back seats you can't rest your head even if you slouch way down.

  by Scotty Burkhardt
Music City Star (Nashville's new service) Starts in January with some of the old C&NW BiLevel's. Not only that, they are bringing them up to ADA standards and returning several Cabs into service. I've seen several pictures of their consists and I think they look sharp.

Don't forget about Wisconsin and Southern's former C&NW set they have running around.

MARC has several (4 I think) of them floating around their Brunswick line (Which I was lucky enough to see this summer)

  by VRELackie
I meant junkers as in Metra sold them to the Reseller, not junk as in they ARE junk. Although with the amount of parts that i'm buying for them on a regular basis and the patch job that most of them have going on for door control trainline and commtrainline you'd be hard pressed to convince any of our maintenance staff that whatever happened between parting ways with metra and arriving at VRE from the reseller.

just thought you'd like to see where your oldies went

  by AmtrakFan
Those are old BN Cars WSOR has.

  by MikeF
AmtrakFan wrote:Those are old BN Cars WSOR has.
Scotty was referring to the three bilevels that the Wisconsin & Southern rebuilt and uses on business trains, which are ex-C&NW cars. The WSOR has, however, also been storing many ex-CB&Q and ex-BN cars owned by Federated Rail.

  by Scotty Burkhardt
I'm surprised that (as far as I know of) nobody has bought the old Burlington cars. I would think that they would be much more desireable to own as they won't rust like the smooth sides do.

Where are the (14?) Burlington cars being stored at? Are there any photos of them?

  by MikeF
The WSOR is storing more than 14 Burlington cars. I don't know how many, but there are a lot. A bunch of them are at Fox Lake, Wis. (not Fox Lake, Ill.), there are some in Horicon, Wis., and I believe there are others elsewhere on the WSOR. One of these days I'm going to try to get some pictures of them.

  by Scotty Burkhardt

  by SlowFreight

It's my understanding that the smooth-side cars are under some of the same rules that required Metra to hang on to two F40Cs--namely, involving federal MTA dollars. VRE, MARC, and STAR can pick them up for something like $1 a car (although it sounds like FRE bought theirs from a 3rd party), since a private party didn't bid on the lot of them like with the old BN 700's.

Meanwhile, there's a gent in the Northbrook, IL, area who bought a stack of North Western cars when Metra first parted them out, and in talking with him, it's easier for most of these agencies to get federal dollars for new cars or to get older Metra castoffs for free than to lease his or the Federated fleet.

Albuquerque, NM, just bought a fleet of new Bombardier cars and (gack!) MP36Cs because it's easier for them to spend federal matching dollars and pay for maintenance contracts than to convince the locals that they need to maintain old equipment. Hopefully, no one's paying attention to RailRunner, as it stands a high chance of being the first new-start failure in the commuter rail business (nowhere near sufficient ridership potential). Rumint is that they had to drop an extra $300m to buy the line off BNSF from Belen, NM, to Trinidad, CO, because they contracted a non-union operator before they talked to BNSF and found out that only union crews could run on the line.

  by Nasadowsk
<i>Hopefully, no one's paying attention to RailRunner, as it stands a high chance of being the first new-start failure in the commuter rail business</i>

At least there'll be cheap low mile equipment out there. I'm not even sure how the heck they came up with the idea for this line, other than when you have a hammer, you see nails everywhere. Vermont's failed system was an example - it was the poster child for DMU operation (or even the so called 'diesel light rail', i.e. a non FRA compliant DMU). Instead it got a bunch of rotted out coaches and some non descript thing at one end. not the image you want to portray to a skeptical public.

On the flip side, Tri Rail in Florida seems to survive, despite everyone I know down there telling me it's darn near useless for anything.

RailRunner has a bad thing - it's been very high profile. Flopping would add a lot of fuel to the fire, and frankly, I don't see how it's going to work...