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trainman8119

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Everything posted by trainman8119

  1. There has been some talk for quite awhile of MDW service extension. This mainly because the City of Elgin would like to get the coach yard out of downtown.
  2. UP-N has plenty of freight north of Lake Bluff. This is the link between Chicago (Proviso) and Milwaukee and a fair amount of service to and from Minnesota. And don't forget the coal trains that serve Waukegan and Oak Creek. The UPNW is pretty much commuter only especially since GM Janesville shut down. There is some freight there, but not much.
  3. Contract carriers keep the money on the tickets they well, which makes it a little curious that they would eliminate ticket agents, since I am sure Metra is freezing them out of app sales. Carriers may eliminate positions with (usually) 30 day notice, so if they followed the protocol on that, the union has not beef. As for cars open, the cab car closing that Metra required earlier is no longer in effect (and hasn't been since mid June), although with the current ridership level and the ridiculous length of trains most use the belly cars and keep the ends closed. As for collecting fares, crews on all Metra owned lines are required to collect fares and make their presence known.
  4. Metra may or may not win the STB case...hard to say. If they win, look for the UP to make travel over the lines difficult with freight being priority slowing things down, especially on the West line. They can do a number on the North line north of Lake Bluff too, whether Metra owns that part of the rail or not (which I don't think they do). Either way, watch how the court case plays out. There, I suspect Metra is in a world of trouble.
  5. Absolutely. Currently, the only railroad that is somewhat "commuter friendly" is the CP, and that is primarily because I found that Metra actually owns the track they run on over the CP territories (Milwaukee West and North lines).
  6. The buses are dark inside. They have a depressing purple lighting. Personally, I'm not impressed one bit with this service and wish they would just return the 270 to the way it was and forget the 250. Sadly, it'll never happen.
  7. Yes, the POS agreements are under a specified time. I believe the UP-Metra agreement ended December 31, 2019. That said, the UP never wanted to operate commuter trains in Chicago since they took over from the CNW. They put them 3rd in priority in their dispatch system behind stack trains and coal trains. I was a dispatcher when the UP took over from the CNW and saw how they wanted to operate. There were agreements in place on how passenger trains would be handled and within 30 days of the operation being moved to Omaha, trains on the west line frequently operated 30-60 minutes late because of freight train interference. Legend has it that the only reason they kept Metra somewhat happy is that Metra was paying big bucks to maintain the tracks. The Metra extension to Elburn had less to do with Metra wanting to extend west of Geneva and more of the UP wanting them out of West Chicago for a intermodal ramp which never happened (this ramp was eventually built around La Fox and will be closing if not already done so). I think Metra believes they would have taken over the operation of the 3 UP lines. But remember, the UP owns the track, and right now there is no agreement. I believe they want to dump the commuter interference and that is why there is no agreement, per se. It will be interesting to see just how this plays out in the courts and the STB. And if there is any question if a railroad can restrict passenger trains, look no further than the CN not allowing Metra to add trains to the weekday line up (currently limited to 20 per day, 10 in each direction) and refusal to allow any weekend service on the North Central Line. In fact, under normal circumstances, the last train out of Antioch was forced to use the Milwaukee North line to come into the city because the CN would not let Metra to go south of Grayslake. Remember, Metra signed agreements with the old Wisconsin Central for use of track, signal upgrades and double tracking. When the CN bought the WC, the whole ball game changed. Like I said, this will be interesting, very interesting to watch.
  8. The reason for the facing seats is that it was required to have it where emergency windows are in order to facilitate added room in case of emergency, since these seats didn't flip. These cars are retired, so it doesn't make a difference any more.
  9. First of all, when 55/56/57 was rebuilt it was done with the idea of making that stop the main Hyde Park transfer point. This was because Jesse Jackson and all the local activists wanted it that way. The U of C was not happy about it, but it happened anyway. As for the current schedule mess, Metra is blaming PTC, as they are with everything. They are using PTC as a cover for all the schedule changes they want to make but were afraid to. All that was needed on the PTC front was have 15 minutes at the end to make a turn instead of the unrealistic 7 they kept doing. The push for added Hyde Park service is all Toni Preckwinkle and no one else. For some reason she thinks that there should be 100 trains a minute there and the hell with everyone else. She was the impetus behind that last schedule change 2 or so years ago that added more trains Hyde Park. It left trains, especially the added South Chicago trains, running 1/2 empty, especially at night, where 3 out of 4 cars were closed !
  10. I know some stuff needs the "Metra" upgrade (or downgrade depending how you look at it). But lets face it, they cry shortage of power but sure are dragging getting the Amtrak F59s out and running. Some of the F40s are staggering and as predicted when they arrived, the MP36s shake rattle and roll. Fall behind on schedule and your chance of making it up is slim, very slim. I am speaking of the MD...don't know enough about the BN !
  11. I say dead line because they put a whole bunch of engines out there and then just ignore them for months, including Amtrak F59s and the recently delivered 94. For example 92 has been out running and suddenly has found itself at the end of the line in the east yard. There is also a NIRC switch engine in the line for 2 weeks now.
  12. The real answer is h-d then d-g. The bean counters would prefer c-g, but most conductors (emphasizing most) would probably accept the d-g transfer...I know I would. This subject comes up often.
  13. 94 has found its way to the Western Ave "dead line" since last Wednesday. Given the way things are these days, probably will be sitting there for 6 months or more !
  14. For what it is worth, Loco 94 found its way to the dead line at Western Ave last Wednesday. Probably sit there for awhile like most everything else these days.
  15. I should stand corrected and say 6350 Axess buses from West. No NABIs at NW.
  16. Been seeing some 6300s in the yard at NW
  17. For all the hoopla and planning you would think they would have been completely ready to go on this. This has been in the wish list pipeline for 20+ years. It is being rushed through because someone has an agenda on it. It is an overhyped overspent covered up service DECREASE since it is not servicing ALL of the people on Milwaukee Ave equally. To spend money on what is nothing more than an elaborate bus stop, required wrapping (or painting) signal preemption (which wont help you in rush hour with the traffic leading up to said signals) is a waste on something that could be better spend on other projects. There will be some that MIGHT ride this and be happy, but IMO the majority of of passengers will be disserviced in some way.
  18. There is a reason for this. When NCS started, there was limited service gauging ridership. Off peak service was provided by Pace routes 960 and 961. When the service was increased, 960 and 961 were eliminated. The contracts Metra had were with the Wisconsin Central RR which was purchased by the Canadien National RR. The CN has no real desire to provide passenger service. The WC promised Metra the possibility of night and weekend service. The CN when taking over said no. In fact, if you see the last inbound trip (train 120) it operates via the Fox Lake subdivision. That is because the CN would not allow that train to operate south of Grayslake. There is even talk now that after Metra did their NCS cuts a year or so ago, that they are questioning the wisdom of the cuts and would perhaps like to reinstate those trains...but the CN may not let them even though they are allowed 20 trains.
  19. The top will NEVER admit to making a mistake, whether there is proof of it or not. Funny, all those Pulse pictures and amazingly not a soul around to ride them. The inside of those buses with the purple tone is dark and depressing.
  20. Probably 3. 1-Pay of the run picked. Old timers tend to pick runs that make the most money. 2-Route itself. Many drivers prefer to operate certain routes over others whether it be how busy its is, traffic patterns where it goes, etc. 3-Time of day. Believe it or not, many operators will actually choose night runs over day runs. Probably mostly because it is more laid back if you can handle the stress of working the night. Others will choose early day runs to be done early. Others will pick the split runs for $$$ as well as the time off in the middle. There is no form and the rookies really do generally get the crap left over.
  21. No F59s on the UP. They are strictly on the MDW, MDN and NCS
  22. Yes, by all means fixed route. But this Pulse stuff goes away from the fixed route concept and creates a whole new animal. To the average rider, this is a service CUT not an improvement. To the joe on the road or the intersecting bus routes, it creates the possibility of more traffic gridlock. And for an agency with supposed money troubles, you have this desire for these grand service stops instead of a bus stop on a corner and have to have specialty looking buses for the service...again more cost, at least at the start. Pace has gotten away from your standard fixed routes in the past with subscription service, corporate (ie. UPS) funded routes and express movement only via highway (with special lanes and specially designed buses...again more cost put out in other ways). Am I a fan, NO, and if I was a 270 rider stuck in the middle, I probably wouldn't be any more. And by the way....has anyone ridden on one of those 6500 Pulse buses? They are the darkest, most depressing bus I have ever been on. Aside from great a/c they aren't the most comfortable bus to ride on (although better than the newer Novas CTA has) and they rattle an awful lot
  23. As far as I am concerned, it is a terrible money wasting idea. Pace has been on this band wagon for 20+ years. You watch, just like the CTA x routes, these buses will be empty or close to it. Once again, the bread and butter riders get the shaft. This is one type of reason I left Pace many many years ago now...and the new ED fits the mold so well ☚ī¸ Rocky Donohue was so against taking care of the little guy or the grandma who needed to go shopping or something. He was more into smoozing politicians. I see that nothing has really changed. I really disliked it when he became my supervisor.
  24. probably the same guy who thought the airline seats were a good idea 😝😝
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