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Mr Downtown

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  1. I don't know the source of this photo, but I suspect it was scanned from a postcard: Why is Flxible 8508 signed for Soldier Field? The downtown parking shuttle (eventually called 149 Stateliner) didn't extend up Michigan Ave. The "museum campus" area was then served by 126 Jackson. It looks to be a midsummer day in 1961 (per license plate color) and it seems unlikely the postcard photographer would have been out on Independence Day (when the American Legion fireworks display was held at Soldier Field back then) and captured that many taxis and buses and people in office clothes.
  2. It appears that the developer's architecture team just looked at a transit map and decided that because they're next to a rail line, they could of course magically become the new transit hub of the region, with CTA, Metra BNSF, Metra Electric, and Amtrak trains all stopping there, and then a fleet of magic buses heading up the MPEA busway or Columbus to all the vital destinations like Millennium Park and Navy Pier. But of course the riders on the Orange Line want to go to the Loop, not to 14th & Indiana. Same with the folks on the BNSF, and on Amtrak from Champaign or Memphis. Now t
  3. The update cycles are completely independent of each other, so sometimes CTA will be ahead and sometimes RTA will. RTA is driven primarily by map stock levels, while CTA sometimes times a map to show a big service change.
  4. My original question (which has inexplicably been moved here instead of in the accurately titled thread I started) was about whether an operator on a particular run uses the same consist all day long—or does a consist being turned back at the terminal just go out with whatever operator/run is up next on the schedule? Busjack—in the post he's now deleted—immediately snarked that I should already know the answer just from visiting Howard sometime.
  5. On the SB platform at Howard? How would I know whether the operator stepping out is the one who brought the train from 95th? As for classifying this as a "fantasy post," whatever that is, maybe this forum isn't all about you.
  6. Do you ever answer a simple question without finding some way to imply that the questioner is stupid? Standing on a platform at Howard, I have no way of knowing who's an operator who just came in from 95th, who's a relief operator, and who's a hostler. From mere observation, I have no way of knowing which trains are rush-period trippers that just pulled in with split-shift operators and which are baseline service runs headed back south. I don't know if operators arriving from 95th run their trains around the loop and back to the SB platform, or if some other employee has that duty while
  7. Thinking of a normal ~8.5-hour run, would the operator normally shuttle back and forth his entire shift with the same set of equipment? During his meal break, would it be put on a layup track somewhere at the terminal, or would another operator take his original train out under a different number while he falls back three or four trains and takes a set of equipment that had just arrived when he returns?
  8. What's strange is that the paint job isn't completely done on this car, as you can see in the photo. There's still masking tape visible, coverings on the windows, and other details unfinished. Why bring this one not-ready-for-prime-time car all the way north from Kensington and park it on a Burlington yard lead?
  9. OK, I'll bite. If not BNSF, then who does the maintenance work on WSMTD cars?
  10. Wait, what property does Metra own near Roosevelt Road? If you meant the car is Metra property, I didn't realize they never use any outside contractors or send rolling stock out for work.
  11. Sitting under Roosevelt Road at the north end of 14th Street Yard is 7661, with the paint job mostly done. Not sure if the work was done by BNSF, or what.
  12. Setting aside the snark and complete guesswork offered in this thread, I talked with some experts and I think I understand better now. I was having trouble understanding how the blocks could be isolated from each other without some kind of electrical insulation. While it's technically accurate to say there aren't insulated rail joints between blocks, there are instead "impedance bonds" that prevent the audio frequency signals from traveling between blocks but do pass the 600VDC traction power. Isolating high-voltage running rails requires big hefty nonconducting blocks while low-power A
  13. Huh? The same frequencies are used systemwide. And if there are no insulated rail joints, how does the train keep from shorting out the very signal it is receiving?
  14. Well, that also puzzles me. I'm pretty sure CTA uses fixed blocks, not the moving blocks possible under more modern systems, so it's not based on "so many feet behind the other train." In addition, Bill writes "CTA uses a high frequency cab signal system which functions without insulated rail joints separating the blocks." How exactly would that work? How would a train only pick up the signal from the block it's about to enter, and not from the next one ahead?
  15. I'm trying to better understand CTA's cab signal system. My understanding from Bill Vandervoort's wonderful web page about it is that the cab display shows four aspects: green, yellow, red, and flashing red, indicating the condition of the block the train is just about to enter. But traditional wayside signals, as I understand it, showed not only the condition of the block about to be entered but also the block beyond that so that trains could slow before entering an occupied block. I guess my question is whether this is a significant difference. As I understand it, CTA trains get a yel
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