railfan4072

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railfan4072 last won the day on January 26 2013

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  1. Saw the Holiday Train yesterday on the Red Line around Addison northbound. Even in daylight, the lights were pretty spectacular. I wasn't expecting to see it, so I didn't have the camera ready. Next time.......
  2. The public bid document explicitly states that the spec is for a base order of 100 cars, with options to purchase up to 746 additional cars. (There are a total of eight options.) The bid form also makes at least one specific reference to these being the 7000-series rail cars. Could that change? Of course, but I certainly don't think it is too early to use information provided in the bid documents for reference or discussion purposes. It's not like I just arbitrarily assigned that series number on my own. However, although the rail cars are referred to as the 7000 series cars at least once, the spec numbering and references to the spec are inconsistent and alternate between 7000-12 and 7200-12. (It leads me to think that perhaps they decided to change the number from one to the other and failed to apply the update consistently. )
  3. Update: Apparently, the procurement opportunity is an IFB (Invitation for Bid), not an RFP, and it is already posted on the CTA's procurement page . It is for a base order of 100 cars, with options for up to 746 additional cars. The bid due date (for now) is 7/25/13. The detail spec part of the bid document is more than 300 pages. Section 3.01 M, (page DS 3-5) addresses the design of the interior of the car. It asks for three alternate design concepts for the interior of the car, including seating configurations. The CTA will review seating configurations during the pre-bid phase and will make a preliminary selection prior to the submittal of final bids. So it looks like they are not married to the bowling-alley style seats currently in the 5000s. What other proposed changes do you all see?
  4. It seems the CTA is getting ready to announce an RFP (request for proposals) for a new series of rail cars. I hear that, with options, the order could be for more than 800 cars. Does anyone have more details?
  5. I got a chance to ride the Holiday Train on the Orange/Brown line through-route on Friday and Saturday. (Once was planned, once was a pleasant surprise.) It looks great, as usual. On Friday, the car I rode was a mixture of families, commuters, and students. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. One of the elves was leading some kids in songs, and most of the commuters were joining in. On Saturday, the crowd was still a lot of families, but also a lot of college-age students and young adults. A different elf from the one I noted Friday had everyone singing and laughing on this car, too. One older woman near me said she purposely missed her stop so she could stay on the train longer. Even the operator (same one both days) was getting into the fun - announcing Santa's arrival and departure and important connections with a festive tone and comments. He seemed a light lighter and merrier than previous years. And he didn't do a lot of unnecessary chatter - which is frustrating since it overrides the music and is often hard to hear. However, he did have to keep reminding people to step away from the train when they were posing for pictures as the train was departing.
  6. I understand there will be a very interesting announcement about the 5000s on Friday morning. In the meantime, don't expect to see any 6-car consists of 5000s on the Pink Line (or 4-car trains either).
  7. Saw the train on Saturday on the Green Line. Despite the rain, Santa was outside in his sleigh, waving to passengers and people on the ground. Even during the daytime when the lights aren't all that vibrant that train is really spectacular.
  8. Today is the big day for the 5000s. Despite an unexpected twist with the announcement today, the first revenue trip will be on the Pink Line. Cars will be assigned to Green and Red, in that order, after Pink Line has its allotment. Pink should be all 5000s by the end of the year or early 2012, unless something unexpected happens with deliveries. Red will start getting the cars by mid 2012.
  9. I read the cited Trib article. Several times. And nowhere did I see it say that they were sending 300 new 5000s to the Blue Line. (did I miss that in another article??) The Trib article did say that they were going to "...replace the 2200 Series Budd cars that were purchased in 1969-1970 and the 2400 Series Boeing-Vertol cars purchased in 1976-1978." But that that's not news to posters on this board or anyone who reads CTA press releases, board reports and CTA-related news articles. CTA has said for years that the new cars were going to replace the oldest (2200s and 2400s) cars in the fleet. What we don't seem to know yet for sure is how many of the 2600s will be replaced by new cars or whether the fleet size will increase or by how much. 130 2200-series cars and 190 2400-series cars equal 320 cars to be replaced. Since the complete order of 5000s has increased from the previously-announced 406 rail cars to 706, I expect there will be a significant number of 2600s replaced, with some increase to fleet size. As regards rail line assignment: The Pink Line has the production 5000s that have been accepted by the CTA, and the Pink Line is where the first 5000s will go into service. You can expect that to happen sooner, rather than later - possibly within the next two weeks. The Pink Line has enough new cars right now for at least two 4-car trains and 54th will receive enough to fill the Pink Line's normal allotment of 44 cars before CTA starts assigning 5000s to other lines. They don't have to wait for all 44 to be delivered to start running some 5000s in revenue service. As far as the next line to get the 5000s after Pink, my expectation is that they will be assigned to Green next.
  10. That's because it doesn't. The 5000s encounter the same issues at older platforms - especially North Red - that the other series of cars do. The perception that the 5000s can't be used on the Red Line because of platform/car height discrepancies is erroneous, and your confusion is understandable. Keep in mind that the 5000s have been run on the Red Line for testing (simulated weight and actual passenger loads) to determine the necessary adjustments. The CTA has said that the 5000s' active vehicle suspension systems can lower or raise the car floor height at platforms. However, when they stop at stations where the track-to-platform height isn't in the standard range, there will still be some platform/car floor height differences.
  11. 5001-5002 and 5013-5014 are being (have been?) tested at Skokie and are expected to be sent to a line for operations and maintenance training purposes. The prototypes will be sent back to Plattsburg for retrofitting. They will probably start going back as additional cars arrive.
  12. Not sure where Hilkevitch got the idea that "New rail cars will start arriving in the next year...". He didn't cite any sources and CTA has not said that in any public materials I could find. Unless, rather than meaning that new cars would start arriving in the next calendar year, 2012, he actually meant that new cars would start arriving in the next 12 months. If he was attempting to convey the latter, then he is likely right. I wouldn't be surprised if the CTA started receiving actual production models in the next several weeks. Information out of Plattsburg indicates that there are several cars ready to be shipped, and CTA is making plans to designate the first cars for training purposes - both maintenance and operations. When they have enough for training, an 8-car train, and spares, then they will put the first new cars into service. At this point, that is expected to happen this summer. For those who want to see the seating layout changed, that probably isn't good news. (I can't cite any official statements; this is my prediction based on information I have heard.)
  13. Maybe he didn't link to or report "the entire poop" because there was no Tribune article posted yet at the time of his chicagobus posting? I wonder if that is possible.
  14. I think they are close to a mobile Train Tracker release. For months, I have sporadically seen a fellow Green Line rider (CTA employee?) check what appears to be train arrival times on her Blackberry. Occasionally, I would hear her tell a companion that a train was coming in two minutes, or 5 minutes, or 8 minutes, etc. -- and she was almost always right. For the last few weeks, I have noticed that the BB display has gone from being all text-based to what appears to be multi-color and green displays. Hopefully, that heralds an imminent announcement.
  15. I've seen the 5000s in all three configurations on the Pink Line in the last two days: 4-, 6-, and 8-car consists. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I saw 8-car trains in the AM rush periods. Then on Tuesday afternoon, I saw two different 4-car trains around the Loop. On Wednesday, I spotted the 5000s as a 6-car consist. So it looks like they are testing the cars multiple ways.