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Red Line Fleet Looking Bad


trainman8119
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On my way to Wrigley for the game on Saturday, I went in on the Swift to Howard then down to Sheridan for the game. Upon entering the yard area at Howard coming off the Swift, it looked like the punks had a field day in the yard. There were at least 10 cars that I could see that were tagged pretty good, and at least another 4 or 5 that I passed headed south that had some type of marking on the outside of them. My wife commented that I didn't know when it happened and that it could have been old, but all of the tagged cars were in one section of the yard and the paint looked pretty fresh. I must say, it was the first time in a long time that I rode the system and felt like the equipment was old, dirty and not being taken care of.

So, for all the crap about enhanced security, makes you wonder how they can be serious about alleged terrorist threats when they cant even protect equipment from punk taggers.

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That's pretty sad. You'd think HOWARD YARD was busy enough (and is under enough surveillance) that it wouldn't be vulnerable to tagging, but sadly...

It's a shame that the Red Line is as crusty as it is now.

Definitely points to under-staffing and lack of interest.

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Some time during the Huberman era there were the various announcements (including this Press Release) about having to keep the cars clean and prosecuting the punks to the full extent of the law.

Apparently, though, like everything else, this must have fallen apart

On the Homeland Security front, there were also stories about Rodriguez saying that fed cutbacks are slowing down installing cameras in the cars, like they were going to do it, anyway. Apparently the only remaining source for that is this testimony.

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I would imagine this "tagging" at the rail yards would go on under the cover of night, where there is not much activity, or even in Metra's case, on a Sunday druing the day. With all of the cars that are in the yard, it would be easy to go unnoticed if you pick a consist somewhere in the middle. The BNSF yard in Aurora is easily accessible by foot. It looks like our transit agencies will now have to start spending money to clean off graffiti. I don't know if any of these rail yards have security cameras or security or railroad police monitoring at any time.

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I would imagine this "tagging" at the rail yards would go on under the cover of night, where there is not much activity, or even in Metra's case, on a Sunday druing the day. With all of the cars that are in the yard, it would be easy to go unnoticed if you pick a consist somewhere in the middle. The BNSF yard in Aurora is easily accessible by foot. It looks like our transit agencies will now have to start spending money to clean off graffiti. I don't know if any of these rail yards have security cameras or security or railroad police monitoring at any time.

You are missing the point. CTA, Pace, Metra all claim to be under "heightened alert" and are all worried about the possibility of terriorism. How do they expect to combat that if they can't protect their own equipment in their yards. So much garbage is put out there, but if a street punk can access this stuff, don't you think a sophisticated organization could or would ?

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You are missing the point. CTA, Pace, Metra all claim to be under "heightened alert" and are all worried about the possibility of terriorism. How do they expect to combat that if they can't protect their own equipment in their yards. So much garbage is put out there, but if a street punk can access this stuff, don't you think a sophisticated organization could or would ?

I was about to comment that since you don't see that on the north divisions Metra cars, maybe the punks can't get up to Antioch, Harvard, or Fox Lake.

However, I do see your point. If punks can hang around the yards long enough to do that kind of paint job, there certainly would be enough time for a terrorist to affix a bomb to the undercarriage of a car in the yards. Then, all the sudden, a train derails, and the tin can car skin blows apart, and it wasn't from going through a switch at 70 m.p.h.

Heck, you don't see any freight train that isn't tagged. I saw it on a maybe 100 car WPSX hopper unit train yesterday while I was stopped at a crossing. If, in effect, private trains can't be protected from graffiti, it doesn't seem like security is worth much anywhere in the rail system.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You are missing the point. CTA, Pace, Metra all claim to be under "heightened alert" and are all worried about the possibility of terriorism. How do they expect to combat that if they can't protect their own equipment in their yards. So much garbage is put out there, but if a street punk can access this stuff, don't you think a sophisticated organization could or would ?

I din't miss the point, I'm in agreement with you. I merely mentioned how accessible those yards were, and I don't remember seeing any security cameras. If tagging is this easy, certainly...

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  • 2 years later...

Three more cars were tagged in Howard yard again. 2903-2904 and 2713 are sitting in the west yard with a full display of graffiti on their sides.

#2713's old. (That hasn't been removed yet!!) #2903-04's new. I also spotted #2495-96 with the whole side tagged. Maybe they need to move the retired #2400's over there. They seem to have those close to the tower. BTW they removed the dan ryan wrap on all four 5000 cars.

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Though the crux of this thread is about tagging, I would also say that the interiors of the 2600 series cars are falling apart as well. The metal bars that run under the windows and the ones that run vertical (that hold the faux pas wood) are missing on a lot of the cars. The 2400s are in better shape than the 2600s whether they are on the Red or Blue Lines. The Blue Line 2600s used to be in better shape, but with so many transfers from the Red Line, it is sad. That is how we welcome travelers into a supposed world class city with World War looking equipment. In all honesty, I would've rather seen the 5000s introduced to the Blue Line BEFORE all of the other lines that have them now. The 2600s weren't being ran ragged on the Pink Line and were in great shape. The 2400s were still running well on the Green Line (and now currently the Orange Line). The 2600s that got transferred to the Blue Line are getting as much abuse there as they were on the Red Line so there is really no tradeoff there. By now the Blue would be completely 5000s and the Red Line would have a small amount. End of that rant.

Back to the tagging. It seems to me that the Pink Line Yard and the Evanston Yard are the most easily accessible yards to do tagging, yet they don't seem to have the problem that Howard Yard does. The initial post doesn't indicate which side of Howard Yard is getting the tagging action, but my guess would be the eastern part of the yard considering its proximity to the rough side of Rogers Park (from Howard to Juneway Terr).

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Though the crux of this thread is about tagging, I would also say that the interiors of the 2600 series cars are falling apart as well. The metal bars that run under the windows and the ones that run vertical (that hold the faux pas wood) are missing on a lot of the cars. The 2400s are in better shape than the 2600s whether they are on the Red or Blue Lines. The Blue Line 2600s used to be in better shape, but with so many transfers from the Red Line, it is sad. That is how we welcome travelers into a supposed world class city with World War looking equipment. In all honesty, I would've rather seen the 5000s introduced to the Blue Line BEFORE all of the other lines that have them now. The 2600s weren't being ran ragged on the Pink Line and were in great shape. The 2400s were still running well on the Green Line (and now currently the Orange Line). The 2600s that got transferred to the Blue Line are getting as much abuse there as they were on the Red Line so there is really no tradeoff there. By now the Blue would be completely 5000s and the Red Line would have a small amount. End of that rant.

Back to the tagging. It seems to me that the Pink Line Yard and the Evanston Yard are the most easily accessible yards to do tagging, yet they don't seem to have the problem that Howard Yard does. The initial post doesn't indicate which side of Howard Yard is getting the tagging action, but my guess would be the eastern part of the yard considering its proximity to the rough side of Rogers Park (from Howard to Juneway Terr).

You have a point in the beginning part of your post. I was thinking that same thing. You would think they would want to target the Line that serves one of the busiest (if the not THE busiest) airport in North America especially given now that our the powers that be are whacking travelers to the city with that $5 premium for riding the Blue Line from O'Hare. What impression does that give to hit these folks for that extra 5 bucks and the service they get is on crappy railcars that have to remain in service at least for the next 3 or 4 years at least, if it's even that soon, till we see any 7000s in service?

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You have a point in the beginning part of your post. I was thinking that same thing. You would think they would want to target the Line that serves one of the busiest (if the not THE busiest) airport in North America especially given now that our the powers that be are whacking travelers to the city with that $5 premium for riding the Blue Line from O'Hare. What impression does that give to hit these folks for that extra 5 bucks and the service they get is on crappy railcars that have to remain in service at least for the next 3 or 4 years at least, if it's even that soon, till we see any 7000s in service?

Sometime in 2015, the blue line should get some #3200's. As far as the howard yard tagging #5371-72 is parked right in front of the tagged trains.

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Sometime in 2015, the blue line should get some #3200's. As far as the howard yard tagging #5371-72 is parked right in front of the tagged trains.

I'm not sure if the replacement schedule reflected in the 7000s specs still holds up, but if 400 2600s are supposed to remain to be replaced by them, that's more than enough to run the Blue Line and replace 2400s in Midway Yard.

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I'm not sure if the replacement schedule reflected in the 7000s specs still holds up, but if 400 2600s are supposed to remain to be replaced by them, that's more than enough to run the Blue Line and replace 2400s in Midway Yard.

Frankly, I'm not too confident in the #7000's appearing too quickly. As far as the #3200's it appears the Orange line will be getting around 100 #5000 cars. It's just a matter of do they want them to have #3200 spare cars or #2600. Regardless I don't think it really matters what is decided. The #2600's are old enough, 30 years and counting, that I don't think they can run a 24/7 line with those cars anyway. They probably would end up borrowing the Blue line other cars. It may be easy to put old cars on the Purple, Pink or Green line because they are light passenger lines, but you are asking something entirely different from a high capacity line. I don't think this concept has been tested yet in CTA history, having all the oldest cars on a 24/7 line. We may find the hard way what happens though. :huh::P

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Frankly, I'm not too confident in the #7000's appearing too quickly. As far as the #3200's it appears the Orange line will be getting around 100 #5000 cars. It's just a matter of do they want them to have #3200 spare cars or #2600. Regardless I don't think it really matters what is decided. The #2600's are old enough, 30 years and counting, that I don't think they can run a 24/7 line with those cars anyway. They probably would end up borrowing the Blue line other cars. It may be easy to put old cars on the Purple, Pink or Green line because they are light passenger lines, but you are asking something entirely different from a high capacity line. I don't think this concept has been tested yet in CTA history, having all the oldest cars on a 24/7 line. We may find the hard way what happens though. :huh::P

Essentially having had all of the 2200s on the Blue Line tested that concept; the only difference is that there were also 200 2600s.

As far as putting old cars on Pink and Green that would go back to why CTA started the 5000s there instead of the more logical stance of just replacing the 2200s in place. But, short of the kind of disaster that 4CottageGrove95th retold with regard to the Lake Dan Ryan in 1979, I don't see CTA retrograding equipment (although the riders might not complain so much if they get their seats back). Similarly, while the Purple Line would be an inefficient use of new equipment, there was the previously discussed issue that cars in Linden Yard have to train with cars from Howard Yard to make up an express train.

But I had prefaced that I don't know if the schedule in the 7000s spec can still be taken at face value.

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Just put it this way. It took them 10 years to get the #5000 series, Saying they are going to get #7000's by 2016 is really lofty expectations. I don't think they are getting anything at least until 2017-18. It might be realistic that some #2600's will make it to 35 years old, but they could always just rehab the #2600's again if the #7000's don't happen.

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Just put it this way. It took them 10 years to get the #5000 series, Saying they are going to get #7000's by 2016 is really lofty expectations. I don't think they are getting anything at least until 2017-18. It might be realistic that some #2600's will make it to 35 years old, but they could always just rehab the #2600's again if the #7000's don't happen.

Why I said I had doubts about the schedule is the overlapping project to add 10 years life to the 3200s.

Besides that, that schedule assumes that 100 2600s would get a mild rehab.

But theoretically, if the 7000s were on schedule, there would have been a contract award by now. But it is still on the Contract Opportunities Page, with a bid due date of 1/27/2014.

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Speaking of project and procurement delays, Wilson/Red line was supposed to have started it's rebuilding process last summer. Now about a week ago they put out a bulletin, i believe for the 8th, to reinforce the platforms once again. Note they nailed plywood over the crumpling wood decking that was weak in spots and breaking. I've been told the plywood is warping. Now my question is why fix the decking again if the station is getting rebuilt? The answer obviously is more delays in the original project.

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Speaking of project and procurement delays, Wilson/Red line was supposed to have started it's rebuilding process last summer. Now about a week ago they put out a bulletin, i believe for the 8th, to reinforce the platforms once again. Note they nailed plywood over the crumpling wood decking that was weak in spots and breaking. I've been told the plywood is warping. Now my question is why fix the decking again if the station is getting rebuilt? The answer obviously is more delays in the original project.

Doing a search on the Press Releases, the last one was of 5/3/2013 saying that they were looking for a contractor; no Press Release that they awarded a contract.

RedEye first had that the bid date had been extended, then listed it as a 2014 project. At least it is off the Contract Opportunities page, but not in the awarded contracts database. The search mentioned above came up with a Press Release 1/7/2014 about Red Line art that mentioned the "upcoming Wilson Station reconstruction."

But I am pretty darn sure that if a contract had been awarded, there would have been a press release on something that important.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you passed through Howard yard today the vandals hit #5255 pretty bad. The whole length of the car is now multicolor. First time I saw a #5000 hit this bad. I guess they learned how to paint the corrugated sides. Unfortunately, this is going to be the norm if they don't do something about it. Speaking of cars not in service I wonder what's wrong with #2713-14. I haven't seen it in service in months.

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If you passed through Howard yard today the vandals hit #5255 pretty bad. The whole length of the car is now multicolor. First time I saw a #5000 hit this bad. I guess they learned how to paint the corrugated sides. Unfortunately, this is going to be the norm if they don't do something about it. Speaking of cars not in service I wonder what's wrong with #2713-14. I haven't seen it in service in months.

I'm not understanding why some sort of security is not manning these yards. But then again, I've never been to the Howard yard so I don't know. But I've got to believe CTA has got to do something. They've paid way too much money for these cars to get tagged.

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I'm not understanding why some sort of security is not manning these yards. But then again, I've never been to the Howard yard so I don't know. But I've got to believe CTA has got to do something. They've paid way too much money for these cars to get tagged.

In a sense, it may be dumbing down to deviance (I think El Rushbo used that phrase). Just like etching film is now standard on the windows, there probably will be some press release about a biodegradable solvent. Sort of similar to when they announced stronger interior cleaning products, except they don't clean the interior.

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