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Metra Electric Highliners

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On the 1200's highliners, they have the door chime that you hear on the diesel lines when the doors close and On the 1500's Highliners, they have the beeping or buzzing noise when the doors close

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These cars take me back to my young adult years in the mid seventies when I worked at Traveler's Aid Society on La Salle and Van Buren streets. I frequently took to Blue Island local from 75th and South Chicago to Michigan Ave and Van Buren to get to work. With the retirement of the 2200s and the soon-to-be retirement of the 2400s, it's like pieces of my youth are quickly disappearing. :(

Yes, pieces of my youth, seemingly chunks, are disappearing. At least with the Red Line Rehab, I get a short chance to relive my childhood as the Englewood Howard is resurrected (minus the Racine, Harvard, Wentworth, and 58th St stations).

I vaguely remember, or I thought the IC had six tracks through Hyde Park when I was a child, but most of my life I've seen only four between downtown and 115th. Even at 115th, I vaguely remember there being two island platforms, one inbound and one outbound. The station entrance was under the viaduct on 115th. Since the entrance has been moved to Front St, there is only one island platform. It would seem to have worked better the old way, but who am I?

I knew the days of yesterday were leaving when they changed the seats in the 1500s from the yellow and orange schemes to the gray to match the interiors of the diesel lines. Fortunately they didn't make those reversible bench seats. The 1200s are nice, but again, I like the South Shore's Highliners better than Metra's (diesel or electric)..

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...

I vaguely remember, or I thought the IC had six tracks through Hyde Park when I was a child, but most of my life I've seen only four between downtown and 115th. Even at 115th, I vaguely remember there being two island platforms, one inbound and one outbound. The station entrance was under the viaduct on 115th. Since the entrance has been moved to Front St, there is only one island platform. It would seem to have worked better the old way, but who am I?...

There were two freight tracks, which I assume have been abandoned. There also was a trestle bridge that took the freight tracks over the commuter tracks between 18th and 23rd, requiring the commuter trains to slow down to snake under that trestle.

However, at least riding the South Shore starting in the late 60s, I remember only the one platform at Kensington, and, as I noted earlier, the SB South Shore stopping on the east side of that platform, although someone posted that it could have stopped on either side. Of course, not at all since the bypass was put into service.

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It may seem that you lose seats on the upper level, but you don't. Sane as the diesel districts...126 per car. On the 1200s with no bathrooms there are 134. The 1500s have 144 seats. The old Budds/Pullmans on the diesel lines are in the 136-138 range if I remember right (it has been 7 years since I had to count those) z

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There were two freight tracks, which I assume have been abandoned. There also was a trestle bridge that took the freight tracks over the commuter tracks between 18th and 23rd, requiring the commuter trains to slow down to snake under that trestle.....

Scrambling my brains, those tracks might still be used for Amtrak.

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Scrambling my brains, those tracks might still be used for Amtrak.

If I'm wrong, I am sure that someone will correct me. But, the "freight tracks" you mentioned that cross over the ME tracks between 18th and 23rd streets are still there and from what I can see, they still look to be quite active. Likewise, these tracks appear to still be supported on wooden trestle. However, because the McCormick Place expansion has been so extensive, both sets of tracks are almost submerged under this superstructure to the point where riding the ME along this section of track is like riding through a short "subway" tunnel because it's so dark, even in broad daylight. When I rode the ME through this section about two weeks ago, the freight rails leading up to the trestle bridge looked nice and shiny; very active, at least to me anyway.

So, it looks like your memory is right on target.

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If I'm wrong, I am sure that someone will correct me. But, the "freight tracks" you mentioned that cross over the ME tracks between 18th and 23rd streets are still there and from what I can see, they still look to be quite active. Likewise, these tracks appear to still be supported on wooden trestle. However, because the McCormick Place expansion has been so extensive, both sets of tracks are almost submerged under this superstructure to the point where riding the ME along this section of track is like riding through a short "subway" tunnel because it's so dark, even in broad daylight. When I rode the ME through this section about two weeks ago, the freight rails leading up to the trestle bridge looked nice and shiny; very active, at least to me anyway.

So, it looks like your memory is right on target.

I'm not sure if the tracks to which I was referring went up to the St. Charles Air Line connection at 16th, in which case they certainly are still necessary to get Amtrak trains to Union Station, or just to get to the Donnelly Plant, which I understand isn't there any more.

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However, at least riding the South Shore starting in the late 60s, I remember only the one platform at Kensington, and, as I noted earlier, the SB South Shore stopping on the east side of that platform, although someone posted that it could have stopped on either side. Of course, not at all since the bypass was put into service.

The Kensington/115th wikipedia page confirms what I remembered, that there was once two island platforms at Kensington..

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There were two freight tracks, which I assume have been abandoned. There also was a trestle bridge that took the freight tracks over the commuter tracks between 18th and 23rd, requiring the commuter trains to slow down to snake under that trestle.

However, at least riding the South Shore starting in the late 60s, I remember only the one platform at Kensington, and, as I noted earlier, the SB South Shore stopping on the east side of that platform, although someone posted that it could have stopped on either side. Of course, not at all since the bypass was put into service.

The freight tracks still exist and are used quite extensively. The track crosses the Rock Island at Clark Street and goes west. Amtrak trains use them southward to New Orleans. ME trains travel under them under Mc Cormick Place (25 MPH on the curve). There are 6 tracks from 115 to Mc Cormick. 2 are freight, 4 are ME. South of 115, it is 4 freight and 2 commuter to Homewood. Remember, at one time the whole thing was the ICG.

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About the McCormick Place tracks: I took the Amtrak Illini/Saluki to Champaign-Urbana in 2004 (I think it was the Illinois Service back then), and I remember passing under the McCormick Place with the Metra Electric trains. However I remember our tracks being higher up than the Metra tracks, so I believe we passed over them. I also remember running parallel to the Metra Electric main line all the way to University Park.

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Up to 1278 now. Been in for about a week or so.

I thought that they got interrupted with more upcoming orders due to Budget issue for next couple years?

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Hi Art;

Don't forget the State St station which, if IIRC was close to Elmo's Tombstone Service.

Yes, pieces of my youth, seemingly chunks, are disappearing. At least with the Red Line Rehab, I get a short chance to relive my childhood as the Englewood Howard is resurrected (minus the Racine, Harvard, Wentworth, and 58th St stations).

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There were two freight tracks, which I assume have been abandoned. There also was a trestle bridge that took the freight tracks over the commuter tracks between 18th and 23rd, requiring the commuter trains to slow down to snake under that trestle.

However, at least riding the South Shore starting in the late 60s, I remember only the one platform at Kensington, and, as I noted earlier, the SB South Shore stopping on the east side of that platform, although someone posted that it could have stopped on either side. Of course, not at all since the bypass was put into service.

Until 1971, there was a platform for diesel trains at Kensington also. Low level though, between the next two tracks the east of the suburban tracks. Closed when Amtrak started 5/1/71. 63rd had a thru-train platform too, which closed soon afterwards if not at the same time.

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Hi Art;

Don't forget the State St station which, if IIRC was close to Elmo's Tombstone Service.

State station was on east side of State St, and like Wentworth was actually the second floor of storefront building. Closed 1973 and demolished, building and all.

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1291 and 1292 seen last week of March 2014

We are up to 1296. That is the last car to come in and that was about 4-5 weeks ago. I guess we are on the agreed upon (silly) Nippon embargo.

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We are up to 1296. That is the last car to come in and that was about 4-5 weeks ago. I guess we are on the agreed upon (silly) Nippon embargo.

It was supposed to be at 80, so that would indicate another 10 to go.

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1297-98 visually seen at KYD

Told 1299-1300 have been seen there too.

1st cars in over a month (6 weeks).

**UPDATE 4/17...1299-1300 in service South Chicago Branch this morning**

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Does anyone know which runs of the day still use the old highliner cars on the Metra Electric Line?
I would love to do another ride on them before they are fully retired.

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Does anyone know which runs of the day still use the old highliner cars on the Metra Electric Line?

I would love to do another ride on them before they are fully retired.

There are still plenty runs with the old equip. There is that odd 7 car train that leaves Randolph sometime during the 4 p.m. hour. .don't know the run (train) number.

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