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Metra Electric Highliners

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It sounds like with the progressive receivership of the Nippon Sharyos, the "old" Highliners are starting to fade out from revenue service. I'm planning to visit home in June or July. Since I'll be staying in Matteson, IL with my mother, I will definitely have a number of occasions to take the IC into the city. It looks like the vast majority of schedules may be run by 1200-1300 series.

I live at Matteson, IL and I be catching the Electric Metra Line most of the week and the best to catch those Old High liners are between Afternoon Rush Hour to Midnight. Usually, during Weekday Evenings are are mostly Old Highliners out after Dark, even the last trip from Downtown to University Park are the Old Cars. I like the seating arrangements on the Old High Liners way better than the new ones on the upper level. Plus the Older Cars, I like the sound of the engine sound on the outside and when it takes off, is sounded like a Space ship. I will dearly miss them much when they're done with revenue after 43 years.

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I live at Matteson, IL and I be catching the Electric Metra Line most of the week and the best to catch those Old High liners are between Afternoon Rush Hour to Midnight. Usually, during Weekday Evenings are are mostly Old Highliners out after Dark, even the last trip from Downtown to University Park are the Old Cars. I like the seating arrangements on the Old High Liners way better than the new ones on the upper level. Plus the Older Cars, I like the sound of the engine sound on the outside and when it takes off, is sounded like a Space ship. I will dearly miss them much when they're done with revenue after 43 years.

Thanks for the heads up :) !!!! Now we're talkin' :D . I missed the last run of the 2400s; didn't feel good about that at all. But I will definitely not miss this chance (and maybe my final opportunity) ride the old Highliners in the upcoming months.

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I understand the new M.E.s are being assembled locally. How are they delivered to the Electric line? (Sorry if it has already been discussed).

To my knowledge, diesel.

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I understand the new M.E.s are being assembled locally. How are they delivered to the Electric line? (Sorry if it has already been discussed).

I would think diesel, but I can't tell you for sure. They show up at KYD, then to 18th street and put into service. They come out of Belvidere, so if it is diesel, it would come via UP. But like I said, I can't say for sure.

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I understand the new M.E.s are being assembled locally. How are they delivered to the Electric line? (Sorry if it has already been discussed).

Most likely routing from Rochelle would be UP to Proviso-IHB to Blue Island-Metra via IC Blue Island Branch to KYD.

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Right now I am at Work Columbus and Homan.  There' are at least 8 ME Highline including 1609 and 1639.  They're on what looks like a side track but it's still dark so I can't tell.   This is just west of the Wrightwood Station on the SWS Sservice line on the NS tracks.

 

Later I was able to get pictures.

Edited by artthouwill
typo

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I've been riding the Highliners daily for over 25 years and add me to the list of riders that really detest the new equipment. The removal of the end car vestibules really slows down loading and unloading and increases dwell times. The windows are far too deeply tinted green. Too many seats were removed to accommodate the ADA restrooms. The seats are very uncomfortable and individual riders far too often flip them over to try and give themselves a personal four seater setup and the upstairs seating layout is awful.

A few weeks ago on my morning commute we had the old STL/Bombardier equipment and my car still had the old orange and gold seat covers. It was like slipping on a comfortably worn pair of gloves.

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I've been riding the Highliners daily for over 25 years and add me to the list of riders that really detest the new equipment. The removal of the end car vestibules really slows down loading and unloading and increases dwell times. The windows are far too deeply tinted green. Too many seats were removed to accommodate the ADA restrooms. The seats are very uncomfortable and individual riders far too often flip them over to try and give themselves a personal four seater setup and the upstairs seating layout is awful.

A few weeks ago on my morning commute we had the old STL/Bombardier equipment and my car still had the old orange and gold seat covers. It was like slipping on a comfortably worn pair of gloves.

​People on the ME demanded that they be treated the same as other Metra riders, including having seating area turned over for use as restrooms, so that's what you get.

trainman would have to comment on your claim that they don't have vestibules, as it would seem to make it difficult for the conductor to audit fares (again since the riders demanded to be treated like all other Metra riders and have the fare controls removed).

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​People on the ME demanded that they be treated the same as other Metra riders, including having seating area turned over for use as restrooms, so that's what you get.

trainman would have to comment on your claim that they don't have vestibules, as it would seem to make it difficult for the conductor to audit fares (again since the riders demanded to be treated like all other Metra riders and have the fare controls removed).

The vestibulesecond he is referring to are on the ends of each car which is the engiineer's compartment.   Other than the lead car, those doors also are used for boarding and alighting.  It's the same for the single level South Shore csrs.  On the bi level SSCC cars, the vestibule is on the opposite end of the car since those doors are used also for low level boarding. 

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The vestibulesecond he is referring to are on the ends of each car which is the engiineer's compartment.   Other than the lead car, those doors also are used for boarding and alighting.  It's the same for the single level South Shore csrs.  On the bi level SSCC cars, the vestibule is on the opposite end of the car since those doors are used also for low level boarding. 

​OK. I misunderstood. However, again that makes them equivalent to any other Metra car.

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As a passenger, I hate all of the Nippon cars for many of the reasons stated by IC. As a trainman, I love them for pretty much

the same reasons. The majority of the "regular passengers", especially the women, hate these cars. They are uncomfortable,

too bright, cramped, windows too big and center only entrance doors. The upper levels don't have enough facing front/back seats since they

try to be the CTA (more and more each day) with the bowling alley style seats. The engineers have trouble with the throttles in that they

lose their notch position. This would be one of the reasons you feel like you are on a tilt-a-whirl or roto whip when riding.

It has been rumored that end doors were originally requested for the Electric District, but Metra was either told that it

couldn't be done, or (more likely) they didn't want to pay for them. The latter became the more probable when the South Shore cars came

in with...alas !!  end vestibule doors, which BTW make it much much easier and safer to ground load.

 

The major advantage from a trainman standpoint is 126 seats in bathroom cars and 132 in non bathroom cars

compared to the 144 in the old cars. BTW....the mechanical department doesn't do too much better fixing the new cars than the old ones

once they go down. And for the bathrooms...they get cleaned only once (yes once) a week...Wednesday or Thursday. So if you should happen to ride one

and the door is locked and it seems that no one is in there, trust me, you don't want to try to go in. The center vestibule doors are either stuck open or

close so hard, one of these days someone is going to get hurt (if they haven't already) and the end doors stick so bad someone will eventually throw

out a rotator cuff.

 

Certainly not worth the wait with Metra allowing Nippon to complete a smaller order (joke) before finishing theirs. Funny the CTA can get 600+ rail cars

(complete with testing, major failures, redesigning) as well as 200 buses in the time Metra has got 100 of the 1227-1300 series. I am trying to pin down

just how many came in in 2014, but I don't think it was more than 14 cars. As I go through, I check the production dates in the vestibule. So far I have seen

later 1290s with 2013 tags. I want to say the last car with a  2014 date was either 1316 or 1318. I know for sure 1322-23-24-25 have 2015 dates.

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​OK. I misunderstood. However, again that makes them equivalent to any other Metra car.

​On the 'old" ME Highliners,  every car other than the lead car had two exits, one at the center and one on the end.  On the new ME cars, and the diesel cars, the center doors are the only exit/entrance to the cars.  That is why he said dwell times at the stations are longer.

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No one in the railfan network has come up with photos of them being scrapped nor even where it's happening.  I've heard both about a scrapyard in Blue Island as well as something going on just NE of KYD south of the K&E.

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Is there an update on which runs have the old highliners? I would love to get some more pictures.

Rush hours would be a safe bet, especially if viewing from the platform at the 11th St./Museum Campus station as equipment heads to/from the yard; but off peak runs aren't entirely out of the question either.  In short, there really is no set schedule as far as regular assignments; it's pretty much catch as catch can...

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