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3 hours ago, richii0909 said:

I hate the Rock Island line at night time. Why do the conductors bother to fill up one car like sardines, then open other car later. Why not just open two cars like every other normal line. 

I also don't understand why the non-rush inbound Milwaukee North trains won't use the first car & often the second car.  Are they afraid of a head on crash?

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Yeah I think we need to complain to someone about this. It just doesn't make any sense to have a full train and only use one car or pick the middle cars to load. BNSF does this too on some trains.. but they load the usable cars on the platform so you don't have to walk far.

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6 hours ago, richii0909 said:

I hate the Rock Island line at night time. Why do the conductors bother to fill up one car like sardines, then open other car later. Why not just open two cars like every other normal line. 

Oh man, some evening trains on the ME, all the cars next to the ramps are the ones close and you have to walk all the way to one of the ends to find open cars. Other worst part is all the South Shore branch & north of 115th stations where its a guess which 1 or 2 cars is open. S/O to conductors that position the train where you are.

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For the most part, the diesel lines don't break up their consists.  That means the non peak trains are still long, though the crew assigned to those trains matches the ridership.  There has to be X amount of crew per open passenger car.  That's why some cars are closed and passengers are usually grouped in the middle of the train.

ME on the other hand generally operates 4 car consists on the SC  branch and mainline during off peak and2 car consists of the Kensington local/Blue Island.  I've been on a SC off peak where only the lead car was available to passengers with only 2 conductors.

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Part of this goes back to the days when that ADA just started and only 1 or 2 cars in a consist were accessible.

Each line had a designated spot in the consist where the ADA car was to be placed. On the Rock Island,

it was the 2nd car behind the engine. On the UP lines it was the cab car, since those were the first accessible 

cars to be placed in service there. On the Milwaukee it was the 3rd car behind the engine for 7 cars or less,

the 4th for longer consist. The BN was someplace in the middle.

 

Cars open revolve around those cars, still do and the amount of cars open depends

on ridership. Rule is, although not always followed, is 1/2 full, open another car. Sometimes there will be a delay

in opening a car to allow those down the line to have the opportunity at having a seat, and those cars will be spotted

at those stations appropriately. Unfortunately bikes take up way more space than they should reducing seating availability.

 

The main reason the car behind the engine will be the last to open is because it is alleged that fumes get into the car, thus,

more for people to whine about. Also, cars will be opened as needed from the ADA car out, since the ADA car must always

be on a platform and not all platforms will accommodate all cars.

 

The ME is a different animal altogether. Same rules on opening cars, but they are supposed to always have 2 open

because of the bathroom situation, although after many a rush hour, that is 1 1/2 cars more than is needed,

especially South Chicago and Blue Island branches.

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Hey Trainman got a question for you... the other day I got to union station 20 minutes earlier 3:40pm I looked for NCS and there it stated track 5. I wait and wait and a train pulls up.. conductor says not NCD MDN leaving at 4:16. confused I go check the board again and it’s stating NCS on track 5 and at this point people are waiting on track 5 for NCS while MDN passengers load. Check board again and now it’s showing track 13.. of course NCS is filed up with no seats anywhere.. I gave up and went back to track 5 caught the MD-N line. Are the track number assigned on the fly or Pre assigned? I wanted to avoid this again 

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On 7/6/2019 at 9:34 AM, richii0909 said:

Hey Trainman got a question for you... the other day I got to union station 20 minutes earlier 3:40pm I looked for NCS and there it stated track 5. I wait and wait and a train pulls up.. conductor says not NCD MDN leaving at 4:16. confused I go check the board again and it’s stating NCS on track 5 and at this point people are waiting on track 5 for NCS while MDN passengers load. Check board again and now it’s showing track 13.. of course NCS is filed up with no seats anywhere.. I gave up and went back to track 5 caught the MD-N line. Are the track number assigned on the fly or Pre assigned? I wanted to avoid this again 

That is our "genius" Assistant Superintendent and "on the ball" Customer Service people.

We have been on 13 since 7 and 9 have been taken out of service.

Now, on Wednesday (the 3rd) there were some changes due to the schedule shuffle with the holiday. Nobody was really told there would be track changes.

We were actually on 17 not 13. Why it would have showed 5 is beyond me. The crew didn't know anything about it until just before I came in,

and when I did I was lined for 17.  I myself was confused and  trying to call and of course not getting an answer.

On behalf of the buffoons in charge, I apologize, not that they ever would or know why.

For the time being we are on 13 in the afternoon, 11 in the morning.

 

***UPDATE***  All tracks at CUS are now open on the north side. We are back on 5 in the afternoons, effective 7-8

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2 hours ago, richii0909 said:

Hey Trainman got a question for you... the other day I got to union station 20 minutes earlier 3:40pm I looked for NCS and there it stated track 5. I wait and wait and a train pulls up.. conductor says not NCD MDN leaving at 4:16. confused I go check the board again and it’s stating NCS on track 5 and at this point people are waiting on track 5 for NCS while MDN passengers load. Check board again and now it’s showing track 13.. of course NCS is filed up with no seats anywhere.. I gave up and went back to track 5 caught the MD-N line. Are the track number assigned on the fly or Pre assigned? I wanted to avoid this again 

Tangentially related, ME does this all the time (hyperbole probably, but since it's happened to me twice, I'm upset) at Millennium Station, I've personally experienced it twice. One time they stated the last Blue Island train of the day boarded Track 4 and we're all on the train waiting, meanwhile another train leaves at the time the Blue Island was supposed to. We get off and go back up to find that the train that left was the Blue Island train, with nobody on it. My mother and I were fine, but one dude had to go all the way over to LaSalle St. Another time was train 603 and 707, they said 707 was to board on track 1, but we actually ended up on train 603, train 707 was on track 2 or 3

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On 6/30/2019 at 9:51 AM, trainman8119 said:

The main reason the car behind the engine will be the last to open is because it is alleged that fumes get into the car, thus,

more for people to whine about. Also, cars will be opened as needed from the ADA car out, since the ADA car must always

be on a platform and not all platforms will accommodate all cars.

 

Except I always ride in the last car on NB UP North trains, due to where I want to get to & the fumes are always getting sucked into that car, especially after it makes the curve after separating from the West Line.

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8 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

Tangentially related, ME does this all the time (hyperbole probably, but since it's happened to me twice, I'm upset) at Millennium Station, I've personally experienced it twice. One time they stated the last Blue Island train of the day boarded Track 4 and we're all on the train waiting, meanwhile another train leaves at the time the Blue Island was supposed to. We get off and go back up to find that the train that left was the Blue Island train, with nobody on it. My mother and I were fine, but one dude had to go all the way over to LaSalle St. Another time was train 603 and 707, they said 707 was to board on track 1, but we actually ended up on train 603, train 707 was on track 2 or 3

Afternoon Rush trains are pretty standard from 2:30 to 6:00.  Once the rush starts, Harvey Zones are on track 2, Flossmoor Zones on 3, UP Zones on 4, South Chicago generally on 5 and Blue Island generally on 6. Recently though, what was a simple track 5 South Chicago and 6 Blue Island has become a total clusterfu@k. With the "Preckwinkle Schedule Change" 5 and 6 have become floaters with South Chicago and Blue Island Trains. Also, the yardmasters there have a knack of worrying about putting trains together that leave an hour after those waiting for equipment. Track 1 is not supposed to be used for passenger service, so I don't know how that situation evolved. 603 is a Kensington Local not a Blue Island train and in fact its equipment goes to Richton Park after its last stop at Kensington. 707 wouldn't even fit on track 1 anyway. I am not saying your are incorrect in your recount of the story, but something doesn't match up.

But all said, anything there can happen since the communication between the yardmasters office and the Randolph Street gate personnel AND bosses calling the shots in the office at Randolph street is TERRIBLE. There are plenty of decisions made that even confuse the train crews, so you are not alone. However, I can say if this happened during the recent power outage, then its a fire drill and good luck.

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39 minutes ago, trainman8119 said:

Afternoon Rush trains are pretty standard from 2:30 to 6:00.  Once the rush starts, Harvey Zones are on track 2, Flossmoor Zones on 3, UP Zones on 4, South Chicago generally on 5 and Blue Island generally on 6. Recently though, what was a simple track 5 South Chicago and 6 Blue Island has become a total clusterfu@k. With the "Preckwinkle Schedule Change" 5 and 6 have become floaters with South Chicago and Blue Island Trains. Also, the yardmasters there have a knack of worrying about putting trains together that leave an hour after those waiting for equipment. Track 1 is not supposed to be used for passenger service, so I don't know how that situation evolved. 603 is a Kensington Local not a Blue Island train and in fact its equipment goes to Richton Park after its last stop at Kensington. 707 wouldn't even fit on track 1 anyway. I am not saying your are incorrect in your recount of the story, but something doesn't match up.

But all said, anything there can happen since the communication between the yardmasters office and the Randolph Street gate personnel AND bosses calling the shots in the office at Randolph street is TERRIBLE. There are plenty of decisions made that even confuse the train crews, so you are not alone. However, I can say if this happened during the recent power outage, then its a fire drill and good luck.

The blue island train was a Saturday night and separate from the other 603/707 situation. That also happened in December/January that just passed, hence why my memory is clearer. With 603/707 we were rushing and a passing worker just said track 1, so we took it on that. This was also several years ago, so I'm sure I've fudged something. I moreso remember being angry I missed a train.

What's the "Preckwinkle Schedule Change?"

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On 7/6/2019 at 9:34 PM, NewFlyerMCI said:

What's the "Preckwinkle Schedule Change?"

That last major schedule change about a year and a half ago increased service to 20 minutes during the day through

Hyde Park. This also eliminated the South Chicago and Blue Island Loop trains at night. Part of the South Chicago

Loop elimination was incorporated to the 20 minute thing as it was desired that night trains go thru from Randolph Street

to 93rd Street. Its silly because the South Chicago trains are basically empty at night. This also created hardship on

riders from the south suburbs as their schedules were changed to accommodate the Hyde Parkers. It is all believed

that all of this nonsense was requested (more like demanded) by Preckwinkle. Of course the Policalness of the Board

agreed and, well, messed up an efficient adequate schedule of service as well as created the illusion of a need for

longer trains. Everyone lost some type of service in this fiasco, EXCEPT those in Hyde Park who have basically shied

away from Metra service in recent years due to fare increases. You can get where you want on the CTA for 1/2 of what

you can on Metra, and the public pretty much figured it out. It is no surprise that this same group of people now want

CTA fares in the area too. All in all, not a good thing and it has hurt ridership there more than helped it.

 

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1 hour ago, trainman8119 said:

That last major schedule change about a year and a half ago increased service to 20 minutes during the day through

Hyde Park. This also eliminated the South Chicago and Blue Island Loop trains at night. Part of the South Chicago

Loop elimination was incorporated to the 20 minute thing as it was desired that night trains go thru from Randolph Street

to 93rd Street. Its silly because the South Chicago trains are basically empty at night. This also created hardship on

riders from the south suburbs as their schedules were changed to accommodate the Hyde Parkers. It is all believed

that all of this nonsense was requested (more like demanded) by Preckwinkle. Of course the Policalness of the Board

agreed and, well, messed up an efficient adequate schedule of service as well as created the illusion of a need for

longer trains. Everyone lost some type of service in this fiasco, EXCEPT those in Hyde Park who have basically shied

away from Metra service in recent years due to fare increases. You can get where you want on the CTA for 1/2 of what

you can on Metra, and the public pretty much figured it out. It is no surprise that this same group of people now want

CTA fares in the area too. All in all, not a good thing and it has hurt ridership there more than helped it.

 

Supposedly the rationale behind the increases in Hyde Park service was due to a boom in new residential construction in Hyde Park, especially near ME stations.  Also, that was the supposed area that ridership increased even though ME overall lost 14% of its ridership prior to the service adjustment. 

To me, SC branch service should be totally eliminated, or at least run rush periods only until the old USS South Works site gets fully developed.

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17 hours ago, artthouwill said:

Supposedly the rationale behind the increases in Hyde Park service was due to a boom in new residential construction in Hyde Park, especially near ME stations.  Also, that was the supposed area that ridership increased even though ME overall lost 14% of its ridership prior to the service adjustment. 

To me, SC branch service should be totally eliminated, or at least run rush periods only until the old USS South Works site gets fully developed.

Similarly, I feel like the Rock Island Beverly Branch could be completely eliminated, at least when the Red Line extension happens. At that point, people could just take a bus to the Red Line. People could even do this now. I feel like Metra should focus on the suburbs more and let CTA take care of the city.

There has long been discussion of increasing service on the ME in Hyde Park and allowing CTA fare integration. I feel that if transportation in Hyde Park should be improved, it should be through bus service. Currently, many Hyde Park residents use the ME because the buses often get stuck in traffic, both within Hyde Park and on Lake Shore Drive. I think that if the South Chicago branch is to be eliminated, then Route 26 should run all-day on weekdays and make limited stops along South Shore Dr, Route 28 should keep its routing on Lake Park at all times (this should happen anyway), and Route 6 can be cut south of 71st. I would also appreciate bus lanes on Lake Shore Drive, though that might be too much of a stretch.

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45 minutes ago, Anthony Devera said:

Similarly, I feel like the Rock Island Beverly Branch could be completely eliminated, at least when the Red Line extension happens. At that point, people could just take a bus to the Red Line. People could even do this now. I feel like Metra should focus on the suburbs more and let CTA take care of the city.

There has long been discussion of increasing service on the ME in Hyde Park and allowing CTA fare integration. I feel that if transportation in Hyde Park should be improved, it should be through bus service. Currently, many Hyde Park residents use the ME because the buses often get stuck in traffic, both within Hyde Park and on Lake Shore Drive. I think that if the South Chicago branch is to be eliminated, then Route 26 should run all-day on weekdays and make limited stops along South Shore Dr, Route 28 should keep its routing on Lake Park at all times (this should happen anyway), and Route 6 can be cut south of 71st. I would also appreciate bus lanes on Lake Shore Drive, though that might be too much of a stretch.

I feel like the Beverly Branch comprises a not insignificant portion of RI ridership, why else do so so many trains end at Blue Island? Also, at that point, not only is its not like Hyde Park, in terms of there's not a lot of comparable service, Beverly and that section of Morgan Park is basically the suburbs, that just so happen to have 3-4 somewhat frequent bus routes. I had cousins who went to Whitney Young, they would walk around the corner to 107th and take the RI and then take the blue line as opposed to taking the 103/112 and then the red and then blue lines. 

For me, I view it like this: If you're in "downtown" Hyde Park and your destination is Michigan/South Water, the 2, 6 or the 28 isn't going to take that much longer than the ME, maybe 5-10 longer assuming traffic isn't terrible. The choice you're left with is how much do you feel like paying? (also assuming you don't have to take CTA again once you get downtown). However, if you're at 107th/Longwood and you're going to State/Jackson, the RI is always going to be faster, by at least 20 mins, if not 25-35 mins. Unless money is an issue, RI would always be the better choice. Even if//when Red Line South happens, your trip wouldn't be faster than RI, nor would you really have any new options compared to before. You'd just transfer from bus to train quicker.

If the SC branch was eliminated, the 6 can remain as it, the 28 should see permanent extension downtown and the 26 can see the increased service you spoke of while ending the route at 92nd/Buffalo, esp since articulated buses don't have to worry about using the turnaround since the 95 doesn't anymore.

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1 hour ago, Anthony Devera said:

Similarly, I feel like the Rock Island Beverly Branch could be completely eliminated, at least when the Red Line extension happens. At that point, people could just take a bus to the Red Line. People could even do this now. I feel like Metra should focus on the suburbs more and let CTA take care of the city.

There has long been discussion of increasing service on the ME in Hyde Park and allowing CTA fare integration. I feel that if transportation in Hyde Park should be improved, it should be through bus service. Currently, many Hyde Park residents use the ME because the buses often get stuck in traffic, both within Hyde Park and on Lake Shore Drive. I think that if the South Chicago branch is to be eliminated, then Route 26 should run all-day on weekdays and make limited stops along South Shore Dr, Route 28 should keep its routing on Lake Park at all times (this should happen anyway), and Route 6 can be cut south of 71st. I would also appreciate bus lanes on Lake Shore Drive, though that might be too much of a stretch.

Actually the Beverly branch on the RI does quite well.  Most of that area's White transit riders will use the RI over the CTA for faster service and safety reasons.  

Back in the day. ME had decent ridership on both the SC branch and the Kensington local as well as the Blue Island branch.  CTA has been killing the SC branch with the introduction of the 14 and 26 routes which are faster.  The mainline local stops between 75th and 103rd saw enough declines that ME cut those platforms from 4 car berths to 2 car berths.   Pullman 111th still has a 6 car length platform but only allows access for 4 cars.  I remember when Kensington had 2 island platforms accessible from underneath the viaduct on 115th St as opposed to the current 1 island platform, which was the old SB platform that is accessed on Kensington just a few feet from 115th.

ME has tried to compete bu making the SC branch zone B and extending zones B and C on the mainline locals north of 111th to no avail.  To maintain 30 minute intervals in Hyde Park during daytime off peak hours, I would either eliminate midday service on the Kensington local or SC with the other alternating with the University Park trains serving Hyde Park.

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21 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Actually the Beverly branch on the RI does quite well.  Most of that area's White transit riders will use the RI over the CTA for faster service and safety reasons.  

Back in the day. ME had decent ridership on both the SC branch and the Kensington local as well as the Blue Island branch.  CTA has been killing the SC branch with the introduction of the 14 and 26 routes which are faster.  The mainline local stops between 75th and 103rd saw enough declines that ME cut those platforms from 4 car berths to 2 car berths.   Pullman 111th still has a 6 car length platform but only allows access for 4 cars.  I remember when Kensington had 2 island platforms accessible from underneath the viaduct on 115th St as opposed to the current 1 island platform, which was the old SB platform that is accessed on Kensington just a few feet from 115th.

ME has tried to compete bu making the SC branch zone B and extending zones B and C on the mainline locals north of 111th to no avail.  To maintain 30 minute intervals in Hyde Park during daytime off peak hours, I would either eliminate midday service on the Kensington local or SC with the other alternating with the University Park trains serving Hyde Park.

Anymore elimination of midday service on the mainline would almost kill it. This might just be me being selfish, as I always take the ME from Grand Crossing when I'm headed inbound since I loathe going through 79th red and either 63rd st station

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44 minutes ago, richii0909 said:

New toilets? They are noisy!

58E884CC-F4C8-4790-A9DF-B60CDEEB6439.jpeg

Are they like those vacuum toilets on airplanes? Every time I use them I press the button and then cover my ears ASAP. ;S

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3 hours ago, MTRSP1900-CTA3200 said:

Are they like those vacuum toilets on airplanes? Every time I use them I press the button and then cover my ears ASAP. ;S

They might be vacuum toilets... they use a lot of air pressure and have very small bowls and are slow to flush. I don't understand how they thought this was a good idea for a replacement.. it just feels like these will break down or do not flush very well

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