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Highliners Arrive at IRM


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The project manager has been focused on getting the cars here for the past couple years, now the task at hand is to fundraise and to get them operational.  Honestly, paint/RR affiliation is not currently at the forefront.

Do they run on the South Shore overhead? For that matter, do the South Shore cars run on electricity now?

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Anyone know what IRM will do with these. Is the plan to make them original IC cars (which I would hope) or

refer to them as Metra cars (which I would hope not, seeing as how Metra eliminated their decal prior to shipping).

Seeing as how they like to take cars to original vintage. #2153-54 livery, the #5-50 that was repainted they should be taking at least one set to that era. i was wondering if #2433-34 will get the CTA farewell livery but it should. They haven't yet got it ready for service with trolley poles unless they plan to run it off #2243-44, in which they wouldn't need to. But i think there's pictures of both #2153-54 and #2243-44 as standalone cars with power.

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I am one of the volunteers working on the Highliners and the 'L cars, and I will try to answer your questions, although from what you all have written, I don't think you'll like my answers. 

To trainman8119:  What is wrong with them being Metra cars?  How would you propose to make them back into IC cars- for starters, where would you get all of the parts, or are you in favor of creating a hybrid car that never existed?  The Metra decals are present, just painted over, and they will have that paint removed.  The department curator agrees with us volunteers that it is not realistic to attempt a backdated restoration and that preservation as 2014 cars is the most appropriate action.  Work so far has focused on the initial steps to conserve the cars and examine their operational condition.  We have started on 1534, as it is known to have run most recently.  All of the cars' battery sets are already showing signs of damage from sitting idle, as they are lead-acid cells and were stored dead, which causes plate sulfation and an inability to take a charge.  We have proven out most of 1534's 74 volt DC circuits and have run the motor-alternator on 600 volts.  Work continues as we have time.

To busjack: What do you mean by South Shore overhead?  If you mean 1500 volts DC, yes, that's what they're intended for, but like the older IC electric cars in our collection, they will run acceptably at 600 volts.  Sometimes minor adjustments are needed to circuits that read the voltage, but the original equipment is always still installed and in use.  If you mean "have they run on the South Shore compound catenary section of the mainline", the answer is of course not, because they just got here Thursday!  The South Shore orange cars do occasionally run, and have always run on electricity.  I don't know what else you could have meant by that.

To bushunter:  Saying that we like to take cars to original vintage is not really correct.  Our primary mission is to educate the public through our museum and operations.  If a restoration is contemplated on a car and within the restrictions put on us by a given car's condition and history, the curator and volunteers consider what historical values a car has and what time period would be appropriate.  Sometimes that's back to the beginning, and sometimes it's the end of service, and sometimes it's somewhere in the middle.  2153-54 were restored to the 1969-72 period- green and white, Lake-Dan Ryan service, with WABCO cab signal and ACI tags and blue upholstery.  All of that has been achieved except the upholstery, and that is planned after fundraising.  It would not be practical to make them into 1964 Congress-Douglas-Milwaukee cars (they were not Lake St. cars), mostly because of the cab signal.  Yes, there are minor details that are not right at present.  Some of them we can do something about, and will in time, and some we can't.  2433-34 will not be painted like CTA's farewell cars.  Instead, we plan to put skinny stripes and painted ends back on it, which will suffice to return it to approximately 2004 or so.  That is about as far back as they can go and keep the left-side drop sash window, the inverters, the automated announcements, and other items.  The cars have had trolley poles installed since early April, and have run in testing.  We are ironing out some minor problems and will start introducing them to public service soon.  It is not practical or safe to run a pair of cars from other running cars' trolley poles.  We do run car 22 through a jumper to car 41, although we don't like to, because that is the only way it can operate.  2 cars from one trolley pole is a lot of current draw.  3 or more cars is just plain unreasonable.

Adding trolley poles to equipment is a step we don't take lightly.  It is always done in a minimal, reversible, safe way, and is only done when the alternative is for equipment to be completely inoperable.  The Museum does not exist to write history, it exists to preserve the railroads' history.

Richard Schauer

 

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...

To busjack: What do you mean by South Shore overhead?  If you mean 1500 volts DC, yes, that's what they're intended for, but like the older IC electric cars in our collection, they will run acceptably at 600 volts.  Sometimes minor adjustments are needed to circuits that read the voltage, but the original equipment is always still installed and in use.  If you mean "have they run on the South Shore compound catenary section of the mainline", the answer is of course not, because they just got here Thursday!  The South Shore orange cars do occasionally run, and have always run on electricity.  I don't know what else you could have meant by that.

...

 

I meant essentially do you have 1500 volts to run them and intend to run them that way, and is the overhead the correct height, so it looks like you answered that question.

With regard to your answers to the others, it gets down to what IRM's policy of painting a car or a set of cars with the IC livery (such as here)  even if it might no longer have 1973 era parts, as well as what rights do you have from either the IC/CN and Metra to use their trademarks.

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My only question was would IRM show these cars as they actually were when they were delivered or would they have Metra colors.

Since Metra knew these cars were headed to IRM (the car list had these cars retired and held for IRM) and chose to paint over their

logo, a)are they against using these cars in a Metra historical display or b) knowing what they knew and they painted over the decal,

do they deserve to have this equipment remembered in their name, in which case I would, personally, like to see them painted in

IC colors and the heck with them (sorry...just the chip on my shoulder these days). Frankly, I was ok with any answer you provided,

I was just curious, that's all. I did appreciate your reply, whether I liked it or not.

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...

Since Metra knew these cars were headed to IRM (the car list had these cars retired and held for IRM) and chose to paint over their

logo, a)are they against using these cars in a Metra historical display or b) knowing what they knew and they painted over the decal,

do they deserve to have this equipment remembered in their name, in which case I would, personally, like to see them painted in

IC colors and the heck with them...

That gets back to the point I made immediately above whether IRM has the right to use Metra or IC trademarks. Your post would imply not, but R. Schauer or someone from IRM should answer one way or the other definitively.

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 I don't think you'll like my answers. 

 

To bushunter:  Saying that we like to take cars to original vintage is not really correct.  Our primary mission is to educate the public through our museum and operations.  If a restoration is contemplated on a car and within the restrictions put on us by a given car's condition and history, the curator and volunteers consider what historical values a car has and what time period would be appropriate.  Sometimes that's back to the beginning, and sometimes it's the end of service, and sometimes it's somewhere in the middle.  2153-54 were restored to the 1969-72 period- green and white, Lake-Dan Ryan service, with WABCO cab signal and ACI tags and blue upholstery.  All of that has been achieved except the upholstery, and that is planned after fundraising.  It would not be practical to make them into 1964 Congress-Douglas-Milwaukee cars (they were not Lake St. cars), mostly because of the cab signal.  Yes, there are minor details that are not right at present.  Some of them we can do something about, and will in time, and some we can't.  2433-34 will not be painted like CTA's farewell cars.  Instead, we plan to put skinny stripes and painted ends back on it, which will suffice to return it to approximately 2004 or so.  That is about as far back as they can go and keep the left-side drop sash window, the inverters, the automated announcements, and other items.  The cars have had trolley poles installed since early April, and have run in testing.  We are ironing out some minor problems and will start introducing them to public service soon.  It is not practical or safe to run a pair of cars from other running cars' trolley poles.  We do run car 22 through a jumper to car 41, although we don't like to, because that is the only way it can operate.  2 cars from one trolley pole is a lot of current draw.  3 or more cars is just plain unreasonable.

Adding trolley poles to equipment is a step we don't take lightly.  It is always done in a minimal, reversible, safe way, and is only done when the alternative is for equipment to be completely inoperable.  The Museum does not exist to write history, it exists to preserve the railroads' history.

Richard Schauer

 

That was pretty impressive about #2153-54. I read you guys got a grant to repaint it. It looks good. So you want to put blue vinyl seats in it. As far as the #2200's, I would have preferred they take a car back to 1970's vintage and put in those vinyl seats. They were black like the ones in #2153-54 currently (hint hint!!) but you would have to find some seat frames, some are probably in #1892 - #1992 aka #2007-08. They make the cars look more in the period they were mean't for but it sounds like it might be too hard to do that. I don't know how they did the windows but they covered the interior with that updated look. Too bad it wasn't like new siding and the old stuff was under it. Probably too hard to do again and the museum guests probably wouldn't know the difference. So I guess you can cheat on it but it takes away from it's authenticity. As far as #2433-34, CTA I believed just put decals for a stripe on the farewell ones. I don't believe they are painted, sounds simple enough but we must respect the museum wishes even if we are not overjoyed with the answers. They were mean't for the bicentennial period and again not doing it takes away from it. I guess that nix' the charcoal windows on the outside. Too bad you guys wouldn't be interested in a farewell car. It's virtually ready to go in appearance and I thought CTA said they were only keeping 6.

So all this has me wondering, if the farewell cars ad cards were donated by IRM, the exterior appointments were not?

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Here's some more answers for you guys:

Busjack- There's no way we could run at 1500 volts.  It's one of those situations where we have a bunch of competing choices and have to make one-  off the top of my head, I can think of electric equipment we have that runs on 250, 550, 600, 700, 1200, 1500 VDC and 11000 VAC.  We have to pick one of them, and the most common one is 600.  Some of the other equipment is amenable to being run on that, and some isn't.  We do what we can.  Overhead height is remarkably standardized among all of those voltages, although some of the suspension parts and specialwork that can be used are not good for trolley poles and some are not good with pantographs.  Our line was originally built for trolley poles and we have been making it more pantograph-friendly over the years.  There are still some not-so-hot spots.  A quick watch of people's Youtube videos of past trolley parades and other special event days will show operating CSS, IC, and CTA equipment; you often see them drop the pan while running under a wire frog just east of the station area because it can snag.

We take the view (in general) that backdating a piece of equipment is a pretty big deal, certainly more than just a paint job.  Equipment accumulates a historic "fabric" through its life, and changing things on a piece necessarily rips up part of that fabric.  The big decision that a curator needs to make is, is it worth it.

As for railroad trademarks:  first, I'm not a lawyer.  But, by and large, not-for-profit railroad museums (as opposed to for-profit operations) aren't really bothered by the railroads for having accurate paint schemes that include the railroad's name or logo.  The relationship between the railroads and the rail museum industry is generally friendly and "favors" pass in both directions.  A museum having a piece of equipment from the XYZ Railroad that says "XYZ Railroad" on the side doesn't really cost XYZ anything, in money or opportunity cost.  Some third party selling models or T-shirts or something is another story.  I'd refer you to discussions that have been held over the years, including with lawyer input, on RyPN; just search for "trademark" or similar.

Trainman8119- I think most or all of the Highliners that have left Metra property, and certainly all of the recent ones, have the Metra and RTA logos painted out.  It's just what they do; there's no negative intent involved.  Cross the T's, dot the I's.  Cars we've gotten from CTA over the years don't have anything painted out; it's just what they do.

Bushunter- Yes, it was a lot of work to get 2153-54 painted.  We put over 1100 hours into that paint job.  A grant did cover about half the expenses and private donations covered the rest.  2200s in general are some of the most rebuilt, modified cars I can think of.  There isn't much on one that hasn't been worn out, redone, and worn out again over 44 years of service.  We have a fair number of seat cushions that would be appropriate for a 1969 restoration, from the 2007-08, but there are not enough.  (Remember that some of the seats in those cars were replaced with tables.)  The frames were also unique to the 2200s, with the big loop on the aisle side- they were supposed to replace stanchions.  You'd be looking at an uphill battle to bring them back, unless, as you say, you cheat.  As you might guess, they're planned to remain as 2013 cars.  But if someone magically came up with a huge pot of money to reproduce parts and some way to guarantee that the project would be completed (probably meaning some paid labor), we'd sure consider it! 

IRM loaned CTA an assortment of car cards in 2013 to be copied for the 2200 farewell.  (I'd guess that among the cards in the cars, roughly half were copies of ours.)  Some of them were also used for the 2400s.  We didn't provide anything related to the exterior.

Richard

 

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Hi Richard,

Curious how you were able to make the MA set run on 600V.  Is the motor actually a pair of 750V motors in series that could be paralleled?  I think there was something like that going on with the MG and compressor on the '26 cars.  I know on a sealed-window car this will be crucial to get the HVAC going.

I guess I'm not understanding why it would be that difficult to back date the cars at least in external appearance.

Besides the paint job:

Remove the big markers.
Remove ditch lights.
Remove the contact coupler covers.
If you're really ambitious there were roll signs next to the center doors.
Perhaps remove the emergency windows.


Internally would be more difficult since you would need seats to replace those removed to create the handicapped area.
Remove the handicapped ramp addition to the vestibule walls.
Additional dividers in the center vestibule
The upstairs seats.  Few remember this but when you go upstairs and all the way to the end where it's possible to step over to the other side, there used to seats in that middle area facing outward.  Very cramped. 

As we all know, painting the end of a train car black is not such a good idea when visibility is the last thing to prevent a collision.  That aside, as originally turned out by St. Louis they were pretty sharp looking cars and I think more modern looking than the cars that are replacing them with their round roofs.  I think Metra's desire to have everything the same and ignore the transit-like nature of the electric line is unfortunate but we're here to celebrate the real Highliners.

Does anyone know where they are being scrapped?

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Hi Richard,

Curious how you were able to make the MA set run on 600V.  Is the motor actually a pair of 750V motors in series that could be paralleled?  I think there was something like that going on with the MG and compressor on the '26 cars.  I know on a sealed-window car this will be crucial to get the HVAC going.

It's a package M-A set with a 1500 volt armature.  There are multiple field connections.  We have spun the M-A on one car on 600 volts as it sits, and it ran fairly well; we measured the alternator outputs and they're reasonably high.  Work continues as we have time, and during setup and teardown for this weekend there's not much spare time!

You said:
>>>I guess I'm not understanding why it would be that difficult to back date the cars at least in external appearance. Besides the paint job: ...etc.

And I said:

>>>We take the view (in general) that backdating a piece of equipment is a pretty big deal, certainly more than just a paint job. 

Come on out and argue this one with the department curator and the volunteers working on the project.  Computers are lousy places to make big decisions on the future of artifacts.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the cars' appearance at earlier times in their lives, and if money, labor, and parts grew on trees, I'd be all for it.  But don't you think it's more important to protect the cars in the first place by fundraising to get them inside and stop the rot?  We picked out the best cars we could find, and indeed they are in better shape than the rest.  But all of them have rust problems. 

Richard Schauer

 

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"Backdating" is rarely worth the time and money involved. Repainting is easy by comparison, and is frequently necessary on museum accessions anyway as they have often been less than optimally taken care of in their last years in service and are quite ratty looking. But once you start talking removing (and even more adding back) things that were changed over their lives you can be dealing with very complex and expensive issues. For instance, removing the big tail lights is probably very easy, but reinstalling the sign rollers is not.

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Oh, no argument here.  Preserving them at all is the main thing and I'm fine with preserving them as Metra cars.  I was more curious what you meant by "pretty big deal / more than just a paint job" so you must be referring to the interior since for the exterior the paint job is indeed 95% of it.

One period we can definitely skip is after the accident but before settling on painting the ends in Panama Orange like the sides, the ICG painted the ends in Day-Glo orange!

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Oh, no argument here.  Preserving them at all is the main thing and I'm fine with preserving them as Metra cars.  I was more curious what you meant by "pretty big deal / more than just a paint job" so you must be referring to the interior since for the exterior the paint job is indeed 95% of it.

One period we can definitely skip is after the accident but before settling on painting the ends in Panama Orange like the sides, the ICG painted the ends in Day-Glo orange!

After the wreck, IC  (or CSSMTD, which actually owned the cars) didn't mess around, but I thought they looked better with the orange ends.

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Oh, no argument here.  Preserving them at all is the main thing and I'm fine with preserving them as Metra cars.  I was more curious what you meant by "pretty big deal / more than just a paint job" so you must be referring to the interior since for the exterior the paint job is indeed 95% of it.
 

Actually I'm referring to the entire car.  Exterior, interior, mechanical, electrical, things you can see and things you can't.  For instance, did you know that in the control group, the original GE power contactors were replaced with EMD locomotive contactors?  If you said, 'it doesn't matter because you can't see it', then see my paragraph above about backdating being more than just a paint job. 

I know we try to maintain a pretty high standard.  We're a museum, in a crazy non-profit business to preserve this junk that we call artifacts.  We are staffed by fallible people, who sometimes make the 'right' decisions and sometimes make the 'wrong' ones.  But when there's something as big as a backdating on the table, which is guaranteed to permanently change something, we think pretty long and hard about it.  I'm not saying it's impossible that someday, someone will come up with a plan and a bunch of resources to do it, and the cars will be put back as they were, because preserving them now keeps that option open for the future.  But right now, they'll be Metra cars.

(Incidentally, we have both St. Louis and Bombardier cars.  If you restore both to as-built, they wouldn't match.  Hmmm!)

Richard Schauer

 

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Hey Richard, do these cars still have hydraulic brakes?  In all these years I have never heard anyone ever mention the pneumatic to hydraulic system other than when the cars were first introduced.  Makes me wonder if that stuff was junked in favor of all-air.  (And if it was such a great thing as was originally touted whether anyone else used it.)

Yeah, fully back dating would be a big undertaking.  An external restoration of the two St. Louis cars to the appearance on the Railway Age cover is more readily achieved.

CTA5750:  You must not be looking as I found this in the first 30 seconds.

IMG_3871-800x600.JPG

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Hey Richard, do these cars still have hydraulic brakes?  In all these years I have never heard anyone ever mention the pneumatic to hydraulic system other than when the cars were first introduced.  Makes me wonder if that stuff was junked in favor of all-air.  (And if it was such a great thing as was originally touted whether anyone else used it.)

Hydraulic braking's long gone.  I can't say when it was taken off but it's been a long time ago.  It's now just electropneumatic with dynamic, and spring parking brakes.

Richard Schauer

 

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Hey Richard, do these cars still have hydraulic brakes?  In all these years I have never heard anyone ever mention the pneumatic to hydraulic system other than when the cars were first introduced.  Makes me wonder if that stuff was junked in favor of all-air.  (And if it was such a great thing as was originally touted whether anyone else used it.)

Yeah, fully back dating would be a big undertaking.  An external restoration of the two St. Louis cars to the appearance on the Railway Age cover is more readily achieved.

CTA5750:  You must not be looking as I found this in the first 30 seconds.

IMG_3871-800x600.JPG

Wow  I guess Im not looking hard enough!!! :)  Very nice!!!  What scale???

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