Jump to content

MTDX bi-level car dispositions


Recommended Posts

Midwest Transit & Development Corporation (MTDX) purchased 71 ex-CNW bilevels from Metra in 1998. They intended to resell the cars to other commuter or excursion operators. Some were leased to Caltrain and other places for a short time, while others were purchased for excursion service at various locations around the country. Their business model failed when a court ruled that cars purchased with federal funds had to be offered to another transit agency before they could be sold to a private owner. Information is hard to come by, but I believe MTDX went out of business around 2003, although their website is still "active".

For a short time after purchase, these cars were stored along the lakefront in South Chicago. They were then moved to the EJ&E East Joliet Yard. Most were dispersed over the next several years. In 2013, CN built an intermodal terminal in Joliet, which forced the remaining ten cars to be relocated to Elk Grove Village. Nine of those remain there today, in poor condition due to vandalism and theft.

This is a list of the dispositions of MTDX bilevels. It is not a complete list and I am looking for more information. What other cars are missing from this list? Were any scrapped? If MTDX is no longer in business, who owns the cars now in Elk Grove/Bensenville?* Who owned them when they were still in Joliet? More recent information on any MTDX cars is also appreciated.

*I'd guess Iowa Pacific Holdings based on their location and presence of other IPH equipment on the same siding, but I can't prove this.

  • 7602
  • 7604
  • 7606
  • 7607
  • 7608
  • 7609 Waterloo, IA. Iowa Northern.
  • 7610
  • 7611
  • 7612
  • 7613
  • 7650
  • 7651 Spencer, NC. Foxville & Northern
  • 7652
  • 7654 Spencer, NC. Foxville & Northern
  • 7655
  • 7656
  • 7662 Spencer, NC. Foxville & Northern
  • 7663 Sold to VRE, returned to Metra
  • 7665 Green Bay, WI. National Railroad Museum. Restored to CNW colors. Previously used for Big Easy Steam Train in Belle Chasse, LA in 2000-2001.
  • 7666
  • 7667 Miami, FL. Gold Coast Railroad Museum. For sale in 2019.
  • 7668
  • 7669 Unknown. Used for Golden Pacific Railroad excursion train in Tacoma, WA in 2006.
  • 7670 Miami, FL. Gold Coast Railroad Museum. For sale in 2019.
  • 7671 Bensenville, IL. Was leased to Caltrain around 2001.
  • 7672 Spencer, NC. Foxville & Northern
  • 7673 Unknown. Used for Golden Pacific Railroad excursion train in Tacoma, WA in 2006.
  • 7674 Was in Joliet at one time.
  • 7676 Spencer, NC. Foxville & Northern
  • 7677 Spencer, NC. Foxville & Northern
  • 7678 Miami, FL. Gold Coast Railroad Museum.
  • 7679 Unknown. Was in Joliet until at least 2003.
  • 7680 Unknown. Used for Big Easy Steam Train in Belle Chasse, LA in 2000-2001.
  • 7681 Spencer, NC. Foxville & Northern
  • 7880 Bensenville, IL. Painted for Agence Métropolitaine de transport (Montréal, Québec).
  • 7900 Unknown. Used for Golden Pacific Railroad excursion train in Tacoma, WA in 2006. Not MTDX, but acquired by Dan Behr in 2004.
  • 7901 Unknown. Was in Joliet until at least 2008.
  • 8701 North Milwaukee, WI. With 8722, both stripped of parts.
  • 8702 Bensenville, IL.
  • 8703
  • 8704 Waterloo, IA. Iowa Northern.
  • 8705
  • 8706 Bensenville, IL. Cab end severely damaged by fire in 2019.
  • 8707
  • 8708
  • 8709 Bensenville, IL. Was leased to Caltrain around 2001.
  • 8710
  • 8711
  • 8712
  • 8713 Bensenville, IL. Was leased to Caltrain around 2001.
  • 8714
  • 8715 Unknown. Reported in Elk Grove Village in 2013.
  • 8716 Bensenville, IL. RTA paint.
  • 8717
  • 8720 Quebec, QC. Went to Le Massif Du Charlevoix (LMCX) in 2011, rebuilt and extensively modified.
  • 8721 Bensenville, IL. RTA paint.
  • 8722 North Milwaukee, WI. With 8701, both stripped of parts.
  • 8723 Miami, FL. Gold Coast Railroad Museum.
  • 8724 Quebec, QC. Was leased to Caltrain around 2001. Went to Le Massif Du Charlevoix (LMCX) in 2011, rebuilt and extensively modified.
  • 8725
  • 8726 Miami, FL. Gold Coast Railroad Museum.
  • 8729 Unknown. Used for Golden Pacific Railroad excursion train in Tacoma, WA in 2006.
  • 8730 Unknown. Not MTDX, but acquired by Dan Behr from VRE in 2008. At Ottawa Railcar in Ottawa, IL until sometime between 5/2013 and 9/2015.
  • 8731 Unknown. Not MTDX, but acquired by Dan Behr from VRE in 2008. At Ottawa Railcar in Ottawa, IL until sometime between 5/2013 and 9/2015.
  • 8735 Bensenville, IL. RTA paint.
  • 8737 Unknown. Used for Golden Pacific Railroad excursion train in Tacoma, WA in 2006.
  • 8739 Unknown. Not MTDX, but acquired by Dan Behr from VRE in 2008.
  • 8740 Unknown. Not MTDX, but acquired by Dan Behr from VRE in 2008.
  • 8742 Unknown. Not MTDX, but acquired by Dan Behr from VRE in 2008.
  • 8763 Unknown. Used for Golden Pacific Railroad excursion train in Tacoma, WA in 2006. Not MTDX, but acquired by Dan Behr in 2004.

Note: The WSOR coaches discussed in this thread were determined not to have been MTDX cars. These include 7713, 7726, 7766, 7767, 7768, 7769, 7770, 7771, 7778, 7781, 7823, 7858, and 8744. MTDX 8701 and 8722 are in the WSOR North Milwaukee yard and may have been used for parts for these other cars.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I can't shed much light on the backstory of the MTDX cars, but I can update/add a few to your list.  I've been keeping a large spreadsheet of ALL the ex-Pullman cars for a few years, so this information comes from a variety of sources.  I've definitely heard that those cars in Bensenville are owned by Iowa Pacific but have no additional information on how that happened.

Updates to cars on your list:

  • 7658 - Not an MTDX car.  Originally went to VRE, renumbered V430.  Returned to Metra 2014, repainted and number restored, but never returned to service.  Sat at M19A for awhile, donated to IRM sometime in October, and now resides there permanently.  They have no plans to repaint and plan on using the car to add capacity for special events.
  • 7665 - Now owned by National Railroad Museum in Green Bay.  Restored to CNW colors, used for various excursion trains
  • 7667, 7670 - Listed for sale on Ozark Mountain Railcar 5/2019; details and outcome unknown, may still be in Miami
  • 8701 - I know this car was reported as returned several years ago, but I've NEVER seen it, and Metra's official Rolling Stock Reports don't show it as active.  I'm not sure it was ever actually returned, or if it was, it's sitting in a shop somewhere as a parts source.
  • 8720, 8724 - Heavily modified, now owned by a tourist railroad in Quebec (LMCX) along with several other non-MTDX bilevels
  • 876? - Probably 8763, which was an MTDX car according to my info.  No further details though.

Additions to your list:

  • 8715 - Presumably an MTDX car; was in Elk Grove Village in 2013
  • 8722 - Was MTDX at some point; last spotted in Milwaukee around 2005, stripped, likely scrapped; one other car with it, number unknown
  • 8730, 8731, 8739, 8740, 8742 - Originally went to VRE, but sold to MTDX in for $1 each in 2008.  No idea where they went after that.

I've also updated my own spreadsheet with the information you posted above, so thank you for that!  If you're curious as the the info I've gathered, feel free to check out the spreadsheet.  First tab is returnees only, second tab is the master list - link to Google sheet here.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Eric95 said:

8715 - Presumably an MTDX car; was in Elk Grove Village in 2013

That accounts for the last of the ten moved from Joliet to Elk Grove. It disappeared sometime between 2013-2015. Also kills my speculation that 8715 was the one abandoned on CZRY at Dubbers spur, which your list says is 8728.

On that note, I discovered that the cars used for the Tren Turístico Tijuana Tecate were 7765, 7777, and 7785. These cars were part of a group of 11 that was discussed in this thread. A former CZRY employee on Trainorders.com says that the cars were purchased directly from Metra.

10 hours ago, Eric95 said:

8722 - Was MTDX at some point; last spotted in Milwaukee around 2005, stripped, likely scrapped; one other car with it, number unknown

Can you provide the exact location in Milwaukee, such as a Google maps link, if you know it?

10 hours ago, Eric95 said:

8730, 8731, 8739, 8740, 8742 - Originally went to VRE, but sold to MTDX in for $1 each in 2008.  No idea where they went after that.

So MTDX was still active in 2008, and VRE was willing to give away cars to them? Did you mean to say METX instead of MTDX? 8730 and 8731 are shown on rrpicturearchives as having returned to the Chicago area in 2008, and it was reported on this forum that 8731 returned to Metra. However, like 8701, that was never confirmed.

10 hours ago, Eric95 said:

876? - Probably 8763, which was an MTDX car according to my info.  No further details though.

I was able to confirm it was 8763.

10 hours ago, Eric95 said:

I've also updated my own spreadsheet with the information you posted above, so thank you for that!  If you're curious as the the info I've gathered, feel free to check out the spreadsheet.  First tab is returnees only, second tab is the master list - link to Google sheet here.

Thanks a lot! This is really helpful information. I've updated my list.

Were all the WSOR bilevels from MTDX? WSOR had 7713, 7726, 7781, 7858, 8744, and at least 5 others (some later ended up elsewhere). You have 8744 listed as abandoned in Bensenville in 2015. What's your source for that? Google Earth shows an A-B-A set and three bilevels, which look like the WSOR passenger train. None of that equipment is still there, and those bilevels were not part of the ten cars moved from Joliet, which were stored on a different siding at the time.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/2/2019 at 4:05 AM, Pace831 said:

On that note, I discovered that the cars used for the Tren Turístico Tijuana Tecate were 7765, 7777, and 7785. These cars were part of a group of 11 that was discussed in this thread. A former CZRY employee on Trainorders.com says that the cars were purchased directly from Metra.

Ooh, thanks, I'll update my own list with that info.

On 12/2/2019 at 4:05 AM, Pace831 said:

Can you provide the exact location in Milwaukee, such as a Google maps link, if you know it?

I don't have an exact location - my only evidence was this picture, taken in 2006.  Couldn't make out the number on the second car, but it seems likely they're both scrapped at this point.

On 12/2/2019 at 4:05 AM, Pace831 said:

So MTDX was still active in 2008, and VRE was willing to give away cars to them? Did you mean to say METX instead of MTDX? 8730 and 8731 are shown on rrpicturearchives as having returned to the Chicago area in 2008, and it was reported on this forum that 8731 returned to Metra. However, like 8701, that was never confirmed.

Nope, MTDX - I've attached a PDF to this post, found while combing through old VRE board meeting proceedings, that show these five were sold to Dan Behr, who of course was the owner of MTDX.  Whether MTDX was actually still active as a company, I don't technically know, but if nothing else, Mr. Behr was apparently still interesting in gathering rolling stock.

On 12/2/2019 at 4:05 AM, Pace831 said:

Were all the WSOR bilevels from MTDX? WSOR had 7713, 7726, 7781, 7858, 8744, and at least 5 others (some later ended up elsewhere). You have 8744 listed as abandoned in Bensenville in 2015. What's your source for that? Google Earth shows an A-B-A set and three bilevels, which look like the WSOR passenger train. None of that equipment is still there, and those bilevels were not part of the ten cars moved from Joliet, which were stored on a different siding at the time.

Noting it as abandoned was probably an error on my part - the Bensenville location was probably taken from whenever I found this photo on Flickr of the former 8744 in WSOR paint.  In terms of their path to WSOR, I'm really not sure - the older spreadsheet that I started from (dated around 2006 and of completely unknown source, though it has turned out to be *mostly* accurate) lists some of those cars having gone to Carrizo Gorge, and a couple having been at Northern Rail, which later went bankrupt and went through some whole fiasco with the bilevels destined for VRE that I never really sorted out.

VRE 0710 Sale to D Behr.pdf

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Eric95 said:

I don't have an exact location - my only evidence was this picture, taken in 2006.  Couldn't make out the number on the second car, but it seems likely they're both scrapped at this point.

The photo caption gave enough information for me to figure it out by looking at Google Earth imagery. There is an image from nine days after the photo was taken, which shows those two cars as well as ten more at the WSOR shops just to the north. Those ten are presumably the ones that were moved to Horicon a few months later. 8722 and its mate were probably stripped of parts for the others. They were still nearby as of the latest imagery, dated March 16, 2018. This is further evidence that WSOR got all their cars from MTDX, so I will add them to the list with an "unconfirmed" note.

19 hours ago, Eric95 said:

Nope, MTDX - I've attached a PDF to this post, found while combing through old VRE board meeting proceedings, that show these five were sold to Dan Behr, who of course was the owner of MTDX.  Whether MTDX was actually still active as a company, I don't technically know, but if nothing else, Mr. Behr was apparently still interesting in gathering rolling stock.

The buyer was named as Dan Behr Associates, not MTDX. This prompted me to look up Dan Behr's LinkedIn profile, which mentioned involvement with Ottawa Railcar, Inc. in Ottawa, IL. I then recalled that there were once two bilevel cars there. Searching rrpicturearchives revealed that they were 8730 and 8731. They disappeared between 2013 and 2015.

LinkedIn also has the following entry about MTDX:

Quote

Bilevel Gallery Commuter Railcar Project

Apr 1998 – Oct 2003

Mr. Behr, along with other investors, established a holding entity in 1998, which purchased 71 Metra commuter bilevel gallery commuter railcars for lease and/or resale. In connection with this venture, a separate passenger car and locomotive maintenance entity was established to renovate and maintain the fleet of cars.

Mr. Behr developed a renovation program for the cars being offered, along with a fleet maintenance program. In order to do this, production lines had to be set up, along with a matrix of suppliers, inventory, skilled and unskilled labor and the technical resources to execute a renovation program to exacting specifications and standards.

Work groups included the following:

► Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
► Brake work, including tread brake unit (TBU) rebuilding
► Running gear and couplers
► Seat rebuilding
► Re-flooring
► Re-painting interior and exterior
► Steel fabrication and body work
► Electrical
► Training

The workshop was a subcontractor to the prime contractor in the renovation of similar cars for Virginia Railway Express. The scope of work performed involved renovation of the interiors, as well as various other scopes of mechanical work. While the scope of work in the subcontract was limited to interior renovation, most of the work in the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) work scope was applied to the other company-owned cars and the results of that work can be seen in the finished products, shown in a car data document, provided upon request. In addition, the car shop had performed projects for Alstom Canada Transport, in preparation of cars for service in San Francisco, California.

A few more tidbits I discovered:

  • Golden Pacific had 7900 according to this entry. It was not specified as an MTDX car but I would guess it probably was.
  • Gettysburg RR leased an MTDX bilevel around 2001. According to Alexander D. Mitchell IV on the RYPN forum, it was repossessed to MTDX for failure to pay the lease.
  • Delaware River Railroad Excursions in Phillipsburg, NJ has three bilevels; unknown numbers; unknown if they came from MTDX.

Thanks again! You gave me some good leads.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You as well!  Appreciate the correction and further explanation on that VRE sale in '08 - I hadn't given much thought to it but it definitely helps clear up the timeline.  Let me know if you if you find any more relevant info, MTDX or otherwise, as you keep searching.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Somewhat related, when I was in Nashville a couple years ago I spotted a few former RTA bilevels stored, so reading this topic I tried to locate them on Google Maps. The third image is of one of the cars which sits separated from the others closer to the street, the VRE 451.

The second image is a satellite screen grab as street view cuts off here. One of these two is still in RTA's brown/orange.

The first image is of the same two cars on street view, seen partially over a Nashville TA bus.

I can't tell whose property the railcars are stored on or who owns them, but it appears they sit directly next to a Nashville MTA bus garage. Some of their active fleet is parked there (image 4) as well as an old Neoplan (5 and 6).

Any additional info on these railcars is welcomed.

Screenshot_20200113-003141_Maps.jpg

Screenshot_20200113-002410_Maps.jpg

Screenshot_20200113-002305_Maps.jpg

Screenshot_20200113-004026_Maps.jpg

Screenshot_20200113-004012_Maps.jpg

Screenshot_20200113-003039_Maps.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, WCR said:

Somewhat related, when I was in Nashville a couple years ago I spotted a few former RTA bilevels stored, so reading this topic I tried to locate them on Google Maps. The third image is of one of the cars which sits separated from the others closer to the street, the VRE 451.

The second image is a satellite screen grab as street view cuts off here. One of these two is still in RTA's brown/orange.

The first image is of the same two cars on street view, seen partially over a Nashville TA bus.

I can't tell whose property the railcars are stored on or who owns them, but it appears they sit directly next to a Nashville MTA bus garage. Some of their active fleet is parked there (image 4) as well as an old Neoplan (5 and 6).

Any additional info on these railcars is welcomed.

eBid Nashville auctioned eight bilevel cars in September 2019, which were owned by the Nashville RTA, the agency that oversees Music City Star. I don't know if anyone bought them, as the auction listing is expired. Apparently these never made it into service. Going back through Google Earth imagery, various bilevel cars were moved in and out of the bus depot location since 2004, including five that were in a flood in 2010. Those cars not stored there seem to have been at the Music City Star yard in Lebanon, which is at the Nashville & Eastern Railroad shop.

Presumably, these were purchased for parts or planned expansion that never materialized. The original plan called for six additional lines and more service on the existing route.

The spreadsheet posted by @Eric95 lists the eight car numbers as 7755, 7780, 7837, 7839, 7845, 7854, 7856, and 8762. If you go back to the April 2009 image on Street View, there are seven cars there. "V457" is visible on the car in RTA paint, which means that one would be 7854. If that's the correct number, there seems to be a discrepancy in the spreadsheet, which lists that car as going to "Army".

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/13/2020 at 3:56 AM, Pace831 said:

eBid Nashville auctioned eight bilevel cars in September 2019, which were owned by the Nashville RTA, the agency that oversees Music City Star. I don't know if anyone bought them, as the auction listing is expired. Apparently these never made it into service. Going back through Google Earth imagery, various bilevel cars were moved in and out of the bus depot location since 2004, including five that were in a flood in 2010. Those cars not stored there seem to have been at the Music City Star yard in Lebanon, which is at the Nashville & Eastern Railroad shop.

Presumably, these were purchased for parts or planned expansion that never materialized. The original plan called for six additional lines and more service on the existing route.

The spreadsheet posted by @Eric95 lists the eight car numbers as 7755, 7780, 7837, 7839, 7845, 7854, 7856, and 8762. If you go back to the April 2009 image on Street View, there are seven cars there. "V457" is visible on the car in RTA paint, which means that one would be 7854. If that's the correct number, there seems to be a discrepancy in the spreadsheet, which lists that car as going to "Army".

Good catch!  I originally deduced which cars went to Nashville by process of elimination, and I think @Pace831 caught an error in my source data.  VRE got rid of 25 cars around the same time.  5 went to Metra, 10 went to Nashville, and 10 went to the army.  I got my data for which cars went to the army from this forum thread (about halfway down the page), and just assumed the 10 remaining went to Nashville.

Seeing this information, I did a deeper dive.  Thankfully, VRE has actually published its equipment roster for years, and the changes can be tracked through Archive.org's incredibly useful Wayback Machine for archived webpages.  By going forward or backward in time, you can see each group disappear from the roster.  Looking at an April 2008 version, the Nashville cars have left the roster, but the Metra and army cars are still there (the five cars that went to Metra disappear by September of that year).  Looking there, it appears as if V457 (7854) DID go to Nashville, but V454 (7850) stayed on the roster and presumably went to the army.  Since this lines up with observations and satellite imagery, I'm assuming the list I pulled off that forum was incorrect.  I've updated my spreadsheet to reflect the switch.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 11 months later...
3 hours ago, Haz said:

8701 and 8722 are collecting dust in the North Milwaukee Yard.  They aren't in an easily accessible spot so it's likely why no one knows where they're at.

Thanks for confirming the car number! I'll update the list. Can you name a source to make it "official"?

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Pace831 said:

Thanks for confirming the car number! I'll update the list. Can you name a source to make it "official"?

I have a track list with the car numbers with today's date but I'm not sure if I can share it publicly.  Still listed as MTDX.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Haz said:

I have a track list with the car numbers with today's date but I'm not sure if I can share it publicly.  Still listed as MTDX.

Thank you! This proves 8701 was not returned to Metra because we can verify it has been in Milwaukee for several years.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

Over the summer, I took the MDW out to Elgin, and I passed a number of coaches sitting on a siding, does anyone know the situation with those? I think it was between Bensenville & Mannheim stations?

I don’t think you saw the MTDX cars discussed above because those were not visible from Metra, unless they were moved. There were a bunch of old Highliners stored between Bensenville and Mannheim, so I’m guessing that’s what you saw. But I can’t say for sure without having seen them myself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Pace831 said:

I don’t think you saw the MTDX cars discussed above because those were not visible from Metra, unless they were moved. There were a bunch of old Highliners stored between Bensenville and Mannheim, so I’m guessing that’s what you saw. But I can’t say for sure without having seen them myself.

Sorry, I didn't mean to insinuate those were MTDX, I should've read more throuoghly before posting, I thought MTDX = Metra and this was a general thread for the state of various metra railcars

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Pace831 said:

Thank you! This proves 8701 was not returned to Metra because we can verify it has been in Milwaukee for several years.

It's funny.  I've seen them sit there for years and I always wondered where they came from.  There were a bunch stored in Fox Lake, WI that were sold a year or two ago and were sent to Chicago.  I wouldn't have a way of checking those car numbers.  I saw the 8722 and searched trying to find what it was and found this forum post.  The 8701's numbers seem to have worn off.  They are definitely bare bones stripped.  I doubt they'll ever be moved again.  They are on rail behind a red board on track taken out of service.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Haz said:

It's funny.  I've seen them sit there for years and I always wondered where they came from.  There were a bunch stored in Fox Lake, WI that were sold a year or two ago and were sent to Chicago.  I wouldn't have a way of checking those car numbers.  I saw the 8722 and searched trying to find what it was and found this forum post.  The 8701's numbers seem to have worn off.  They are definitely bare bones stripped.  I doubt they'll ever be moved again.  They are on rail behind a red board on track taken out of service.

Looking at Google Earth imagery, it looks like WSOR had a maximum of 14 bilevels in Horicon as of July, 2011: eleven on the siding east of Highway 33, and three in the main yard across the road. The latter three are presumably the cars that were actually used to carry passengers. Ten cars remained on the siding in June, 2015, and these were moved to Fox Lake by April, 2017. I assume these were the cars you saw that "were sold a year or two ago". You don't happen to know who bought them?

I also discovered these pictures of some ex-BN bilevels in Fox Lake in February 2005. I didn't know about these until now. On Google Earth, I don't see them anywhere on WSOR after that. The stainless steel roofs would distinguish them from the other cars discussed so far. The car number in the first picture looks like 720, but you have to zoom way in to see it and it's pretty blurry. If correct, that would mean these are cars that went to Michigan for the MITrain startup that never happened. The timeframe would be consistent with their apparent departure from WSOR property, so I'm inclined to think my reading of the number was correct.

Thank you again for this information!

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Haz said:

It's funny.  I've seen them sit there for years and I always wondered where they came from.  There were a bunch stored in Fox Lake, WI that were sold a year or two ago and were sent to Chicago.  I wouldn't have a way of checking those car numbers.  I saw the 8722 and searched trying to find what it was and found this forum post.  The 8701's numbers seem to have worn off.  They are definitely bare bones stripped.  I doubt they'll ever be moved again.  They are on rail behind a red board on track taken out of service.

I'll echo @Pace831's sentiment - thanks for confirming this!  Honestly surprised they're still there after all these years...  I will update my spreadsheet as well (the Google sheet linked earlier in this thread).

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Pace831 said:

Looking at Google Earth imagery, it looks like WSOR had a maximum of 14 bilevels in Horicon as of July, 2011: eleven on the siding east of Highway 33, and three in the main yard across the road. The latter three are presumably the cars that were actually used to carry passengers. Ten cars remained on the siding in June, 2015, and these were moved to Fox Lake by April, 2017. I assume these were the cars you saw that "were sold a year or two ago". You don't happen to know who bought them?

I also discovered these pictures of some ex-BN bilevels in Fox Lake in February 2005. I didn't know about these until now. On Google Earth, I don't see them anywhere on WSOR after that. The stainless steel roofs would distinguish them from the other cars discussed so far. The car number in the first picture looks like 720, but you have to zoom way in to see it and it's pretty blurry. If correct, that would mean these are cars that went to Michigan for the MITrain startup that never happened. The timeframe would be consistent with their apparent departure from WSOR property, so I'm inclined to think my reading of the number was correct.

Thank you again for this information!

Yeah, all of those are gone now I think.  I’d have to check on the number to see if it’s the same one, but the WSOR 11 you reference in the original post I believe is in WSOR Madison yard these days.  There might be more than one that was converted to WSOR colors but I’m not 100% sure.  It’s not something that is often used and even when I’ve moved a passenger train, we’ve not used a bilevel.  The last time I was there I saw a bilevel and someone posted a picture on Facebook of the yard and it was visible in the background.  I believe it left Horicon when they sold the E9 locomotive they used with it.

I’m not sure where the cars from Fox Lake went, but I know they were supposedly going to be going back in service.  They were rough but all the doors were still intact but many things were stripped out of them.  I walked through all of them when they made it back to Horicon.  Many of them still had the Metra route maps inside and I put them on a train headed to Chicago.  If I had known about this forum at the time I would have done a bit more digging, but like I mentioned before I didn’t find this until I got curious about the 8722 and 8701 sitting abandoned in the Glendale yard in North Milwaukee. From my asking around they’ve been sitting there for at least 10 years from the last time they moved.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Haz said:

There might be more than one that was converted to WSOR colors but I’m not 100% sure.

There were three bilevels that were used to carry passengers, numbers 11-13. I looked at @Eric95 spreadsheet again and saw several cars listed as WSOR which I added to my list. WSOR coaches 12 and 13 are not listed because I don't know their Metra numbers, but adding those two should account for all fourteen in Horicon (as of 7/2011) if the rest of the numbers are correct.

3 hours ago, Haz said:

I’m not sure where the cars from Fox Lake went, but I know they were supposedly going to be going back in service.

Searching the car numbers doesn't reveal any recent information, but they could still turn up somewhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2021 at 10:16 PM, Haz said:

Yeah, all of those are gone now I think.  I’d have to check on the number to see if it’s the same one, but the WSOR 11 you reference in the original post I believe is in WSOR Madison yard these days.  There might be more than one that was converted to WSOR colors but I’m not 100% sure.  It’s not something that is often used and even when I’ve moved a passenger train, we’ve not used a bilevel.  The last time I was there I saw a bilevel and someone posted a picture on Facebook of the yard and it was visible in the background.  I believe it left Horicon when they sold the E9 locomotive they used with it.

I’m not sure where the cars from Fox Lake went, but I know they were supposedly going to be going back in service.  They were rough but all the doors were still intact but many things were stripped out of them.  I walked through all of them when they made it back to Horicon.  Many of them still had the Metra route maps inside and I put them on a train headed to Chicago.  If I had known about this forum at the time I would have done a bit more digging, but like I mentioned before I didn’t find this until I got curious about the 8722 and 8701 sitting abandoned in the Glendale yard in North Milwaukee. From my asking around they’ve been sitting there for at least 10 years from the last time they moved.

The WSOR Bilevels were sold off years ago to Iowa Pacific Holdings along with the WSOR 103 E9A. Watco the parent company that bought the WSOR in 2011 has since sold almost all of their passenger fleet except two cars I believe. Attached is a still from my own video of the 2015 Polar Express Santa Train ran by Iowa Pacific on the WSOR PDC Line.

WSOR 11 -> SLRG 11
WSOR 12 -> SLRG 12
WSOR 13 -> SLRG 13

2015_SLRG13.thumb.png.a150b84187978eb88f993e5cbd0f2527.png

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I had overlooked before was the car numbers listed on the MTDX specification sheets (coaches and cab cars). These numbers are 7600-7613, 7650-7681, and 8700-8749. I have already verified that 7880, 7900, and 7901 also belonged to MTDX.

According to @Eric95's helpful spreadsheet, Metra sold 61 Pullmans in 1998-99, which is when MTDX started. All 16 St. Louis cars were also sold at that time, for a total of 77, of which MTDX bought 71. Based on that math, it might be more fruitful to determine which cars didn't go to MTDX. Three of those are the cars that IRM acquired and restored to CNW colors.

Metra didn't start selling the 7700 series until 2003-04, which includes all the WSOR cars except 8701 and 8722. Those two might have been purchased separately as parts donor cars.

I now believe that MTDX must have been the "middle man" for the cars that went from Metra to VRE. This must be true unless Dan Behr exaggerated the number of cars purchased on his LinkedIn profile. That same source mentions that Behr already had connections with VRE, which may have been a large factor in his decision to start MTDX in the first place. Otherwise, purchasing so many cars without identifying any potential customers would have been a huge risk. Further evidence is this photo caption: "In service with Governor of Virginia aboard." Behr's relationship with VRE might also help explain how he got five cars back from them for $1 each in 2008.

When MTDX officially stopped existing in 2003, we can presume that ownership of the remaining cars was transferred to "Dan Behr Associates" or another entity of his.

Car 8763 was not acquired by Behr until 2004, according to the spreadsheet. The sale date is supported by the number range in the spec sheet ending at 8749. This photo shows 8763 without MTDX lettering and still in RTA paint.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
On 2/27/2021 at 3:42 AM, andrethebusman said:

Check section F for disposition dates.

Thanks. I've added several cars to the list based on the dates. I'm still not sure how Dan Behr came up with a total of 71, though.

I think the Metra document has an error for car 7901. It says it was built by Pullman Standard in 1969, when it should be a St. Louis car built in 1955, the same as 7900. The 7900-7901 were originally CNW 8-9. Why did RTA create a separate number series for these two cars when the remainder of CNW 1-16 became 7600-7613? Were they modified in some way?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...