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Metra Alternative Schedules

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Metra sent out the new schedules starting on Monday March 23.  They have cancelled about half the trains on the UP North Line & I expect all the other lines except for the Heritage Line are the same.

All of the express trains are gone, except one per day in each direction.

UP North Alternate Schedule

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https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-biz-metra-cuts-service-ridership-coronavirus-20200319-dvxqke7msfbltg2t7xrjtk4w7u-story.html

https://metrarail.com/riding-metra/service-updates/alternate-schedules

I'm pretty sure the biggest changes are:

BNSF still has most of its express trains, and everything from Brookfield to Union pretty much sees 1 train an hour for the am rush

MED has taken this opportunity to test out its new PTC schedule (unless I missed when it went into effect previously)

RID is doing a modified saturday schedule instead of a full-on alternate schedules

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1 hour ago, strictures said:

Metra sent out the new schedules starting on Monday March 23.  They have cancelled about half the trains on the UP North Line & I expect all the other lines except for the Heritage Line are the same.

All of the express trains are gone, except one per day in each direction.

UP North Alternate Schedule

 

55 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-biz-metra-cuts-service-ridership-coronavirus-20200319-dvxqke7msfbltg2t7xrjtk4w7u-story.html

https://metrarail.com/riding-metra/service-updates/alternate-schedules

I'm pretty sure the biggest changes are:

BNSF still has most of its express trains, and everything from Brookfield to Union pretty much sees 1 train an hour for the am rush

MED has taken this opportunity to test out its new PTC schedule (unless I missed when it went into effect previously)

RID is doing a modified saturday schedule instead of a full-on alternate schedules

With downtown Chicago looking more like a ghost town,  the modified schedule isn't surprising. 

The only Lines I would think would keep most of its Express service would be the BNSF, UP -NW and ME.  Interesting that ME is implementing the modified PTC schedule under these circumstances.   South Suburban riders might feel Metra is pulling a fast one on them. 

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4 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

 

With downtown Chicago looking more like a ghost town,  the modified schedule isn't surprising. 

The only Lines I would think would keep most of its Express service would be the BNSF, UP -NW and ME.  Interesting that ME is implementing the modified PTC schedule under these circumstances.   South Suburban riders might feel Metra is pulling a fast one on them. 

Yeah, those are about the only 3 lines that did keep some express trains. I'm guessing (read: hoping) that MED is using this opportunity to test the viability of the PTC schedule before soliciting more feedback once the worst of this pandemic has passed.

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Since they started the alternate schedule on SWS, I’ve noticed that a train deadheads from 179th to Manhattan just after 9:30 AM. This is probably a continuation of train #807. And after train #825 arrives at Manhattan in the evening, equipment deadheads back north, presumably to 179th.

I’m not sure what the purpose of these moves is. Are they trying to rotate equipment to be able to clean more frequently?

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On 4/1/2020 at 10:52 AM, Pace831 said:

Since they started the alternate schedule on SWS, I’ve noticed that a train deadheads from 179th to Manhattan just after 9:30 AM. This is probably a continuation of train #807. And after train #825 arrives at Manhattan in the evening, equipment deadheads back north, presumably to 179th.

I’m not sure what the purpose of these moves is. Are they trying to rotate equipment to be able to clean more frequently?

Maybe conductors and operators are parked at Manhattan? The storage yard has it's own parking lot

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18 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

Maybe conductors and operators are parked at Manhattan? The storage yard has it's own parking lot

Upon further reflection, it probably does have to do with crew scheduling. I observed this morning that both northbound trains out of Manhattan had seven cars. #825, which is the one that deadheads north in the PM, has eight. So the equipment and crew cycles have definitely changed, but I’m not sure how other than that one of the two crews based in Manhattan goes back south on #807.

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4 minutes ago, Pace831 said:

Upon further reflection, it probably does have to do with crew scheduling. I observed this morning that both northbound trains out of Manhattan had seven cars. #825, which is the one that deadheads north in the PM, has eight. So the equipment and crew cycles have definitely changed, but I’m not sure how other than that one of the two crews based in Manhattan goes back south on #807.

I was initially going to say it's because of storage capacity, but Manhattan can hold at least 3 8-car trains, so I didn't see why #825 had to head back north

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22 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

I was initially going to say it's because of storage capacity, but Manhattan can hold at least 3 8-car trains, so I didn't see why #825 had to head back north

Ordinarily there are two trains and crews based in Manhattan. That's still true, but it seems one of those crews returns home on #807 instead of #825 now. That would make it necessary for #825 to turn around to get its crew back to their base at 179th.

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There appears to be changes to the alternate schedule for the UP North Line.  The schedule I printed out has the last outbound train leaving Ogilvie at 10:35, but every night, a NB train passes by my house just south of Roger Park after midnight.  There's no 11:35 PM train scheduled. 

So is Metra running an unannounced train, or are they running an empty trainset out to Waukegan or Kenosha?  And if they are, why not have passengers on it?

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20 minutes ago, strictures said:

There appears to be changes to the alternate schedule for the UP North Line.  The schedule I printed out has the last outbound train leaving Ogilvie at 10:35, but every night, a NB train passes by my house just south of Roger Park after midnight.  There's no 11:35 PM train scheduled. 

So is Metra running an unannounced train, or are they running an empty trainset out to Waukegan or Kenosha?  And if they are, why not have passengers on it?

The question is when does the last inbound train arrive at Oglivie?  That might answer the question you posed.

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1 hour ago, strictures said:

There appears to be changes to the alternate schedule for the UP North Line.  The schedule I printed out has the last outbound train leaving Ogilvie at 10:35, but every night, a NB train passes by my house just south of Roger Park after midnight.  There's no 11:35 PM train scheduled. 

So is Metra running an unannounced train, or are they running an empty trainset out to Waukegan or Kenosha?  And if they are, why not have passengers on it?

 

58 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

The question is when does the last inbound train arrive at Oglivie?  That might answer the question you posed.

They added later trains on UPNW and RI, but that doesn't explain this. The UPN schedule has an equal number of inbound and outbound scheduled trains, so there should be an inbound counterpart at some point during the day. This sounds similar to what I observed on SWS, where a pair of deadhead moves was added to get crews back to their home terminals.

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5 hours ago, Pace831 said:

 

They added later trains on UPNW and RI, but that doesn't explain this. The UPN schedule has an equal number of inbound and outbound scheduled trains, so there should be an inbound counterpart at some point during the day. This sounds similar to what I observed on SWS, where a pair of deadhead moves was added to get crews back to their home terminals.

That's what I was getting at 

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9 hours ago, Pace831 said:

 

They added later trains on UPNW and RI, but that doesn't explain this. The UPN schedule has an equal number of inbound and outbound scheduled trains, so there should be an inbound counterpart at some point during the day. This sounds similar to what I observed on SWS, where a pair of deadhead moves was added to get crews back to their home terminals.

The alternate schedule has the last inbound train, #362 arriving Ogilvie at 10:35 PM.   In actuality, it's been passing Rogers Park around 10:30 PM.  I get the feeling Metra is running it late on purpose to allow stragglers to catch the last train.

Since it takes about 5 minutes to reprogram the PTC, #367, the last outbound, can't be the same trainset as #362 unless they're holding it late, to allow stragglers to catch it. 

But if it is a deadhead with a crew, why not just schedule it & carry passengers?  The extra cost of fuel due to stopping, starting is minuscule.

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2 hours ago, strictures said:

The alternate schedule has the last inbound train, #362 arriving Ogilvie at 10:35 PM.   In actuality, it's been passing Rogers Park around 10:30 PM.  I get the feeling Metra is running it late on purpose to allow stragglers to catch the last train.

Since it takes about 5 minutes to reprogram the PTC, #367, the last outbound, can't be the same trainset as #362 unless they're holding it late, to allow stragglers to catch it. 

But if it is a deadhead with a crew, why not just schedule it & carry passengers?  The extra cost of fuel due to stopping, starting is minuscule.

Its possible that the the crew on the last inbound train originated in Waukegan.  Perhaps they have to leave that train at Oglivie for the first outbound crew the next morning.   But unless there's a duty time issue (hours of service), it would seem like whatever train was deadheading from Oglivie could run a live trip.  The hours if service issue could be related to the crew at Oglivie waiting for the last inbound train. 

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Last night, there were two unscheduled trains on the UP North Line.  The first was a NB that passed through Rogers Park a half mile south of the Rogers Park station at 11:51 PM, which is exactly the time, the normal train 367 would be passing by, as it leaves downtown at 11:35 PM.  But no train is scheduled for then under the alternate schedule.

The second was an unknown train, also NB passing through at 12:12 AM.   It sounded like an express, as it never slowed down!

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21 hours ago, Pace831 said:

This upcoming weekend, Metra will begin operating Sunday schedules on Saturday on all lines except the Electric District.

On May 18, additional stops will be added to some Electric District trains for PTC demonstration.

Metra is projecting a $535.5 million revenue loss due to COVID-19.

Staggering to think about when you put into perspective that Metra is the 3rd (or 4th depending on how you view the MTA services) busiest commuter rail system in the country

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