Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by justalurker66
ExCon90 wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:56 pm Perhaps also because the steps on the gallery cars are "indoors" out of the weather and thus don't collect ice in the winter. Or do the doors on multi-levels extend down to the bottom step? -- I don't recollect noticing.
The NJT cars have covers over the steps. I believe the biggest issue is the width. The NJT cars also have the same issue as the NICTD South Shore cars where more doors can be open at a high level platform than a low level platform.

The wider three step door on the current Metra cars allow a smoother flow of passengers. The new Alstom cars will double the total door width per car and remove the steps. A good improvement.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.newswiretoday.com/news/1750 ... 0-Million/
This follows Metra Board of Directors’ approval in January 2021 to award Alstom a vehicle procurement contract for up to 500 rail cars. This initial order of 200 rail cars is worth approximately €650 million.

“Alstom is pleased to have been selected by Metra (metrarail.com) to provide the latest in multilevel car design,” said Jérôme Wallut, President, Alstom Americas. “Alstom continues to invest and support investment in U.S. railroad infrastructure, and these new cars will allow Metra to extract maximum value from their fleet investments by increasing fleet reliability, enhancing overall passenger experience and ensuring maximum accessibility for all passengers.”

The multilevel cars incorporate new design features to improve passenger experience, including: a streamlined, modern and welcoming interior, equipped with USB plugs and boasting large windows and a layout to improve passenger flow and traveller comfort; seating and spacing to allow for additional ridership and physical distancing; touchless doors; improved bogie design for improved ride quality; and multiple wide doors on each side of the cars to reduce passenger boarding times and improve access to passenger areas.

The new cars will also meet all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessibility requirements, including the addition of wheelchair lifts on each side of the vehicles. Fleet reliability will be enhanced through modern, service-proven components and enhanced maintenance and diagnostic system capabilities that will allow Metra to have greater visibility on fleet operational performance and increase fleet availability. Moreover, the new eco-designed cars will be energy efficient, boasting improvements and developments such as full LED lighting and climate control regulation based on passenger load. The new rail cars will also be 90% recyclable.

The new cars will be built at Alstom’s rolling stock Centre of Excellence, and North America’s largest rolling stock manufacturing facility in Hornell, New York. The Alstom Hornell site will lead the project. Other Alstom sites will support the project including, Rochester, New York, for the automatic train control system.
  by Fireman43
“Alstom Hornell facility to make hundreds of commuter rail cars in $1.8B deal with Metra.”

200 or so new cars - are transit systems usually a different track width?

Just wondering as to if they can then go by rail to Chicago or by truck .
  by Fireman43
advanced HVAC system that will “scrub the circulated air, reducing staleness, allergens and airborne viruses”

Guess that’s what our tax $$$$. Going for?
But I degress
Fireman43 wrote: Sun Jul 17, 2022 4:19 pm “Alstom Hornell facility to build 200 commuter rail cars in $1.8B deal with Metra.”

200 new cars - are transit systems usually a different track width?

Just wondering as to if they can then go by rail to Chicago or by truck.
F43 and Everyone:
1-Metra has purchased 200 Alstom Coradia multilevel rail cars - with options for additional cars.
2-Metra - which is commuter rail in the Chicago area - is standard gauge. www.metra.com
NO passenger rail in the Chicago area - commuter or CTA transit - uses any other gauge type.
3-These cars will be shipped by RAIL from Hornell - they are 85 feet long and weigh more than 100,000
pounds...CTA (transit) cars - which were trucked to and from Chicago - weigh around 55, 000 pounds
and are 51 feet long as a comparison...
See this discussion from the Chicagoland Forum for more information:
(4 pages - 47 posts)
  by Fireman43
To all thanks for the info and links .
Quite a lot of knowledge out there :-D .

Often wondered that the car business at Alstrom in Hornell from what little I know must experience wild swings in employment as they get and complete contracts ?
Or are contracts so long term that business is figuratively ‘steady’?
  by Benjamin Maggi
Was there a hyperlink for the article?
  by Fireman43
Mactraxx above provided this ::
“See this discussion from the Chicagoland Forum for more information:
  by Gilbert B Norman
Possibly a bit off-topic here, but I think METRA should be trying to minimize the number of these Alstom cars being built.

Reason is simple; at least here in "the land of the Burlingtons", the business is gone and it's never coming back.

Possibly things are not quite so acute on lines such as IC Electric and Rock Island where more of the ridership comprises "front line" workers, but out here when I take my three mile walks along the BNSF starting at about 5AM, I observe trains such as 1202 and 1204 @ W. Hinsdale with maybe one or two faces in the windows (likely a few more I miss). Express 1206 has more, but not that many more.

I have also on occasion been walking about around 830A when anyone "going in" will have done so. I observe the Clarendon Hills train station parking lot "maybe" 2/3rds full, plus maybe a dozen more parked along Burlington Ave. The Lions Club parking lot adjacent to their swimming pool - and probably closer to West Hinsdale - completely MTY!!!

While hardly advocating such (I ride if I'm going to the Symphony by myself or meeting someone in the Loop), I see no other way out than a drastic schedule reduction (thinking the Sunday schedule plus two or three "rush hour" limited stops on Weekdays) and consists no longer than the minimum BNSF will accept. There's no point, as there is no longer the business.
  by justalurker66
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 8:15 amReason is simple; at least here in "the land of the Burlingtons", the business is gone and it's never coming back.
BNSF service did drop more than the other lines (2019 vs 2021) but they still carried more passengers than any other district. The Heritage Corridor and South West Service were the hardest hit. Gone forever? I am not that pessimistic.
  by scratchyX1
If Metra was smart, they would make the electric territory more subway like in billing and service, and the lines West more like level of service and equipment on the electric sections, at least Dmus.
And on rock island, battery electric locomotives pulling trains at least every half hour both ways.
Single level gear
  by Gilbert B Norman
I noted this over at the NY Area Forum and I note same over here:
prediction is that as COVID becomes "another we live with it just as we do with the flu", the most lasting Socio-economic change arising will be WFH.
  by eolesen
An Illinois government agency willingly spend less?.... Seriously?

There will never be 30 minute headways on off peak services in Chicago. The Rock barely supports mid-day services.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 8