• METRA E8 Locos usd for LIRR Bi-Level Tests

  • Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.
Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

  by doepack
 
Though this wasn't the thread, I asked about these way back when in this forum.

As I recall, they weren't exactly a smash hit during testing, and simply couldn't meet the demands of LIRR schedules. Sent back to CNW/Metra by late '91.

Here's the 516 in Omaha doing cab signal duty on Amtrak's CZ during a flood necessitated detour on CNW in 1993...

Within a few years, both 516 and 521 would be off Metra's roster and in their final resting place at Silvis...
  by 452 Card
 
These locos were used to fill a time gap in the Dual-Mode experiment caused by the failure of ABB to deliver the FL-9 ACs on time. Tokyu Car fulfilled their obligation, despite the flood at Shea, to deliver the C1 cars for the start of service. Hence, ABB leased the E8s to keep the program going for the LIRR. Service began to and from LIC and Port Jeff. This priority was for the eventual one-seat ride for Port Jeff branch users who had complained of lesser service than other branches. After two GP-38s were converted to use the kooky Cl couplers at Morris Park, and the 3100 (608) was created in-house in the backshop, the E8s were dismissed and the program continued under LIRR power until the FL-9s arrived, were shook down and entered service. The rest is an interesting history, to say the least. As far as the 516-521 being legends? Well, they rode like the proverbial Cadillac and were hot as h___ in the cab, but they got the job done. As a goodwill gesture by ABB, we were even treated to a demonstration night ride at 80mph in a snowstorm from Chicago to Joliet on Metra's ROW. I didn't see Jake as we went past the prison.
  by Pensyfan19
 
I used the word "legends" to describe the two E units since they've been in service for about 50 years from CNW, to Metra, to leading an Amtrak in Omaha via the ex-CNW main, ad even served on Long Island. I was describing their service life, not necessarily their performance, although E units have been known to run well for their intended long distance or flagship passenger train.
  by eolesen
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:13 pm I used the word "legends" to describe the two E units since they've been in service for about 50 years from CNW, to Metra, to leading an Amtrak in Omaha via the ex-CNW main, ad even served on Long Island. I was describing their service life, not necessarily their performance, although E units have been known to run well for their intended long distance or flagship passenger train.
You have a funny definition of "in service"....

516 and 521 were delivered to UP in 1953, sold to CNW in 1972, transferred to Metra in 1977 and retired in 1989, and briefly brought out of mothballs in 1991.

At best, that's 38 years of service for these two locomotives if you include the time they were in storage with Metra from 1989 to 1991. Maybe 40 if you stretch it to 1993. That Amtrak detour might have only been as a NPCU for the cab signals...

By comparison, Metra's F40's have been in service continuously for 40 years and still going as a fleet, not as yard queens rusting to the rails for years at a time between assignments...
  by Pensyfan19
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:15 am
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:13 pm I used the word "legends" to describe the two E units since they've been in service for about 50 years from CNW, to Metra, to leading an Amtrak in Omaha via the ex-CNW main, ad even served on Long Island. I was describing their service life, not necessarily their performance, although E units have been known to run well for their intended long distance or flagship passenger train.
You have a funny definition of "in service"....

516 and 521 were delivered to UP in 1953, sold to CNW in 1972, transferred to Metra in 1977 and retired in 1989, and briefly brought out of mothballs in 1991.

At best, that's 38 years of service for these two locomotives if you include the time they were in storage with Metra from 1989 to 1991. Maybe 40 if you stretch it to 1993. That Amtrak detour might have only been as a NPCU for the cab signals...

By comparison, Metra's F40's have been in service continuously for 40 years and still going as a fleet, not as yard queens rusting to the rails for years at a time between assignments...
Thank you for the background of these two units. The point is, they are older than the F40s and are just as iconic in the Chicago region and American railroading, and it is very saddening to see a historic locomotive from the 1950s being scrapped in 2021.
  by chrisf
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:27 amThe point is, they are older than the F40s and are just as iconic in the Chicago region and American railroading, and it is very saddening to see a historic locomotive from the 1950s being scrapped in 2021.
There are already several preserved E units, many of which are even at the Illinois Railway Museum. By my count there are over 50 E8 and E9s left. There's not much historical or educational value to have kept these two as well.
  by eolesen
 
Hundreds of locomotives and railcars get scrapped every year. That's part of the circle of life for machinery....
Pensyfan19 wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:27 am it is very saddening to see a historic locomotive from the 1950s being scrapped in 2021.
Yeah, but they really weren't considered historic... They were rather ordinary and old.

Having spent over 28 years out in the elements without any preventative maintenance whatsoever left no other option, and I'd question if they could even be safely moved on their own wheels at that point...

It does look like the trucks were spared, which is good. Those are hard to come by.
  by MACTRAXX
 
newkirk wrote: Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:06 pm July 8 , 1991
Image

Both Photos - July 15, 1991
Image

Image
BM: Good "before and after" Jay Bendersky pictures of the two Metra E8 units. Take note of the "nose"
of both units - they were both blue on delivery - the LIRR painted both white and placed numerals on both there.
I remember that notches had to be added or modified on the front-end pilot(s) to clear the LIRR third rail.

An interesting C&NW feature used on their E and F units is that they had "nose bells" with the headlight
down below - 516 and 521 are two of four former UP units that went to the RTA and eventually Metra -
these four former UP units in commuter service did not get nose bells installed by North Western.

I would have added parentheses around the number (516) for obvious reasons.
I think of this every time I see DM30 (516) :wink:

452: Good post about being involved with the C1 car test program. I remember that the service of E8 units
516 and 521 only lasted about a month - and the decision was made to return the E8 units to Metra in favor
of two GP38 units (251 and 269 am I right?) that had the C1 MU type coupler on one end. Because of this
modification these two units were kept coupled together if they needed to be used in other services.

The 3100 provided the HEP necessary for the C1 cars during this period before the FL9s were available.

452: I changed my post (off topic) with your response about the run on the Heritage Corridor route to Joliet.
There are just five intermediate stations between Chicago Union Station and Joliet.

The Heritage Corridor (former ICG/GM&O) Line passes near Stateville Penitentiary in Crest Hill just north
of the City of Joliet. HC has six stations: Summit, Willow Springs, Romeoville, Lemont, Lockport and Joliet.
I have past personal ties to Chicago and the southwest suburbs and remember the "Blues Brothers" well.
"The Blues Brothers" is not only one of my favorite movies - it was mentioned as one of the best Chicago
featured movies of all time during its 40th anniversary last year (1980)...MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by 452 Card
 
Demo ride was out of Union Station to Joliet on the Heritage Line. Blinding snowstorm in the dark at MAS of 80mph. A METRA RFE ran the train (just one look and you know he had been around awhile). There were only five or six stops. When we got Joliet, after the passengers deboarded we headed out of the station and backed the train into a yard. The train was weird, the two E8s and four METRA gallery cars (that includes the cab car).
  by newkirk
 
MACTRAXX wrote:BM: Good "before and after" Jay Bendersky pictures of the two Metra E8 units. Take note of the "nose"
of both units - they were both blue on delivery - the LIRR painted both white and placed numerals on both there.
Thanks, it pays to have a few slides around. lol

Yes, I noticed the top photo before the nose number. But these E-8's look like they were repainted by METRA before sending them here. I wonder what livery paint scheme they wore before being repainted since they were in storage for some time ?
  by MACTRAXX
 
BM: The Metra E8 units were built for Union Pacific originally and then ran in Chicago and North Western
passenger service. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) was the predecessor to Metra "Metropolitan
Rail" which was created in 1984 to unite Chicagoland and Northeast Illinois commuter rail system routes.

The color schemes (if I have them correctly) was originally the UP Armour Yellow with gray roofs.
The C&NW was green and yellow. What I do not know is if the four North Western E units ever got
painted into the RTA color scheme similar to the type used on their large F40PH fleet. Metra's own
locomotive color scheme began use in the mid 1980s - E8 units 516 and 521 were good examples.

The Chicago and North Western Historical Society may be a source for more background on the
group of four E8 units that 516 and 521 were part of...MACTRAXX
  by chrisf
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:11 amWhat I do not know is if the four North Western E units ever got painted into the RTA color scheme similar to the type used on their large F40PH fleet.
Here's 516 painted for RTA: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/LocoPi ... ?id=180965 and here's 521: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/LocoPi ... x?id=97709

It appears that both 516 and 521 were built for the C&NW and never were UP engines.
  by eolesen
 
Correct... 511-522 were original CNW units from the 5000 series.

501-511 were originally UP , with 501-506 being the B units converted into home-made A's.

As far as I recall, all the CNW E's made it into RTA baby-blue after 1977, and some of the surviving units still around wound up in Metra Blue even though they were officially retired but still working occasionally in protection service.
  by ConstanceR46
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:23 am It is with great sadness to report that Metra 521 and 516 (the two Metra E8s leased by the LIRR to test the C1s) are the latest victims of the great NRE Silvis IL scrapping of 2020-21. Truly a shame that these legendary locomotives were not saved. Were there any attempts to save these E units or any other locomotives in danger of being scrapped here? Is there an official list of locomotives which have been or are planned to be scrapped?

https://railpictures.net/photo/765282/
something worth realizing is not everything can be saved. there are a ton of E8s in secure preservation, and these are functionally not notable besides a few months spent on Long Island.
  by Pensyfan19
 
ConstanceR46 wrote: Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:48 am
Pensyfan19 wrote: Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:23 am It is with great sadness to report that Metra 521 and 516 (the two Metra E8s leased by the LIRR to test the C1s) are the latest victims of the great NRE Silvis IL scrapping of 2020-21. Truly a shame that these legendary locomotives were not saved. Were there any attempts to save these E units or any other locomotives in danger of being scrapped here? Is there an official list of locomotives which have been or are planned to be scrapped?

https://railpictures.net/photo/765282/
something worth realizing is not everything can be saved. there are a ton of E8s in secure preservation, and these are functionally not notable besides a few months spent on Long Island.
I understand this concept. I'm just saddened that a 60+ year old locomotive which represents a significant era of American railroading has been scrapped in 2021, when locomotives this old are often preserved. (I'm also worried about the impending scrapping of the DE/DM30ACs as most will of them [many of which I have seen numerous times in person] will be scrapped due to their poor mechanical performance. )