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: JamesT4, metraRI

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  by Tadman
 
I saw that, and other than static display, I don't understand that. First, you've got a 3,000hp locomotive on a tourist train in the middle of nowhere. It's got to be a fuel hog. Second, you've got six cars that are sealed up and have odd couplers with no provision for train-lining HEP. It seems like quite a big expense to swap couplers and add HEP lines.
  by BrianLM007
 
The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum has grabbed a few of the highliners as well (I saw 1528 or 1529 in person, they stuck out like a sore thumb as the Metra logo was painted over in red paint, I was told they grabbed five of them in total). I was there back in November as a "guest engineer" driving their EL switcher #310 and the real engineer was telling me that they also were planning to make use of the highliners for their trains as well, since they were equipped with air conditioning. They were planning to rig up an HEP device to power up the highliners in addition to a locomotive to push/pull them. Perhaps the Boone & Scenic Valley have the same idea?

Presumably, it would be possible (albeit running at an undervolt) for the highliners to run at IRM or East Troy, are there other museums that have electrified track?
  by justalurker66
 
A Highliner with a trolly pole at East Troy. That's the first thought that comes to mind. Not a good thought.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
When they retired the first round of Highliners, Metra actually called up a lot of museums and offered them dirt cheap to anyone who wanted some. IRM turned them down because the ones in the first batch were in awful condition, which is why they were weeded out first. Looks like IRM plans to get a set from the final round being retired now (how many original order IC cars are left, and will they be in good shape?). Two are on display at a depot museum in Mendota. FRTM also got the offer, but unfortunately Highliners aren't a good fit for the collection.

I think Boone and Hoosier just got so many cars because of the low price (possibly free), more cars than needed simply for preservation. There is a flood of carbon steel commuter cars retired since the 90s floating around without any market or purpose, and I am concerned about resources that have gone to purchasing, moving, and storing them that could have gone to preserving more interesting equipment. It is mostly not museums doing this, there seems to be a lot of railfan "entrepeneurs" who think junky commuter cars are worth more than scrap value.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
The list from Hoosier seems to be incomplete unless they already expelled the other cars before they were recorded on PNAERC. The pictures taken in North Judson a few years ago show more cars.
  by Martin Baumann
 
Is it intended to retire the 1978/1979 Bombardier cars 1631-1660 as well as 1501-1630 when delivery of the 1200s is complete?
  by metraRI
 
Martin Baumann wrote:Is it intended to retire the 1978/1979 Bombardier cars 1631-1660 as well as 1501-1630 when delivery of the 1200s is complete?
The new highliners are expected to replace all of the old equipment. 'Services for Scrapping up to 144 Electric Multi-Unit Commuter Cars' is now listed in Metra's bidding section.
  by Martin Baumann
 
Thanks. How many of the 1501-1660 Highliners are still operational and how many of the new ones are in service?
  by metraRI
 
Martin Baumann wrote:Thanks. How many of the 1501-1660 Highliners are still operational and how many of the new ones are in service?
I don't know the number of old Highliners still in service, however the new units should be into the 1300's by next month. Should be at the point where new equipment is the majority.
  by doepack
 
Just saw cars 1295/96 heading east toward Blue Island via the hah-ba (IHB). Think that makes about 70 down, and 90 more to go...
  by BrianLM007
 
And I saw cars number 1290 and 1291 in service last week awaiting its turn to head into Randolph during the evening rush hour. They seem to be making good progress...
  by Tadman
 
And it couldn't happen a minute too soon. The old cars look like swiss cheese. I cut through Randolph Street Station on my way to lunch 3-ish days/week and the rust on the old cars is unbelievable.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
If IRM wants a pair, I hope they are able to select cars that aren't too bad. They passed on the previous batch of retirements because they were the worst cars Metra had at the time.
  by Pacific 2-3-1
 
Tadman wrote:And it couldn't happen a minute too soon. The old cars look like swiss cheese. I cut through Randolph Street Station on my way to lunch 3-ish days/week and the rust on the old cars is unbelievable.
While thanks to their stainless steel carbodies, the new cars look like swiss army knives, and are "ROSTFREI" / "INOX".
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