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

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  by byte
 
Highliners are now out at IRM. They should be out at on the pit track behind barn 4, if you're out there tomorrow (well ... today).
  by Martin Baumann
 
How many cars are still running and is a final retirement date known?
  by Tadman
 
Last week I saw a raft of them in Blue Island yard next to IAIS freight.
  by John_Perkowski
 
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Photos taken at 1030 this morning.
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  by John_Perkowski
 
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Another from the last run
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  by John_Perkowski
 
And the marker lights say Adios...
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  by buddah
 
Hello again everyone,
I know its been a while, but I had to come back to Chicago for this special occasion, I was on that final metra Highliner run it was definitely an adventure, I have to say nice shot John. And for those who did not get to partake in the event here is one for you.

PS: did I mention Feb 12 was my bday? This was a gift to myself.
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  by doepack
 
I couldn't make the trip due to illness, but by all accounts, the last of the old cars got a pretty good send off. Their final revenue assignment was train 117, the 10:30am departure from Millenium station to University Park; Metra CEO Don Orseno among other dignitaries rode the train from downtown to Kensington, where a brief photo op session was held. Upon arrival at Univ. Park, the equipment deadheaded back to KYD.

John and Buddah: Thanks for the pictures.

A note for posterity: According to a reliable source, the car numbers from the last run were: 1587 (leading), 1520, 1573, 1526, 1657, 1634.

And so it goes...
  by eolesen
 
byte wrote:Highliners are now out at IRM. They should be out at on the pit track behind barn 4, if you're out there tomorrow (well ... today).
Now they're on the lead heading to the far south yards, behind barns 7 & 8, short of the car line.
  by jonnhrr
 
I was reading about the Highliners in the recent issue of Passenger Train Journal. In that article it said that although the new car order totals 186 cars which is larger than the Highliner fleet it rfeplaced , the actual capacity of the fleet is lower because the new cars have large ADA compliant bathrooms whereas the old cars had none. Is this decrease in capacity true and if so why would Metra order a fleet with less capacity, given that commuter travel is likely to increase rather than decrease over time (seems to be true in most cities) ?

Jon
  by doepack
 
While it's true that the new highliners individually have 28 fewer seats than their predecessors (156 vs. 128, with the latter figure reduced to 121 if all 3 ADA slots are in use), overall capacity hasn't really suffered. This is mainly because when enough of the newer cars arrived, Metra started running more 6 car (off-peak) and 8 car (peak) sets on certain busier main line trains to provide adequate seating and prevent overcrowding. With some exceptions, and generally plenty of capacity to spare, four car sets on the BI & SC branches remain the norm, which historically has had much lighter ridership compared to the main line trains.

(btw - Metra took delivery of the final two cars, 1385 and 1386 last week. All are now on the property...)
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
I happened to be in Rochelle a few times the last two weeks and it must have been the last two new cars that I saw being prepared for shipment. That's cool.

I heard through a reliable chain of Shore Line society staff that Metra has almost ordered too many new Highliners. This is because their availability rate is much better than what they are replacing. So there may be room to grow in to for the next few decades. I don't think ridership will go up sharply.
  by Tadman
 
doepack wrote: Metra started running more 6 car (off-peak) and 8 car (peak) sets on certain busier main line trains
I thought they couldn't run 8-car trains due to substation inadequacies and that was also the reason South Shore kept buying trailers, to make 8-car trains look like a 6-car to the sub stations on Metra.
  by justalurker66
 
Wasn't part of getting the new cars upgrading the substations?
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
There is a pair of highliners on the test track in Rochelle right now so all are not currently in Metra's possession.
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