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

  by MACTRAXX
 
Head-End View:

At one time the CTA arguably had one of the best front views of any rail system that was
discontinued during the 90s with the implementation of OPTO on CTA when the Conductor
was eliminated. Currently the Budd 2600 fleet was the last built with this seat. The 3200s
fleet was the first designed for OPTO operation.

I am very familiar with the CTA since my late Uncle worked there in train service (ret. 1986)
A good place to look up anything CTA is http://www.chicago-l.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
For example take a look at the car seat layout diagrams in the rolling stock section.

As Doepack mentions if you are willing to stand you can watch out of the front ends of trains
with an open Gallery cab car on all Metra routes to get a head or rear-end view.
On Metra Electric trains a head-end view is always available...
Metra crew members access the cab from both upper front decks - the Engineer on the right.

Chicago is a interesting place to visit...MACTRAXX
  by Head-end View
 
Good info Mactraxx! I appreciate the help, especially from a fellow Long Islander. Don't ya' just hate the LIRR M-7's? LOL
  by MACTRAXX
 
Head-End View:

Thanks for the good word-it is always appreciated...

I want to add that the South Shore Line (CSS&SB to NW Indiana) MU cars are of two
types: Gallery cars similar to Metra Electric MUs have head or rear end views with
crew access from both sides of the upper deck leaving the front door windows
unobstructed - the one question I have is about the single level MU cars:

Can one see out the front window unobstructed if the cab is off to the right or is
it something similar to SEPTA Silverliner 4 MU cars in which one can view out of
the front end through two windows or is it the cab door an invisible obstruction
like the LIRR/MNCR M7s have along with a full-width cab?

Please pardon going off the original topic - I would like to know myself if head
end views are allowable on the South Shore single level MU fleet...

MACTRAXX
  by justalurker66
 
On the South Shore the cab on the single level cars extends across the width of the entire train. You will be looking through the back cab door (separating the cab from the passengers), as swinging door that covers the controls when the cab is mid-train (the door will be swung 180 degrees to cover the connecting door) and the door that normally would connect to the next car. So three sets of glass.

The seats face the far end of the cars, so if you are seated you will be facing away from the cab. I have seen cabs with three people in them between stops so there may be a person standing in the way of that three window obstructed view. And with a conductor accessing and leaving the cab they are not going to want a passenger in their way in the aisle.

The gallery cars are better but run only on select weekday trains. They have a private cab upstairs for the engineer and conductor. The connecting door in the passenger compartment is a single "rail fan window". Standing there does not block access to the cab upstairs but one may still be asked to find a seat.
  by Head-end View
 
Are you saying that on the gallery-type cars you may be told by a crew-member that you're not allowed to stand at the window, even though you're not obstructing anything? Has this happened to you?
  by Head-end View
 
Oh, and a question I should have asked earlier re: OPTO on Chicago "L" trains. How does the train operator control the doors on the left side? From the operator's cab or do they have to exit the cab and operate from the left side of the car at each stop with an island platform, which would seem kind of awkward?
  by justalurker66
 
Head-end View wrote:Are you saying that on the gallery-type cars you may be told by a crew-member that you're not allowed to stand at the window, even though you're not obstructing anything? Has this happened to you?
I have not tried it. But I have read of others having problems and being asked to take a seat. The message: Don't be surprised if you are asked to be seated.
  by Tadman
 
Head-end View wrote:Oh, and a question I should have asked earlier re: OPTO on Chicago "L" trains. How does the train operator control the doors on the left side? From the operator's cab or do they have to exit the cab and operate from the left side of the car at each stop with an island platform, which would seem kind of awkward?
The cab is full-width. They get off the seat, walk across the cab, lower the window, and work switches on the left side before resuming operation from the right side.
  by STrRedWolf
 
So after four years, I'm heading back to Chicago for the same convention (Midwest Furfest, or MFF). Same route as well, Orange to Blue, transfer at Clark and Lake. This time I'll grab the 332 as well at Rosemont to the hotel.

Thankfully, I already drained the Ventra Mastercard because I can't find the card anymore, it's already expired most likely and they're switching to regular cards. Oh, and since I have Apple Pay, I'll just tap and go.

Should be fun!
  by STrRedWolf
 
So, second impressions.

There's not much to say this time around. I was able to spare some time and get on at O'Hare airport this time instead of Rosemont. Going up and back, I skipped getting another Ventra card and instead used my iPhone. Granted, I needed to authenticate to get through the gates but the weather was maybe slightly chillier than Baltimore at the time. There was only a slight delay. O'Hare's platforms were a bit confusing and the staff were trying to override the signage system to the best of their ability.
  by Tadman
 
Platform signage at O'Hare is from the "we don't actually ride the trains, do we???" guys. Nothing is more aggravating than getting half way up the platform on the left side, they close the doors, and you have to walk back around to the right side. But hey, twenty CTA employees chillin out in visi-vests, enjoy your smoke break.
  by Head-end View
 
Can you tell us more about the platform signage issues? What is actually wrong or misleading or insufficient? I've never been to Chicago so I'm curious.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Head-end View wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:27 pm Can you tell us more about the platform signage issues? What is actually wrong or misleading or insufficient? I've never been to Chicago so I'm curious.
At O'Hare, there are three tracks at the bottom of the stairs. The center track can be accessed on ether side depending on what side it's open.

There's no sign on which side you need to be. There are platform signs on which train to take, but they're semi-automatic. They will switch if a train leaves... and mid-day, that's not good, because the train you need to take out is coming in on that same track a train left on. They had workers telling folks "THIS SIDE! IGNORE THE SIGN!"

Yeah, could be better (but I think Chicago needs express tracks as well).
  by STrRedWolf
 
Tadman wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:03 am ... enjoy your smoke break.
*hack* *hack* tobacco *hack* allergy *wheeeze* *THUD* *dies* :D

(Yeah, even second hand smoke from cigarettes gets me. Cigars not so much, strangely enough, but I'd rather not smoke or vape)