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 Tadman
 
They're supposedly going to assemble these at 135th and Torrance. It's been billed as a new railcar plant. I'm not so sure, because there is already a large plant there with new-ish cranes that would be a great railcar assembly plant. They'd have to knock it down or invade Ford's parking lot for autorack loading. My 2c is that they're making the existing building newly into a railcar facility.


Edit - correction, that plant was a prewar freight car plant for Pressed Steel Car, best known for making PRR MP54's.
  by Milwaukee_F40C
 
If I remember correctly, Bombardier's previous proposal for the 7000 series bid WAS compatible with the 5000 series, contrary to what the Tribune article seems to state.
The CTA first asked for proposals for the rail cars in February 2013, but the next year rejected the initial bids as incompatible with the 5000 Series. The agency then asked for the bids again, dropping the compatibility requirement and including a "U.S. Employment provision,"
CTA withdrew from their 2013 request because they didn't want to buy from Bombardier again. So this will be a good opportunity for them to complain all over again about the problems that happen when a new collection of technology is introduced. Just like the 5000 series, and the 2000 series, and the use of PCC streetcar parts in subway cars, and probably the transition from steam to electric.
  by tommyboy6181
 
Tadman wrote:They're supposedly going to assemble these at 135th and Torrance. It's been billed as a new railcar plant. I'm not so sure, because there is already a large plant there with new-ish cranes that would be a great railcar assembly plant. They'd have to knock it down or invade Ford's parking lot for autorack loading. My 2c is that they're making the existing building newly into a railcar facility.


Edit - correction, that plant was a prewar freight car plant for Pressed Steel Car, best known for making PRR MP54's.
This is interesting in that CSR has just established a plant in Massachusetts that is currently building the MBTA railcars. Unless CSR is going to shut down the Massachusetts plant once the contract is complete since that contract required all railcars to be built in Massachusetts...
  by tommyboy6181
 
Milwaukee_F40C wrote:If I remember correctly, Bombardier's previous proposal for the 7000 series bid WAS compatible with the 5000 series, contrary to what the Tribune article seems to state.
The CTA first asked for proposals for the rail cars in February 2013, but the next year rejected the initial bids as incompatible with the 5000 Series. The agency then asked for the bids again, dropping the compatibility requirement and including a "U.S. Employment provision,"
CTA withdrew from their 2013 request because they didn't want to buy from Bombardier again. So this will be a good opportunity for them to complain all over again about the problems that happen when a new collection of technology is introduced. Just like the 5000 series, and the 2000 series, and the use of PCC streetcar parts in subway cars, and probably the transition from steam to electric.
Bombardier is not happy about losing the contract.
http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/ct ... -contract/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by doepack
 
Construction has started on the base order of the first 400 cars. Prototype cars 7001-7010 are in the pipeline...
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Tadman wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:47 pmThey're supposedly going to assemble these at 135th and Torrance. It's been billed as a new railcar plant. I'm not so sure, because there is already a large plant there with new-ish cranes that would be a great railcar assembly plant.
Is Pullman's site still around? Last cars built at Pullman were the MK/Amerail Viewliner shells in 1995-96.
  by Tadman
 
Yes, there are four Pullman facilities in Chicago area still around.

1. The original Pullman at 111th and Cottage Grove along CNIC. A fair amount of buildings are left, but not all of them.
This was an entire complex, the middle section of which is gone.
2. The northern end of that complex, the far more modern building, on 103rd and visible from the Bishop Ford Freeway
3. The Standard plant on 165th just over the border in Hammond, Indiana.
4. The Haskell and Barker freight car factory, bought by Pullman around 1920, still has plenty of outbuildings and side buildings in Michigan City, along Amtrak's Michigan line where it intersects 10th street and /or US12. The enormous main building burned in 1980, and the offices were wrecked in a 2000-ish tornado and removed about 2010.

There were some plants in West Pullman near the Racine stop on the IC Blue Island branch, but I'm not sure if they were actually owned by Pullman. One was Borg Warner in later years.

With the exception of #2 and 3, none are suitable for making railcars today. #3 is occupied by Jupiter Aluminum which is quite busy, and not likely to sell or move. I'm not sure what's in #2.
Tadman wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:47 pm They're supposedly going to assemble these at 135th and Torrance. It's been billed as a new railcar plant. I'm not so sure, because there is already a large plant there with new-ish cranes that would be a great railcar assembly plant. They'd have to knock it down or invade Ford's parking lot for autorack loading. My 2c is that they're making the existing building newly into a railcar facility.


Edit - correction, that plant was a prewar freight car plant for Pressed Steel Car, best known for making PRR MP54's.
Per my above remarks, there is also a Pressed Steel Car plant adjacent to the CRRC plant in Hegewisch. It is used as a steel storage and distribution warehouse. Although it could be used to make railcars, the building is both occupied and antiquated.

Here's the really interesting question: once the 7000 contract is over, what happens to the building? Nobody is buying big building like that in Chicago these days. Business is in exodus to Hammond, East Chicago, and Gary. There is no empty space there. I've been looking at locating a warehouse for my company there, and no way are we locating in Chicago. CRRC had to build a building in Chicago as a kicker to get the contract, but they won't want it after. We've put the stop to Chinese railcar dumping here, and they are persona non-grata.
  by spRocket
 
Tadman wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:08 am There were some plants in West Pullman near the Racine stop on the IC Blue Island branch, but I'm not sure if they were actually owned by Pullman. One was Borg Warner in later years.
At the end, I recall it being Ingersoll-Rand. At any rate, it was demolished, and it is now the site of a solar photovoltaic power plant.