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 Pensyfan19
 
At least while waiting for a decision, I will still continue to operate passenger trains on these lines.

http://railfan.com/stb-declines-to-tack ... p-dispute/
In July, Metra asked the STB to resolve the issue. Two weeks later, on Aug. 6, the STB decided it would let the U.S. District Court sort out the issue. In its decision, the STB noted that UP has vowed to “maintain the status quo” until the courts have made a ruling. It did leave the door open for further board action should the court deem it necessary. The board requested that it be informed of any court ruling regarding the matter as soon as possible. 
  by Pensyfan19
 
Promising Update:

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... te-with-up
WASHINGTON — A coalition of unions and passenger groups has filed a statement with the Surface Transportation Board supporting Metra’s request for a preliminary injunction to require Union Pacific to continue operating commuter service on three Chicago-area routes.

The statement filed Tuesday notes that the STB has said it will hold ruling on Metra’s quest in abeyance pending a U.S. District Court ruling [see “STB defers decision in Metra-Union Pacific dispute,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 7, 2020], but asks that the board grants Metra’s request should the court not act promptly. The coalition writes that it “believes it is in the public interest to ensure that Chicagoland commuters have continued, uninterrupted access to public transportation,” and that it believes UP’s decision to end services supporting Metra operations this fall are “an aggressive, unlawful tactic by UP to pressure Metra in negotiations, while needlessly harming the public and employees.” It notes that UP has abolished at least 40 ticket agent positions.

Groups filing the statement include the Transportation Communications Union, Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, Rail Passengers Association, and Transportation For America. “Our coalition represents various parties with an aligned interest in passenger rail, rail transit, and the respectful treatment of employees caught in the middle of a dispute between UP and Metra,” the group says.
  by eolesen
 
Promising update or posturing by the unions?...
  by John_Perkowski
 
eolesen wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:20 am Promising update or posturing by the unions?...
The latter. They’ve got jobs of dues paying members to protect.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Judge denies Metra's motion to dismiss UP suit over commuter operations

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... operations
Metra’s request to dismiss Union Pacific’s federal lawsuit over continued operation of three Chicago-area commuter lines was denied Thursday, with a hearing on the case set for Sept. 8.

The order by Judge Jorge L. Alonso of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois said the primary issue in the case — whether Union Pacific has a common-carrier obligation to provide commuter rail service — is the type of issue “this court and its sister courts [consider] every day, which is why it would not be appropriate to refer such an issue to an agency,” concluding the court has primary jurisdiction.

Metra had previously asked the Surface Transportation Board to intervene, and wanted the case dismissed so the matter would be left in the STB's hands, but the STB elected to hold its participation in abeyance to await a court decision [see “STB defers decision in Metra-Union Pacific dispute,” Trains News Wire, Aug. 7, 2020]. The order also suggest that the STB would not made its decision “if it believed the issue was within its primary jurisdiction,” but recognizes the STB’s “significant industry knowledge” and invites it to file a brief on the merits of the case. Metra and UP have been unable to negotiate a contract for continued service on the UP West, Northwest, and North lines, leading to an increasingly contentious dispute that saw UP file suit late last year [see “UP sues Metra over commuter operations,” News Wire, Dec. 21, 2019].
  by eolesen
 
Seems that this is going to court.

If there’s a time to change service operations, it’s now. Metra has idle crews who could maintain a Sunday schedule on the MILW and NCS plus the NW and W lines. The North is close enough to the MILW N that you could probably suspend it for a few weeks.


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  by John_Perkowski
 
Frankly, I wonder how much money this is really about? I suspect METRA is trying to get a very low price, and UP wants burdened cost plus 10%.