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
 
I thought maybe the horns on the ME cars were disconnected, as I've never heard one operate in 23 years. Wrong. When the train almost hit a fire truck parked on the tracks yesterday the motorman laid on the horn for quite some time. I'm still not sure what the fireman was trying to accomplish. This was in Stoney Island for the curious.

  by JLJ061
 
Oh boy, can you imagine the liability on Metra's part if those were non-operational! :P
  by doepack
 
Tadman wrote:I thought maybe the horns on the ME cars were disconnected, as I've never heard one operate in 23 years. Wrong. When the train almost hit a fire truck parked on the tracks yesterday the motorman laid on the horn for quite some time. I'm still not sure what the fireman was trying to accomplish. This was in Stoney Island for the curious.
Did it take the near-accident with the train for the fireman to realize the truck was blocking the tracks? Was the firefighter responding to an emergency, or was traffic backed up on Stony Island? In any event, I would expect the CFD has procedures to notify Metra in situations whenever they need the tracks blocked off for emergency reasons, so trains can temporarily avoid that area. If it was an emergency situation, then there obviously was a break in communication somewhere, although fortunately, an accident was avoided this time. Might not be so lucky next time, though...

  by Tadman
 
It went like this:
Stoney Island nb was busy, and a firetruck was NB as well. The gates had been down abnormaly long for a NB Metra. Instead of waiting, the truck crossed into the empty SB lanes, drove onto the ROW, hard right to follow the tracks to the other side of Stoney Island thruway to resume NB journey. At that time, the ME train rolls in, blaring it's horn. I think the fire truck is toast, but they found a place out of the trains path. Train continues, fire truck bails out after the train clears and continues north. Keep in mind NB Metra is compass east, and NB Stoney is compass north. I was shocked at how CFD handled this one, but I would guess they are trained for this as well. Bottom line is, nobody was hurt.

  by Tadman
 
But you gotta admit, you never ever hear ME trains using horns. Even NICTD trains use a little horn on ME ROWs.

  by JamesT4
 
Tadman wrote:But you gotta admit, you never ever hear ME trains using horns. Even NICTD trains use a little horn on ME ROWs.
That's mostally true, but there are some times that they blow there horns.

The most I heard the ME enginners blow the horn was on it's blue Island branch, because there are some crossings that don't have crossing gates on that branch, and they also blow at either Pulaski rd. or at Ashland Ave or both, eventhou these have crossing gates(Pulaski & Ashland has alot of street traffic).

On the ME Main line I only heard it only 2 times, and on the SC branch I only heard it once.

Other times I hear it sound when there are metra crews working on the tracks.

  by Scotty Burkhardt
 
At Ashland Ave. they always lay on the horn because of the bridge over I57 and the turn in the track. Between Vermont St. and Burr Oak Ave. the tracks run through a residential intersection which has lights and bells but no gates. Even at night theres always a long blow on the horn.

  by metra104
 
Does Anyone Have Any Audio For The Metra Electric Horns

  by MetraF40C607
 
They're Nathan P2s, usually sporting a #1 and #4 bell.

  by Tadman
 
Here's one for the employees of Metra: I'm sitting at Van Buren about 9:30am waiting for my train, and someone is walking thru each H1 parked on the storage track tooting the horn and ringing the bell - is this a safety or functionality check?

  by PRRGuy
 
When I was still a carman for NICTD, we had to do the same thing on every train, head and rear ends. Test the lights, bell, horn, wipers, radio, etc.
  by erie910
 
FRA regulations require that an engineer blow its whistle/horn when in an area where employees are performing work on or adjacent to the track. This happened several times this past Saturday on the BNSF Aurora line and the Rock Island line. I think that the required signal is the grade crossing sequence. From what I heard on Saturday, the engineer blows the grade crossing sequence once and then continues a series of two shorts through the work area. Of course, the bell is run through the work area.
  by justalurker66
 
erie910 wrote:FRA regulations require that an engineer blow its whistle/horn when in an area where employees are performing work on or adjacent to the track. This happened several times this past Saturday on the BNSF Aurora line and the Rock Island line. I think that the required signal is the grade crossing sequence. From what I heard on Saturday, the engineer blows the grade crossing sequence once and then continues a series of two shorts through the work area. Of course, the bell is run through the work area.
Was there a grade crossing nearby? Long Long Short Long for crossings is only required at crossings. The prescribed signal for approaching men or equipment on or near the tracks (per GCOR used by BNSF) is Long Short followed by two Shorts repeated as needed. In my experience not all engineers "make noise" following a precise pattern.
  by HammerJack
 
The Blue Island Branch is the only ME trackage where the horn is used at crossings.
The new Highliner cars have K3LA horns, I believe.