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

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  by byte
 
I figure this is somewhat "newsworthy" and as good of a place to post about it as any:

IRM took delivery of CTA 2243-2244 this week; one car on Wednesday, one on Thursday. So far they've been re-joined at the drawbar, wired back to one another, and ran themselves about a foot in either direction this afternoon (using a stinger from the overhead wire to a third rail shoe). The automated announcements and interior/exterior speakers are FUN to play around with, since of course nothing else at the museum has anything like that.
  by c604.
 
I can picture it now: its late in the evening and the museum is all dark and very quiet....then out of the silence..."welcome aboard the Cta, there is no soliciting onboard trains and busses"
:-)

Any chance that even one of the commemorative South Side Rapid Transit 2000s can be saved as a static display? Those are pretty unique one of a kind cars.
  by Tadman
 
The Alex Clifford memo is out:

http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/153453 ... share=true" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's a good read. Nothing but the best from our Chicago/Illinois pols...
  by E Runs
 
Tadman wrote:The Alex Clifford memo is out:

http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/153453 ... share=true" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's a good read. Nothing but the best from our Chicago/Illinois pols...
As I wrote to Rep. Mell the allegations are deplorable and yet not surprising in the least. Mr. Clifford was brought in to "clean up Dodge" and is being run off on a rail for doing just that.
  by doepack
 
E Runs wrote:Mr. Clifford was brought in to "clean up Dodge" and is being run off on a rail for doing just that.
No pun intended, I assume...
  by doepack
 
Some Budd bi-levels of CB&Q and Metra heritage are up for sale. I know it's an ad, but they do look good; totally refurbished and modernized, with ADA accessibility. Wonder if Metra would be interested in re-acquiring a handful of them...
  by doepack
 
The FRA has published its report regarding the 7/4/2012 derailment of a northbound UP coal train in Northbrook, citing the official cause of the accident as a "thermal misalignment of the track"(aka "sun kink") due to the very hot weather that day. Glenview is installing a new bridge at the derailment site, scheduled for completion later this year...
  by Tadman
 
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Brad O'Halloran, Metra chairman and the "bad boy" of the Alex Clifford saga, has resigned.

I think it's the right thing to do given that the agency obviously has problems with patronage and interest conflicts. I'm a bit scared, though, that O'Halloran is the last of Metra's "camelot days" management after Pagano's death. While the management was obviously looking out for themselves first, they also ran a fine railroad. A railroad that had little of the science fair experiment seen at other commuter roads. We could have the problem of LIRR, being run by political appointees, or NJT, having PL42's barfing all over the road. We don't, and that's a testament to our leadership despite their other problems.
  by byte
 
The fourth fourth resignation just happened (Larry Huggins). Story is on the front page of the Tribune's website. Cue "Another One Bites the Dust" in the background.
  by doepack
 
Tadman wrote:While the management was obviously looking out for themselves first, they also ran a fine railroad. A railroad that had little of the science fair experiment seen at other commuter roads. We could have the problem of LIRR, being run by political appointees, or NJT, having PL42's barfing all over the road. We don't, and that's a testament to our leadership despite their other problems.
I'm inclined to agree, but the cynic in me says that it's more a testament to Metra's conservative, and at times, rigid operating philosophy. You know, "We're just a mom and pop gallery car railroad that operates nothing but 645 engines. We've finally got around to having bathrooms on our electric district cars, and we're thinking about installing wi-fi (whatever that is.). Please know that our schedules are only to be taken seriously during rush hours. Off-peak or weekends, the trains get there when they get there. But don't forget that weekend pass, only 7 bucks!" That's Metra in a nutshell, more or less. With Clifford's ouster, I've given up on ever seeing "real" reform at Metra, unless politics are removed, which would be impossible. And privatizing it isn't the way to go either, that would get messy in a hurry. We'll simply have to live with an imperfect commuter railroad that does a decent job of moving folks around, and hope that the other problems don't get in the way too often...
  by E Runs
 
Tadman wrote:Multiple news outlets are reporting that Brad O'Halloran, Metra chairman and the "bad boy" of the Alex Clifford saga, has resigned.

I think it's the right thing to do given that the agency obviously has problems with patronage and interest conflicts. I'm a bit scared, though, that O'Halloran is the last of Metra's "camelot days" management after Pagano's death. While the management was obviously looking out for themselves first, they also ran a fine railroad. A railroad that had little of the science fair experiment seen at other commuter roads. We could have the problem of LIRR, being run by political appointees, or NJT, having PL42's barfing all over the road. We don't, and that's a testament to our leadership despite their other problems.
That's exactly who has resigned! The entire lot of them are political appointiees, some of who don't even live in the counties they "represent". Clifford seemed to be the only check on these hacks (save for Schaffer) and he was dismissed because of it. What the board hoped would be a quiet matter has blown up into a full blown expose into how things really work in Chicago and Illinois. The Chicago Tribune has shown the Bobby Rush "protest" to be nothing but a shakedown, one Clifford wouldn't acquiesce to. Meanwhile all you hear Madigan say is he did nothing illegal. Well, there's a far leap from leagality and ethics.

Given all this, you're right, Metra is a fine commuter operation though I have a feeling it's inspite of the board and their shenanigans.
  by Tadman
 
E Runs, you make some good points. I had high hopes that Clifford would clean things up and I was disappointed when he was canned.
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