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k1052 Feb 25, 2019 1:10 PM

Looks like Metra finally decided what to do about their locomotive RFP.

Metra approves $71M contract to replace aging locomotives

Quote:

Metra leaders agreed Wednesday to spend $71 million on 15 refurbished locomotives to replace some of the railroad's oldest engines.

Officials acknowledged the replacements aren't the same as new ones, but given the agency's cash shortfall, it was the best bang for the buck, Chief Mechanical Officer Kevin McCann said.

Metra has the option of purchasing 27 more locomotives from the suppliers Progress Rail Locomotives of La Grange.

The staff had considered buying both new and remanufactured locomotives but estimated buying the secondhand ones along with 24 previously owned by Amtrak would cut the number of engines in poor condition to 14 percent.

"We would expect to see a significant increase in reliability as these newer locomotives are introduced," Executive Director Jim Derwinski said.

The locomotives approved Wednesday emit less pollution than many of Metra's older models and reach "Tier 3" emission standards issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The highest and cleanest level is Tier 4.

"Would Tier 4 (locomotive) emissions look better?" McCann said. "Sure they would, but dollar for dollar we get twice the number of locomotives by purchasing remanufactured, so we're significantly reducing emissions and dealing with our reliability and state-of-good-repair issues. We feel it's the responsible thing to do."

The average age of a Metra locomotive is 31 years.
https://www.dailyherald.com/news/201...-to-save-money

I watched the part of the board meeting where the procurement was approved...if Metra gets a load of capital funding from the state expect MANY more refurbed EMD locomotives. I highly doubt they would ever buy the SC-44.

VKChaz Feb 26, 2019 5:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 8486085)
Looks like Metra finally decided what to do about their locomotive RFP.

Metra approves $71M contract to replace aging locomotives



https://www.dailyherald.com/news/201...-to-save-money

I watched the part of the board meeting where the procurement was approved...if Metra gets a load of capital funding from the state expect MANY more refurbed EMD locomotives. I highly doubt they would ever buy the SC-44.

Is it unusual to convert freight locomotives to passenger use?

Busy Bee Feb 26, 2019 6:03 PM

https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5186...7ecbf005_b.jpg
_

k1052 Feb 26, 2019 6:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VKChaz (Post 8487852)
Is it unusual to convert freight locomotives to passenger use?

Somewhat, yeah. Though given what's available this is probably the best option out there if you want refurbished instead of new.

Mister Uptempo Feb 27, 2019 4:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8487896)

That is the EMD F59PHI, 21 of which Metra has already started acquiring. That purchase was announced in February, 2018.

The locomotive mentioned in the Daily Herald article is the EMD SD70MACH-
https://i.imgur.com/2GJzs18.png
img src - trn.trains.com

https://i.imgur.com/Pz7yLJ1.jpgimg src - youtube.com

Busy Bee Feb 27, 2019 2:39 PM

Eww gross. I know that sounds immature, but look at that... really? How many years are we going to be blessed with those beauties?

bnk Feb 27, 2019 3:45 PM

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg...e-rail-project




February 26, 2019 02:37 PM |updated 19 hours ago



Duckworth moves to boost funding for O’Hare, rail project



The Illinois Democrat joins with a Georgia Republican in putting down a marker on two initiatives key to the Chicago-area economy.








Greg Hinz  







U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is wasting no time with her job on a key Senate panel, taking steps today to boost federal funding for two big projects close to the Chicago area's economy: expansion of O'Hare International Airport and completion of the Create project to unsnarl railroad traffic here.

At a hearing of the Senate Transportation & Safety Subcommittee—Duckworth recently became the ranking Democratic member—the senator announced that she and Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue have reintroduced legislation to allow airports to tap low-interest federal loans through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act, better known as TIFIA.

Chicago has used TIFIA funding for all sorts of surface transportation projects, including the new Red Line terminal at 95th Street and the downtown Riverwalk. But except for a trial airport project that the two senators pushed last year, airfields have been exempt from TIFIA.

Under the new legislation

...

ardecila Feb 27, 2019 4:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8488978)
Eww gross. I know that sounds immature, but look at that... really? How many years are we going to be blessed with those beauties?

Or you could view it as a glass half-full sorta thing. Those locos are beefy and masculine, they seem like a great fit for Chicago's brand image as the City of Big Shoulders, stacker of wheat, player with railroads, nation's freight handler. Not everything needs to be sleek. As long as they can provide improvements over the old locos for emissions, fuel economy, and power/weight ratio, I don't see this as terrible. Clearly the money isn't there for new locos, and the offerings available in the US for new locos are pretty sad anyway.

IMO the bigger issues are design standards that make Metra feel like a 19th century claptrap railroad, like the red safety striping and the awful clanging bell. The bell is an FRA thing (v sad to hear them on Denver's sleek new electrified A Line) but the safety striping is a Metra requirement after the 1972 Metra Electric crash. Very unnecessary with PTC being a better safeguard against accidents than an engineer's eyes could ever be. At least they're being dragged kicking and screaming away from the old gallery car design toward something more modern.

Mister Uptempo Feb 27, 2019 4:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8488978)
Eww gross. I know that sounds immature, but look at that... really? How many years are we going to be blessed with those beauties?

They are homely, but there are more important things than locomotive aesthetics.

The SD70's will be rebuilt to Tier III emission standards, so less CO and particulate matter getting belched into the air and at Union Station. The SD70's and the F59s share a lot of parts, reducing potential problems in the supply chain and costs associated with maintaining and warehousing separate parts inventories. According to Metra, with the acquisition of the F59s, and if they exercise their options to purchase all 42 rebuilt SD70s, the percentage of Metra locomotives in marginal to poor condition will drop from 70% down to 14%.

Metra looks to be doing the best they can with the hand they've been dealt. Considering how poorly funded Metra is, and taking into account that they have had to pay for 90% of the $400 million mandatory PTC upgrade out of their own pockets, being forced to buy second-hand iron should come as no surprise.

Even if Metra did have the cash to buy new the only choices available would be either the Charger, which already has 116 orders waiting (and potentially as many as 131) to be filled, or the F125, which, by most accounts, is a rolling dumpster fire.

k1052 Feb 27, 2019 5:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 8489161)
.
Even if Metra did have the cash to buy new the only choices available would be either the Charger, which already has 116 orders waiting (and potentially as many as 131) to be filled, or the F125, which, by most accounts, is a rolling dumpster fire.

If Metra had a billion dollars dropped on it today I doubt they'd by the SC-44. They don't want to deal with a new engine and DEF, regardless of the benefits on the emissions side.

More Tier 3 locomotives on the railroad is an improvement however. I'm not sure if these will be outfitted with their own HEP generators or if they're going to just run it off the inverters. If they're going into CUS then Tier 4 HEP generators would be really preferable.

ardecila Mar 10, 2019 7:25 PM

Canopy at the Belmont Blue Line stop is up... I passed by it this afternoon, it looks enormous!

http://i66.tinypic.com/2hx0fet.jpg
twitter/@NathanLeeOlson

k1052 Mar 10, 2019 10:36 PM

They should have spent the money adding an entrance on the North side of Belmont instead.

emathias Mar 13, 2019 6:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 8501251)
They should have spent the money adding an entrance on the North side of Belmont instead.

Until/unless there is a serious redevelopment of the stores on the NE part of Belmont/Kimball, it's be a waste of money to build an entrance there. And then if those circumstances come to be, the developer should chip in.

emathias Mar 13, 2019 6:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8488978)
Eww gross. I know that sounds immature, but look at that... really? How many years are we going to be blessed with those beauties?

As long as they're reliable, that's the important thing. And if anything needs to be upgraded aesthetically, it's the passenger carriages, not the locomotives. Some of the Metra cars feel like you could shoot period pieces in, not like modern transit vehicles.

k1052 Mar 13, 2019 4:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 8503903)
Until/unless there is a serious redevelopment of the stores on the NE part of Belmont/Kimball, it's be a waste of money to build an entrance there. And then if those circumstances come to be, the developer should chip in.

Eliminating the turns (time) required of the westbound busses to would have been more than worth it.

emathias Mar 14, 2019 1:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 8504281)
Eliminating the turns (time) required of the westbound busses to would have been more than worth it.

Then that would be much bigger than just an auxiliary exit. The buses don't turn there just to avoid people crossing the street.

LouisVanDerWright Mar 14, 2019 2:56 AM

A better second entrance would have been to construct one at Barry...

jpIllInoIs Mar 20, 2019 1:06 AM

Peterson Metra station funded
 
http://www.edgevillebuzz.com/news/pr...o-be-announced

"The long awaited Peterson Metra station which has been proposed at Peterson and Ridge has finally been funded after years of delays and political fighting.

The news was announced today by State Representative Greg Harris and State Senator Heather Steans that the funding has been released by Governor J.B. Pritzker after years of fighting with Governor Rauner over the project."

the urban politician Mar 20, 2019 1:14 AM

$15 million to build.

As opposed to over $100 million for a CTA station....

k1052 Mar 21, 2019 3:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 8511784)
$15 million to build.

As opposed to over $100 million for a CTA station....

While I find CTA costs inflated they spend $40-50M on an infill station. Also they don't usually have the luxury of an embankment to build on.


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