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  #14521  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2018, 12:36 AM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Metra has started to receive the ex-west coast F59PHIs from Progress Rail. They're being temp repainted:











https://metrarail.com/about-metra/ne...t-home-chicago


Quote:
In addition to increased reliability, the F59s will reduce pollution and achieve fuel savings of about 10 percent to 25 percent over Metra’s older engines. Riders could see them on the Milwaukee District North, Milwaukee District West, North Central Service and Heritage Corridor lines.

“The goal is to get the first few units in service by the end of the year,” Cronin said. “The biggest benefits will be increased reliability and a reduction in fuel consumption. Eventually, we will be able to retire some of the older units, but we will increase the operating spare ratio in the meantime.”
These should be at least Tier 2 or Tier 2+ so a considerable emissions improvement from unrebuilt F40s.

Their page also notes the locomotive RFP is still out...from January.

Last edited by k1052; Nov 5, 2018 at 12:48 PM.
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  #14522  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2018, 3:41 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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That's actually a pretty handsome looking engine with a sharp paintjob...
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  #14523  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2018, 5:19 AM
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Hmm, to each their own I guess.

Citing a better looking european locomotive would be like shooting fish in a barrel, so I'll go with one stateside. Behold the NJT Alstom PL42AC. For North American standards pretty sharp:

http://www.mainlinediesels.net/image...om_4009_01.jpg
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Last edited by Tom In Chicago; Nov 6, 2018 at 6:28 PM.
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  #14524  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2018, 12:52 PM
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They're not terrible looking. It would be nice to get some equipment that wasn't a 20 year old hand me down someday though.

I assume Metra is already salivating over the Caltrain coaches and diesel locomotives...
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  #14525  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2018, 2:22 PM
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Short of electrification, I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing Metra would move towards DMU's. I'm bewildered why there is such a ye olde railroading culture at not just Metra but many NA agencies. Does it have to do with the fact that Metra lines are operated by the freight RR owners, thus a reluctance to try anything new or the belief that maximum flexibility means coaches and locos?
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  #14526  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2018, 2:47 PM
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I’ve heard that DMUs come with a extraordinarily high O&M cost per passenger. It makes sense, you have a whole motor and fuel system inside every car to be fueled and maintained. They really only make sense for regional lines with relatively low demand and closely spaced stops, because the added expense of maintaining 2-car or 3-car consists is outweighed by fuel savings from the greater efficiency (more motors mean more drive wheels, so less loss of energy to heat and friction).

I’m not sure Metra has any operations that make sense for DMUs, the rush-hour demand for service is too high on virtually all the lines. DMUs might work for off-peak or weekend service on some lines, but it’s not worth the expense and headache of maintaining two separate fleets.

If Metra ever got serious about providing frequent regional service, DMUs might work in lieu of electrification, but they can’t scale up if the service proves popular. Really the best candidate for DMU service is not Metra service but the proposed Amtrak services to Rockford, Quad Cities, etc. But then you’ve either gotta use absurdly heavy DMUs that comply with FRA regulations, or somehow get a waiver covering hundreds of miles of active freight lines. Even other US cities with DMU operations are only using them on suburb-to-suburb operations with limited demand and either dedicated passenger tracks or a clear time separation for freight.
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  #14527  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2018, 3:06 PM
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Yeah, DMUs don't address any particular need for Metra that I can think of.

What we really need is like a hundred new coaches, preferably bi-levels instead of the ancient gallery design.
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  #14528  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2018, 5:46 PM
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Truth be told, I'm really jsut salivating for Metra electrification. Maybe DMU's don't make as much fiscal or op sense as I thought, but at least the image of Metra would be modernized which it is in immense need of.
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  #14529  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2018, 6:05 PM
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DMU's

advantages must be weighed against the underfloor noise and vibration that may be an issue with this type of train.
Generally diesel traction has several downsides compared to electric traction, namely higher fuel costs, more noise and exhaust as well as worse acceleration and top speed performance. The power to weight ratio also tends to be worse.
DMUs have further disadvantages compared to diesel-electric locomotives in that they cannot be swapped out when passing onto an electrified line, necessitating either passengers to change trains or Diesel operation on electrified lines. Similarly the lost investment once electrification reduces the demand for diesel rolling stock is higher than with locomotive hauled trains where only the locomotive has to be replaced.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_multiple_unit
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  #14530  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2018, 1:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnk View Post
DMU's

advantages must be weighed against the underfloor noise and vibration that may be an issue with this type of train.
Generally diesel traction has several downsides compared to electric traction, namely higher fuel costs, more noise and exhaust as well as worse acceleration and top speed performance. The power to weight ratio also tends to be worse.
DMUs have further disadvantages compared to diesel-electric locomotives in that they cannot be swapped out when passing onto an electrified line, necessitating either passengers to change trains or Diesel operation on electrified lines. Similarly the lost investment once electrification reduces the demand for diesel rolling stock is higher than with locomotive hauled trains where only the locomotive has to be replaced.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_multiple_unit
What have you been drinking? Stadler makes FLIRT trains that can be powered electrically or diesels, or by both. They are even designing and building a battery powered FLIRT. The idea a train must switch locomotives when moving from electrical to diesel power modes is false, especially when discussing multiple unit trains.
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  #14531  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2018, 2:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Truth be told, I'm really jsut salivating for Metra electrification. Maybe DMU's don't make as much fiscal or op sense as I thought, but at least the image of Metra would be modernized which it is in immense need of.
DMUs make more sense with smaller and more frequent trains. In the past discussing RDCs specifically, I have reported that the TRE assistant president of operations reports 4 RDCs as their efficiency limit, if you needed a larger capacity train locomotives and trailers were more efficient. Which in America probably requires corridor ownership by the transit agency, rather than owned by freight railroad companies because the freight railroads will want to reduce the number of passenger trains in their corridor, or if you wish ask far too much money for more corridor access.
I’m not sure who owns each corridor in the Chicago area, but I believe the freight railroad companies own most of them. That means fewer trains, and therefore longer trains to carry all the passengers demanding service. I’m not surprised METRA uses locomtives and trailers in push/pull mode

Last edited by electricron; Nov 8, 2018 at 8:59 AM.
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  #14532  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2018, 2:30 PM
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Anyone know what’s up with the chronic delays on the red line in the state street subway between Clark / Divison and Lake? Trains will go slow even if there’s nothing in front. It takes about 14-15 minutes to go from north and clybourn to state. That’s the same time to ride a divvy bike to the same location. If you ride the red line daily or talk to anyone that does you’ll know it’s a regular problem vs some service mishap

Last edited by Rizzo; Nov 7, 2018 at 2:41 PM.
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  #14533  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2018, 3:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Rizzo View Post
Anyone know what’s up with the chronic delays on the red line in the state street subway between Clark / Divison and Lake? Trains will go slow even if there’s nothing in front. It takes about 14-15 minutes to go from north and clybourn to state. That’s the same time to ride a divvy bike to the same location. If you ride the red line daily or talk to anyone that does you’ll know it’s a regular problem vs some service mishap
Construction I think. CTA has been sending the Red Line over the top (at least in one direction at a time) the past few weekends to do work in the subway.
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  #14534  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2018, 4:55 AM
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I should try to take some pictures of the progress on the Garfield Green Line station sometime, but I'm always in a rush to get in or out when I'm there... I am pretty surprised at how fast it's going.
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  #14535  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2018, 5:44 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Hmm, to each their own I guess.

Citing a better looking european locomotive would be like shooting fish in a barrel, so I'll go with one stateside. Behold the NJT Alstom PL42AC. For North American standards pretty sharp:

http://www.mainlinediesels.net/image...om_4009_01.jpg
_
Looks like it's from the 80s no thanks.

The Metra locomotive can't be compared to European engines that don't have to comply with US freight rail safety standards. You aren't going to find something significantly better that that Metra engine anywhere else in the US.
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  #14536  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2018, 1:54 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
Looks like it's from the 80s no thanks.

The Metra locomotive can't be compared to European engines that don't have to comply with US freight rail safety standards. You aren't going to find something significantly better that that Metra engine anywhere else in the US.
For my part the SC-44s now getting delivered, which replaced these units, are much more handsome locomotives. Not that Metra has anything like the cash required to purchase some.
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  #14537  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2018, 3:13 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Also, in honor of Union Station's apparently total signal failure this morning, has anybody heard what their timeline for Amtrak infrastructure improvements at CUS is looking like?

All the head house work is fantastic but the track level needs are pretty acute.
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  #14538  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2018, 3:20 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
Looks like it's from the 80s no thanks.

The Metra locomotive can't be compared to European engines that don't have to comply with US freight rail safety standards. You aren't going to find something significantly better that that Metra engine anywhere else in the US.
Except for the NJT photo I posted.

And the Euro locomotive non comparison thing is nonsense. An American loco was and could easily be designed just as sharp and sexy as some Euro counterparts regardless of some north American safety reg's. The reason they are not has more to do with the relatively artless reputation of current American builders and the lack of emphasis on good design by the operators --- Metra as a great example. Have you seen a "new" Metra station? Good lord. The passe neo-trad architecture with a budget that produces a cartoon facsimile of a station, complete with ye olde lighting littering the platforms. The 1950's rolling stock. The tacky design-by-committee loco paint jobs. The utter lack of modern coherent information design in print, signage, etc. And the total lameness of branding, or what passes as branding at Metra - a horrible logo from the 80's the icing on the cake. Metra is just begging for a systemwide aesthetic reboot - from rolling stock to graphic design - it all needs to be brought into the 21st century.
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  #14539  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2018, 11:54 PM
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Garfield Station renovation
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  #14540  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2018, 2:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
...
The 1950's rolling stock. The tacky design-by-committee loco paint jobs. The utter lack of modern coherent information design in print, signage, etc. And the total lameness of branding, or what passes as branding at Metra - a horrible logo from the 80's the icing on the cake. Metra is just begging for a systemwide aesthetic reboot - from rolling stock to graphic design - it all needs to be brought into the 21st century.
Speaking of rolling stock, I can't be the only one who saw the movie "Source Code" and wished that actual Metra car seats looked like that. I also wish the interiors in general showed a lot more flair. It can't possibly cost significantly more to use designs that look intentional instead of like some engineer's idea of bare minimum function.
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