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Metra Orders 160 New Cars for Electric Line

Homewood and Flossmoor will not be seeing any of Metra's newly refurbished cars on the Electric Line. Instead, we're getting 160 brand new ones.

Yesterday, . After some follow-up questions today, we’ve got some good news and some bad news.

The Bad

Not a single one of the newly refurbished cars will ever run on the Metra Electric Line. Michael Gillis of Metra explains why:

… the Metra Electric Line is, as its name implies, electrified. It uses electric multiple-unit (EMU) cars, which are electric self-propelled coaches that draw power from an overhead catenary wire system. It does not share equipment with the other 10 Metra lines, which have diesel locomotives pulling bi-level passenger cars.

The Good

For those H-F residents who might be to be missing out on the refurbished cars, you can take a deep breath knowing that, according to Gillis, Metra spent $585 million ordering 160 brand new cars for the Metra Electric line. The new cars are promised to share some of the features of the rehabbed Metra cars, such as power outlets, Gillis said. Commuters can expect to see the new cars on the Electric Line towards the end of this year, according to Metra.

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Jetta July 21, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Correction: van buren station rider
Jetta July 21, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Now Metra needs to totally rehab Van Buren station starting with the tunnel under michigan ave. It is so dilapidated I feel unsafe. It is the worst downtown station in the Metra system.
FlossmoorGuy July 21, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Most of the delays and "mechanical problems" involve switches on the track, signalling problems, and electrical outages. These issues are unrelated to the cars themselves. We should be careful not to get excited just because something is "new." I sincerely hope that the new cars are an improvment, but the last set of "new" cars certainly were not. Why cheer the purchase of expensive, less reliable, less comfortable cars?
FlossmoorMom July 21, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Actually that was discussed at the meeting, my husband asked about it. (My memory of the exact situation is a little foggy but..)They said they could not fix the leak until the city had enough money to rebuild the bridge over the lines, as that's where the issue is. They finally got the funding and I think they are going to fix it next year...
Matt August 10, 2012 at 04:54 PM
The 2005 train cars look great: Nice, clean and stainless steel and god knows we really need them. Yesterday, I rode in one of the few vintage 1972 trains with the orange and yellow seats. So retro and smelled old and warn out, but the seats were oh so comfortable! Hopefully the new metra trains will have more comfortable seats and more sound insulation than the trains that were purchased in 2005. The trains could really use digital displays on the exterior that state the destination of the train (i.e. University Park / Blue Island / South Chicago). This would help people from getting confused. If the CTA trains have destination displays on them, why can't the Metra, especially since the Metra Electric has 3 branches!

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