METRA really does not want your opinion on its new rail cars

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METRA really does not want your opinion on its new rail cars
Posted by divebardave on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:33 PM

because if they did there survey would actulay work...tried this at least 8 times and it keeps rejecting me...https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CR9KVM8

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 9:05 PM

Gallery bilevels, which I believe were unique to Chicago and the San Francisco "Peninsula" commuter trains, are really pretty awful.  I think they are a labor-saving measure in that the conductor can "pull tickets" from both the main floor and the gallery without climbing stairs and making another pass of the train car.  I have been on both, and those Bombardier bilevels are much better for passengers.

The closest comparison might be those seats on the newer 737 and Airbus 321 jets that are straight out of the movie The Matrix.  The seatback in front of you is just inches from your face, only it has a touch-screen TV to keep your mind somewhere else besides the misery of the seating arrangement.

Just like those new mass-transportation jets make the regional jets seem comfortable in comparison, a gallery car does the same for a school bus.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by CMStPnP on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 9:53 PM

Paul Milenkovic
Gallery bilevels, which I believe were unique to Chicago and the San Francisco "Peninsula" commuter trains, are really pretty awful.  I think they are a labor-saving measure in that the conductor can "pull tickets" from both the main floor and the gallery without climbing stairs and making another pass of the train car.  I have been on both, and those Bombardier bilevels are much better for passengers. The closest comparison might be those seats on the newer 737 and Airbus 321 jets that are straight out of the movie The Matrix.  The seatback in front of you is just inches from your face, only it has a touch-screen TV to keep your mind somewhere else besides the misery of the seating arrangement. Just like those new mass-transportation jets make the regional jets seem comfortable in comparison, a gallery car does the same for a school bus.

My view on the Gallery Cars.....

Freaking cold in the winter because almost the entire interior is exposed steel.   Sure they crank up the hot air in the winter time in an attempt to compensate and that does it for some folks but not for me.    The gallery cars were designed by the private railroads because they wanted to collect every penny they could on their commutter service.   

Now that public transit agencies have taken over the ticket collecting conductor should be largely eliminated.   I am actually surprised Amtrak uses them so heavily still.    Validate the tickets on the platform before the train is borded like the Europeans do.   Then have a conductor spot check through the train.    That in my view is much more efficient and you'll save more money from elimination of ticket collection labor than you will lose from people who skip on paying the fare.    Especially if the fine is steep if caught skipping on the fare.   Amtraks new LD ticket collection is such that if your on a sleeping car they no longer really need to scan your ticket once your on board all they need to do is ask the car attendent now if you have boarded and manually confirm via their hand held scanner.....which is a nice improvement......Amtrak does not always do that but I have been on some Texas Eagle trips where they asked to scan the ticket and others where the conductor just conversed with the car attendent and the car attendent checked all the tickets when folks boarded to make sure they matched.   Not having to be bothered for a ticket scan is nice.   I suspect they can only do that with sleeping car reservations though.

So in the new era of ticket collection the Bombardier cars are nicer and for that matter so are the Siemens Bi-Level Commuter Cars.   Hopefully ticketing will increasingly be more and more electronic and they will have tap scanners soon at the vestibule doors, where you just tap your credit card and it acknowledges the charge for the rail fare.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:05 PM

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:06 PM

Very glad to see that you and Paul agree on how bad gallery cars are.  They were OK when they were new but really outdated now 70 years later.  Noisy,  like a moving cell block.  Now that Metra is moving toward eliminating paper tickets, collectors become less necessary. 

BTW,  at least in Germany, regional and intercity trains still have human conductors, not platform validation.  That's on S-Bahns and U-Bahns with very random inspections and steep penalties for riding "black."

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 6:57 AM

charlie hebdo
BTW,  at least in Germany, regional and intercity trains still have human conductors, not platform validation.  That's on S-Bahns and U-Bahns with very random inspections and steep penalties for riding "black."

I think it depends on the part of the rail system for DB.

I was there before the nicer commutter trains in Germany and primarily rode the silver steel and blue DB 2nd Class Cars between Osterholtz and Bremen.   I believe that line has been changed to DMU now but used to be electric loco hauled coaches.   Conductor would spot check if at all and you had to validate stamp on the platform before boarding.   Usually did not see a Conductor as it was a short ride.   The Bremen to Bremerhaven line is definitely secondary though it is not a trunk passenger line (though still an important freight line) and that is probably why the difference.    Still speed limit was above 80 mph even though it was secondary passenger line.   Again, I think I saw on youtube it is DMU now.

Few times I rode ICE I don't remember the Conductor checking in Germany but do remember it in Switzerland and Italy on their HSR trains.   Never rode a regional train, always rode the through trains on DB or the local commuter runs.    I don't think the Bremen to Bremerhaven train is classed as regional at least it was not noted that way on the timetable.   The only long distance train on that route was the tri-weekly U.S. Army troop train to West Berlin via Hannover.........which I am sure has been discontinued now.    Bremerhaven is still an important port city and it is where the U.S. Army offloads military vehicles, materials and ships privately owned vehicles for Soldiers or Marines stationed in Germany.    Army prefers Bremerhaven over Hamburg.   I think because it is less busy and easier to get into and out of faster.

For those readers that do not know S-Bahn = Streetcar,  U-Bahn = Subway.

S- Strassen = or Street,   U- Unter or Under.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 7:01 AM

divebardave
... 

because if they did [their] survey would actually work...tried this at least 8 times and it keeps rejecting me...

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CR9KVM8

"You might be a Democrat if..." you keep trying to vote and get upset when you're told you can't any more. Wink

I just took the survey from the link provided, answered the questions, and was told my responses had been received.  The surveymonkey site has very strong checking enabled to make sure people don't vote multiple times to 'influence' the results of these Internet polls (a well-documented problem in both positive and negative senses) and will not take a 'repeat' survey from an identified computer or perhaps type of IP address.  It may also be programmed to ignore or refuse requests from things like public WiFi providers.

If you would provide the specific details aout why 'it keeps rejecting' you, I might be able to give you workarounds that may work.  Assuming you are not trying to vote early and often...

(Now, if only we could get the dead to vote on keeping us rid of gallery cars -- I suspect ranks of former rider-sufferers could easily be motivated to rise and do it if we could figure out how the political machines or community-of-the-dead organizers arrange for them to do so...)

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 8:15 AM

As to conductors checking tickets, a few minutes before a train is expected in Salt Lake City, a conductor comes into the station and takes the tickets of those are going to board, and gives seat or room assignments. The same conductor works both 5 and 6 (due in four hours apart), and other conductors take the trains out.

Once, when I boarded in Oakland at night, I never saw the conductor, and the attendant told that he had told the conductor that I had boarded.

As an aside, when I travel, I use a railpass, which is supposed to be checked by the conductor--and, over the years, I have been asked for it twice.

Johnny

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 9:02 AM

CM: I think your experience of DB is from some time ago.  What you describe was true to some degree in the 80s, but not in this century.  I've ridden all over the network from 1968 through the present.  BTW,  the "s" in S-Bahn in Germany stands for Stadt = city or schnell = fast, not Strassen,  as applied to a streetcar or tram. 

The important thing is that eventually Metra will start replacing the rattle trap bi-levels,  starting with the oldest P-S coaches built in the late 50s on into the mid 60s. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 10:08 AM

charlie hebdo

The important thing is that eventually Metra will start replacing the rattle trap bi-levels,  starting with the oldest P-S coaches built in the late 50s on into the mid 60s. 

 
As a regular Metra rider since 1980, I can see the need to replace the oldest equipment but I don't see a need to replace the gallery coach design just because it dates back to 1950.  Just because some other design is new and different doesn't meant that it's an improvement.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 12:45 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH

 

 
charlie hebdo

The important thing is that eventually Metra will start replacing the rattle trap bi-levels,  starting with the oldest P-S coaches built in the late 50s on into the mid 60s. 

 

 

 
As a regular Metra rider since 1980, I can see the need to replace the oldest equipment but I don't see a need to replace the gallery coach design just because it dates back to 1950.  Just because some other design is new and different doesn't meant that it's an improvement.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

I was a regular rider from 1969-77. I still ride occasionally since 1992. Some people like them,  most folks tolerate them and some,  especially those who have experienced other double-decker equipment find the bi-levels pretty poor.  I know you like them. I don't and neither do many others.  Sometimes things do improve over time.  There is better equipment available. Obviously Metra is not going to retire the newer coaches but the 60-year old P-S ones should be first to go. 

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Posted by divebardave on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 1:19 PM

I assume that Chicago will go on a honor fare system like California because no way is a old conductor going to climb up and down all those stairs..Of course having a honor fare system means that you have to have honorable citizens (Of which at the end of my money for the week/month I am not one of them).                

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Posted by divebardave on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 1:43 PM

If anyone can get the surveymonkey to work let me know...

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 2:11 PM

divebardave

If anyone can get the surveymonkey to work let me know...

 

   Are you not able to access the survey, or do you make your entries and it refuses to accept your input?   I was able to access it, but since I don't use the service, I didn't make any entries.  With a more detailed description of the problem, someone may be able to help you.

_____________

   "A stranger is just a friend you ain't met yet."  ___ Dave Gardner

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Posted by divebardave on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 2:37 PM

I put in the entrys and then it keeps kicking it back saying that i missed something..correct it and still keeps kicking me back..Better for Metra to hire some hard up poor kids/older adults in need of beer money and take surveys in person of riders.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 2:59 PM

divebardave
I put in the entrys and then it keeps kicking it back saying that i missed something..correct it and still keeps kicking me back..

Kicking you back to what?

I'll grant you those rank-these-items-in-order is an infuriating thing to navigate.  Apparently you can either drag the lines into the 'correct' order or specify numbers in the boxes but there is no way other than 'order' to indicate just how much you like or dislike particular options.

Be sure your 'home' station matches the route you 'usually' ride.  And don't miss any 'radio buttons'.  I took it on an ancient cracked phone and got it in; so can you.

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 3:34 PM

Of course neither of you are Metra riders. 

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Posted by divebardave on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 4:05 PM

charlie hebdo
  Yes we are---I am in Chicago 4-6 times a year and ride/railfan on the weekend pass from Riverdale IL.

 

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 5:09 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
As a regular Metra rider since 1980, I can see the need to replace the oldest equipment but I don't see a need to replace the gallery coach design just because it dates back to 1950.  Just because some other design is new and different doesn't meant that it's an improvement.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

It's broke and I agree with Charlie Hebdo on the point of you not seeing or riding on the alternatives.    The Bombardier cars even after 10-15 years of use, ride smoother and quieter than the gallery cars.   Plus the interior plastic and carpeting they use keeps the interior of the car warmer in cold weather.     Then of course you have your choice of seats with table between or just a regular seat and they are high back seats countoured to your back, not bench seats.

Won't get into the Siemens cars but you can see them on YouTube or elsewhere using Google.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 5:54 PM

divebardave

 

 
charlie hebdo
  Yes we are---I am in Chicago 4-6 times a year and ride/railfan on the weekend pass from Riverdale IL.

 

 

 

 

 

Not what I said.  Your words. 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 10:16 PM

charlie hebdo
Of course neither of you are Metra riders.

Doesn't mean we don't know what would and wouldn't be the right thing for the actual daily ones.

 

 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 10:50 PM

Ha!   You sound like a classic Besser Wisser or even a Besser Wessi. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 16, 2020 1:32 AM

At least not a Joe Besser wisser.  Some might say a besser wusser.

I've already been a Hochoberlehrer over on the Model Railroader side; it goes with the territory.  You know what they say in Alsace: der alles besser wissen will als andere Hattst.   

At least I'm not Ossi-fied.  (Yet.)  Despite being from a different Eastern establishment...

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Thursday, January 16, 2020 7:42 AM

I am proudly an Ossi. Once die Wendung took place, I was able to reestablish contact with cousins in my grandmother's Heimat (Frankenhausen). That led to exploring the various parts of the former DDR and eventually discovering my "second home" in the Hansastadt Stralsund, where I rent an apartment annually. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 16, 2020 9:07 AM

It is sobering how much of interest was in the East, and that was deprecated by the Wessis (particularly in the news that reached the English-speaking media).  The general presentation was that the Ost was a benighted culture like the one in the '80s version of 1984 (or 'Brazil') and that it was saved from itself ... with great and ongoing cost and sacrifice ... by the victorious West.  Revealing appalling detail in its secret police preparations and such, as well as terrible levels of pollution, worker health, and ... quality control of plastic cars with two-cylinder disposable engines.

Despite Meiningen, knowledge and information on modern steam practice from East Germany might as well have been on the Moon for us even in the early Nineties.  The amount of sheer work needed to find out even the history of the Trofimov valve was like pulling teeth without anesthesia.  To this day I can't find a good account of the lignite-burning "Lamont" boiler, although there are several people who apparently know 'what worked' as well as what obviously didn't.  

On the other hand it's interesting how quickly we returned to thinking of 'Germany'.  I grew up entirely in the Cold War era when products came from 'West Germany' and you'd still often see reference to occupation zones on older things.  It's an effort even to recall this now.

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Posted by divebardave on Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:18 PM

I see Metra as being part of the national railway system..I use it not only to get around Chicago but to connect to Amtrak.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, January 18, 2020 6:53 AM

divebardave

I see Metra as being part of the national railway system..I use it not only to get around Chicago but to connect to Amtrak.

 
Metra is not really part of the national passenger network.  It doesn't sell interline tickets and almost no passengers connect with Amtrak.  Similarly, the Interstate Commerce Commission declined jurisdiction over discontinuance of CA&E's passenger service in 1957 for the same reasons.
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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, January 18, 2020 7:30 AM

Overmod

It is sobering how much of interest was in the East, and that was deprecated by the Wessis (particularly in the news that reached the English-speaking media).  The general presentation was that the Ost was a benighted culture like the one in the '80s version of 1984 (or 'Brazil') and that it was saved from itself ... with great and ongoing cost and sacrifice ... by the victorious West.  Revealing appalling detail in its secret police preparations and such, as well as terrible levels of pollution, worker health, and ... quality control of plastic cars with two-cylinder disposable engines.

Despite Meiningen, knowledge and information on modern steam practice from East Germany might as well have been on the Moon for us even in the early Nineties.  The amount of sheer work needed to find out even the history of the Trofimov valve was like pulling teeth without anesthesia.  To this day I can't find a good account of the lignite-burning "Lamont" boiler, although there are several people who apparently know 'what worked' as well as what obviously didn't.  

On the other hand it's interesting how quickly we returned to thinking of 'Germany'.  I grew up entirely in the Cold War era when products came from 'West Germany' and you'd still often see reference to occupation zones on older things.  It's an effort even to recall this now.

One of the more twisted schemes the East German regime did was use prison labor to make wooden Christmas Ornaments and sell them via department stores in the United States like Marshall Field's.   Like it or not they found ways to raise money in the West and we unknowingly at times contributed to the Gulag.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, January 18, 2020 10:34 AM

In many US states it was a common (past) practice to use prison labor to manufacture things,  such as annual license plates.

I'm curious about how those ornaments were labeled as to country of origin.  At Fields,  numerous apparel items from the 1960s onward were labeled as from Hong Kong when actually from China. 

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Posted by divebardave on Saturday, January 18, 2020 2:10 PM

Back to the original OP has anyone got the $R&*&*( !-- Survey Monkey on Future Metra cars to work? https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CR9KVM8

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