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Metra to buy F59PHI locomotives used on Amtrak West

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Metra's Board approved at its February meeting today to purchase 21 F59PHI locomotives that were displaced by new Charger locomotives out in California.

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Based on the number (21), this would actually mean that these would be from both the Surfliner and Cascades fleets.

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With the whole reason these locomotives were replaced being that they are nearing the end of their useful life cycle, and furthermore, with commuter service, with its frequent start and stop cycles, being more taxing on wear and tear than Amtrak service, would it be fair to assume that from METRA's perspective, this is a temporary measure?

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It is more likely that they intend to rebuild them to have them last a while, and they believe that a second hand purchase + rebuild is cheaper than buying brand new units. Time will tell.

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Metra issued an RFP for new/remanufactured locomotives late last year. Their press release re: the F59PHIs (https://metrarail.com/about-metra/newsroom/metra-moves-buy-newer-engines) indicates that they are still working on that process, and are acquiring the Amtrak units because they are service ready at least two years ahead of whatever comes from the RFP.

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buying older units and overhauling them , will keep them from tier 3 and 4 requirements.

the older units are grandfathered as tier 0.

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So it's just the Surfliner text with different paint? That's so amazing. :wacko:

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That is not an attractive look.

 

I don't think paint alone had much chance of substantially improving that particular locomotive. Speaking of which, there don't seem to many attractive passenger trains from the modern era. I happen to appreciate the aesthetics of the Acela, whether intentionally attractive or not, but some modern passenger rail hardware is so ugly it almost makes we wince.

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That is not an attractive look.

I don't think paint alone had much chance of substantially improving that particular locomotive. Speaking of which, there don't seem to many attractive passenger trains from the modern era. I happen to appreciate the aesthetics of the Acela, whether intentionally attractive or not, but some modern passenger rail hardware is so ugly it almost makes we wince.

Which hardware are you thinking of?

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That is not an attractive look.

I don't think paint alone had much chance of substantially improving that particular locomotive. Speaking of which, there don't seem to many attractive passenger trains from the modern era. I happen to appreciate the aesthetics of the Acela, whether intentionally attractive or not, but some modern passenger rail hardware is so ugly it almost makes we wince.

Which hardware are you thinking of?

 

At that particular moment I was thinking of the funky US-spec Taglo cab unit. Not everything is as ugly as that but does anyone think P4X's, Chargers, or Viewliners are genuinely attractive?

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That is not an attractive look.

 

I don't think paint alone had much chance of substantially improving that particular locomotive. Speaking of which, there don't seem to many attractive passenger trains from the modern era. I happen to appreciate the aesthetics of the Acela, whether intentionally attractive or not, but some modern passenger rail hardware is so ugly it almost makes we wince.

 

Honestly I like the F59PHI, particularly in San Joaquin/Capitol Corridor paint. It's definitely not beautiful per se, but I like the tall and almost "brutish" look. JMO. That said, in Surfliner paint (and this Metra paint), I will concede that it's extremely ugly.

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That is not an attractive look.

I don't think paint alone had much chance of substantially improving that particular locomotive. Speaking of which, there don't seem to many attractive passenger trains from the modern era. I happen to appreciate the aesthetics of the Acela, whether intentionally attractive or not, but some modern passenger rail hardware is so ugly it almost makes we wince.

Which hardware are you thinking of?

 

At that particular moment I was thinking of the funky US-spec Taglo cab unit. Not everything is as ugly as that but does anyone think P4X's, Chargers, or Viewliners are genuinely attractive?

I don't like the Chargers much, but I actually quite like Viewliners and P4Xs. Maybe I just have low standards, but I think from the right angle and in the right color scheme, they look great.

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Those new colors are drab (seems there are similar engine profiles floating around Metra already in the more trad with orange colors) and cold.

 

I personally think Metra should just ditch the locomotives and, well, turn into an entire electric commuter service, but I'm biased (and unrealistic).

 

As an aside, I think they may be thinking of doing more cuts on MED - counters were on the trains last week. Especially on the Blue Island Branch line trains.

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As an aside, I think they may be thinking of doing more cuts on MED - counters were on the trains last week. Especially on the Blue Island Branch line trains.

Counters were on my line, UP Northwest. I don't think this was targeted at the Electric Line, but just periodic (annual?) Metra counting time.

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Sorry, what's a counter?

A place where Amtrak runs out of food well before the train's last stop so they lose out on as much in profit as they can.

Well played, though I was already about 90% sure when I asked that question that somebody would make this joke. ;)

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