FEATURE image: Metra Locomotive 129. Westbound, Union Pacific West Line. Author’s photograph, May 2018. More details on this train in post below.
Video of same run of Metra Locomotive 185 (above), westbound BSNF Railway Line, August 2022.
The Brown Line (also known as the Ravenswood Line) is part of the Chicago “El” or “L” rapid transit system. The Chicago public transportation train system offers a total of 8 color-named lines (Yellow, Red, Blue, Pink, Orange, Green, Purple, and Brown). All the lines begin in the downtown “Loop” and branch out from there in different directions throughout the city (except, of course, east into Lake Michigan).
The popular Brown Line travels over 11 miles from downtown Chicago to the north and west to the “Kimball” station in Chicago’s Albany Park. There are 27 stations on the Brown Line and the train runs entirely above ground. The Brown Line first opened in 1907.
https://www.transitchicago.com/visitors/ – retrieved June 30, 2021.
https://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/6/ctamap_Lsystem.png – retrieved June 30, 2021.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Line_(CTA) – retrieved June 30, 2021.
Locomotive METX 183, EMD F40PH-2 was originally built for Metra by General Motors in September 1989 at their Electro-Motive Division (EMD) plant (now closed) in LaGrange, Illinois. see – http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/Locopicture.aspx?id=2727 – retrieved July 1, 2021.
Video of same run of Locomotive 183 (above). BSNF Rail Line, westbound. June 9, 2023.
Locomotive 194 was the first Metra locomotive after 2015 to be completely rebuilt and repainted just outside Patterson, Georgia at the Progress Rail plant. The first F40(PHM) rebuilt “like new” engines were returned to Metra service in September 2016.
The F40PHM locomotives were originally built for Metra by General Motors in 1991 at their Electro-Motive Division plant (now closed) in LaGrange, Illinois.
This locomotive features a short nose and sloped cab improving engineer safety in the event of a crash. These rebuilt locomotives are essentially a brand-new locomotive in their original 1991 frame.
The paint scheme for the F40 was developed by a Metra engineer for earlier rebuilds of Metra F59PH and MP36PH locomotives with slight variations.
These rebuilds offer internal systems that are an improvement over the original—this includes better emissions. Locomotive 194 and the 40 other F40PH-2 and F40PHM-2 locomotives that were under contract to be rebuilt for Metra in 2015 are expected to be in service until around 2030.
The total cost for these 41 rebuilt locomotives was $91 million—that is, about $2.2 million for each locomotive. That is contrasted to the cost of a brand new locomotive (about $7 million each). These F40 rebuilds, which serve mainly on the BSNF line, are familiarly called “Winnebagos” for their sleek style reminiscent of the recreational vehicles of that well-known manufacturer.
https://metrarail.com/about-metra/newsroom/the-signal/welcome-home-locomotive-194 – retrieved June 24, 2021.
Metra Train 129 was built in November 1979.
Engine 5071, GE C30-7, was built in July 1980. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/Locopicture.aspx?id=63833
Retired trainman for Union Pacific Railroad.
Metra Train 188 was built December 1991.
Video of same run of Metra Locomotive194, westbound BSNF Railway Line, August 2022.
Metra 417 was built in October 2003. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/Locopicture.aspx?id=10585