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Steam & Excursion > June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced


Date: 03/15/17 09:02
June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: Spoony81

From the press release
On June 17th and 18th, steam locomotive no. 765 will pull 2 roundtrip excursions each day from the Joliet Transportation Center to a private event at LaSalle Street Station, where passengers will be treated to a 2-hour layover featuring live music, entertainment, reenactors, vintage cocktails, appetizers and awards for best dressed attendees. The trips will each feature a scheduled photo-runby.

http://fortwaynerailroad.org/2017/03/red-carpet-rolls-out-for-steam-excursions-in-chicago/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/17 09:06 by Spoony81.



Date: 03/15/17 10:06
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: NKP779

Let's see- a NKP 700 at LaSalle Street for the first time since 1957 or 58?   First steam there since Southern 4501 in July 1973?  Either way, pretty special!  And the first steam locomotive over the Englewood Flyover?



Date: 03/15/17 10:17
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: mdogg

Awesome - I'm buying at least one ticket!



Date: 03/15/17 13:07
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: kevink

Given that there is no way to turn the train (or the 765) at Joliet, will they operate with a Metra locomotive on the other end? Which direction will 765 face? It might be too soon for these details but they will affect what trip I decide to buy tickets for.



Date: 03/15/17 13:25
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: akpsteam

kevink Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Given that there is no way to turn the train (or
> the 765) at Joliet, will they operate with a Metra
> locomotive on the other end? Which direction will
> 765 face? It might be too soon for these details
> but they will affect what trip I decide to buy
> tickets for.

They said on the Facebook page that it will be a push-pull operation with a Metra locomotive and the 765 will be facing north towards the station.



Date: 03/15/17 13:43
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: nathansixchime

Yep, having the engine facing north means no iconic photos of the train leaving LaSalle Street Station, but we figured it was better for the overall experience of passengers to have the engine right where the food/drink/entertainment will be during the layover. We'll be staging it to make the cab and front-end accessible for photos.

KL
FWRHS



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/15/17 13:44 by nathansixchime.



Date: 03/15/17 14:35
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: kevink

Thanks for the replies. That helps in my planning.



Date: 03/16/17 12:20
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: NKP779

How many years was it before METRA allowed any sort of special trains or steam?  It seems like it was decades but I live far enough away that I really didn't keep track.



Date: 03/16/17 13:34
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: akpsteam

NKP779 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How many years was it before METRA allowed any
> sort of special trains or steam?  It seems like
> it was decades but I live far enough away that I
> really didn't keep track.

I believe it was when MILW 261 and SP 4449 visited Chicago.



Date: 03/16/17 14:18
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: HotWater

akpsteam Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> NKP779 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > How many years was it before METRA allowed any
> > sort of special trains or steam?  It seems
> like
> > it was decades but I live far enough away that
> I
> > really didn't keep track.
>
> I believe it was when MILW 261 and SP 4449 visited
> Chicago.

I believe SP4449 may have been the last steam locomotive operation on METRA (the former CB&Q line from Aurora to Chicago) in 2009. Of course, don't forget that NKP 765 operated on METRA lines, just last year.



Date: 03/16/17 17:03
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: metra6924

HotWater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> akpsteam Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > NKP779 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > How many years was it before METRA allowed
> any
> > > sort of special trains or steam?  It seems
> > like
> > > it was decades but I live far enough away
> that
> > I
> > > really didn't keep track.
> >
> > I believe it was when MILW 261 and SP 4449
> visited
> > Chicago.
>
> I believe SP4449 may have been the last steam
> locomotive operation on METRA (the former CB&Q
> line from Aurora to Chicago) in 2009. Of course,
> don't forget that NKP 765 operated on METRA lines,
> just last year.

MILW 261 operated as an Amtrak special.  SP 4449 was a positioning move.  CP 2819 was a CP move.  The 261 and 2819 moves were made under the authority of CP.  They dispatch the railroad even though it is owned and maintained by Metra (that's a long, convoluted story). 

4449 was a bit of a different story.  The intent was to get her to Owosso and back using the shortest route possible.  This was not an Amtrak or CP move, so Metra was involved.  There were several conference calls discussing possible routes. It was my job to verify clearances and bridge loading over various Metra routes.  The best route, over the former C&WI was not possible due to bridge loading restrictions.  The same restrictions applied to NKP 765 last year, hence the convoluted route to  Western Avenue Yard.

As Metra's Engineering Department representative, I had to verify bridge ratings as well as physically check clearances at numerous locations before the locomotive was permitted to move.  I did the same thing last year for NKP 765 and again this year for the operations on the Rock Island District.

Operations like this require more coordination than many people imagine. There's weights and clearances for starters:  Can the railroad handle the locomotive.  Then there are curves:  can the locomotive negotiate the curves on the intended route.  It wasn't just the temperature that day in June when I walked 765 through the curve at A-5 that had me sweating.

Now that the locomotive is cleared to operate, there are other matters:  pilots crews, storage tracks, servicing (we don't have coal towers or water tanks) fitting the operation into scheduled revenue runs.  There are so many details that need to be addressed to make an event like this possible, down to making sure the right hydrant adapter is available to water the locomotive.  All this after receiving approval from senior management.

As for how many years since Metra allowed steam excursion operations, I think last year was the first.  Previous steam operations were permitted as third party operations that did not directly involve Metra.  In the 1980s a group attempted to operate NKP 765 over the Rock Island, but for reasons I don't know the trip never came to be.

These trips are not easy to coordinate, they involve many people just on the host railroad side.  As it stands, we have a Trainmaster, Road Foreman, Shop Superintendant, Chief Engineer, District Engineer, Bridge Engineer, Roadmaster and Roadway Engineer (yours truly) directly involved in this project.

I won't try to describe what the locomotive operators go through to make events like this possible.  All I can say is if you like to see these operations, support them.  As Rich Melvin told me last year, stem locomotive don't run on coal, they run on money.




Date: 03/17/17 11:41
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: NKP779

Thanks METRA 6924.  Fascinating behind the scenes issues.

Gee, there will be a MARS light this year!



Date: 03/18/17 17:00
Re: June 17th & 18th NKP 765 Joliet-Chicago excursions announced
Author: metra6924

NKP779 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks METRA 6924.  Fascinating behind the scenes
> issues.
>
> Gee, there will be a MARS light this year!

I already have the time warp photo planned...



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