Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (NICTD)

Train Photo Details

Single Level Cars
Most of NICTD's cars are single level rail cars, delivered in 1982-83, 1992 and 2001.
Shown above are Car 27 in August 2010 as it crosses Lincolnway West in South Bend and Car 109 as it crosses the Amtrak crossing at 10th St in November 2009.
The ditch lights are flashing on Car 27 as it clears a crossing. Also note the lack of a trap step on Car 109. Passengers cannot board single cab cars at low level platforms at the cab end (a ladder is present for employees to board). Also note through the windows the inner cab door. While in use as a cab the door swings open across the end door of the cab. When the cab is not in use the door swings shut covering the controls in the cab (while allowing the cab doors to be used at high platform stations). The door can also be locked in a halfway position blocking access to the control half of the cab while allowing access to the end door and opposite side door.

Center Doors

Car 12 at East Chicago.
Most of NICTD's cars have center doors that can be opened at high platform stations to speed loading and unloading of trains. High platforms are available at all stations from East Chicago into Chicago and at the South Bend Airport station. Center doors is also used for ADA access at stations with a lift or special ramps.

Car 204 at East Chicago.
To provide more space for seats trailers do not have center doors or restrooms. These cars are made from the same shells as the other single level cars. The door opening is filled in with a solid panel with a window.

Low Platform Wheelchair Loading
At select low platform stations (Carroll Ave shown here) a special manual lift is used to allow passengers in wheelchairs to board the train.

A passenger in a wheelchair is loaded on to a manual lift. A crank is used to manually raise the lift. When at train floor level the passenger is rolled on to the train. (An employee on the train is guiding the wheelchair on board.) After loading the passenger the lift is lowered and stored in a shed on the platform.

NICTD has manual lifts only at Carroll Ave (Michigan City), Dune Park and Gary Metro Center. Stations in South Bend, East Chicago, Hammond, Hegewisch and all Chicago stations have high level platforms. The Portage/Ogden Dunes station has concrete wheelchair loading ramps with a folding platform edge. Wheelchairs cannot be loaded or unloaded at the 11th St (Michigan City) and Miller (Gary) stations or the Hudson Lake, Beverly Shores or Gary/Chicago Airport flag stops.

Old Paint

Car 35 at the end of an eastbound train in Michigan City.
Cars 31-38 were purchased with RTA funds and leased to the CSS&SB to continue passenger service. The remainder of the cars were purchased with NICTD funds. Note the RTA logo on the door. Also note the steel door buffers. When refurbished the cars were given rubber buffer covers to provide a better seal between cars.

The RTA logo and leasing plate on Car 34.
These cars were purchased in 1982 before NICTD purchased the line from CSS&SB in 1990. On NICTD owned cars a NICTD logo was in place of the RTA logo. The leasing plates were removed from the NICTD owned cars.

Car 21 awaits it's next trip at Gary Metro.
Note the "Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad" nameplate on the car. These plates were removed when the trains were refurbished and repainted to match the cars purchased in 2001. At this point the maroon stripe normally found running down the middle of the orange stripe on the side of the car is missing.

A conductor closes up traps at Ogden Dunes.
The conductor has just closed the trap on the first car and will close the door before boarding the train and closing the trap on the second car. Note the curved handrail on the bottom of the trap and latch at the top holding it in place. Next to the door is a panel where a key can be inserted to open the door from ground level. A light next to the door lights the ground where passengers step on and off the train.

Gallery Cars
A gallery car train makes a revenue run west stopping at Dune Park in April 2009.
The head end was photographed while stopped at Dune Park Station. The tail end photo below was taken after the train departed and had traveled a few hundred feet.

Each car can be coupled to another car of the same type quickly via a locking coupler.
The type of coupler is apparently a "Tomlinson" coupler. Shown to the left is the coupler on a single level car. To the right is the coupler on a gallery car. Note the 56 pin MU connector below the coupling is covered with a retractable plate on the gallery car. Pins on the left align with holes on the right to hold the coupler in place when coupled. The holes at the top and bottom center align when connected providing a connection for the braking system. All electrical connections are made through the 56 pin connector. This coupler design allows cars to be coupled and decoupled via a remote control inside the cab. An adapter is connected to this coupler when needed to push or pull cars using a diesel engine.
56 Pin ConnectorClass Lights
The 56 pin connector plate on the end of a car.
This connector is used to pass the MU and door controls between units. As shown above, this connector is just below the train coupler and is locked to another car's coupler when cars are coupled together.
A Notre Dame "Extra" train prepares to leave Dune Park in October 2009.
The additional white lights above the cab windows are class lights signifying that this train is an extra, not on the normal passenger schedule. This particular train was a charter trip with buses bringing passengers from Notre Dame stadium to the train to finish their journey west. Green class lights are also available (historically signifying the first part of a split train) but are no longer used.

With the assistance of a federal grant, NICTD installed cameras on all 68 of their train cars in 2008. The new 300 series cars came with cameras.
Shown to the left is a camera in the front window of a single level cab car. To the right (above the door) is the camera on a gallery car. The feeds from these cameras are recorded. A monitor is mounted in the cab of the gallery car to show the engineer the feed of the track ahead. Note behind the camera on the left is the door control panel. The lamps lit indicate that all doors are closed on the the train except the local door (the door in the cab with these controls). Door open buttons for the center doors are covered with a plate to avoid accidental activation.

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