Numbers Type Builder Built Notes 700- 729 Coach Budd 1950-51 Rebuilt 1973 730- 739 Coach Budd 1953 Rebuilt 1973 740- 749 Coach Budd 1955 Rebuilt 1973 750- 759 Coach Budd 1957 Rebuilt 1973 760- 787 Coach Budd 1965 Rebuilt 1973 790- 795 Coach/Cab Budd 1965 Rebuilt 1973 796- 815 Coach/Cab Budd 1973 816- 820 Coach Budd 1973 7100-7121 Coach Budd 1977-78Many of the oldest cars have been retired.
Cars are owned by the West Suburban Mass Transit District (WSMTD). Cars 700-795 were originally bought by the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) and had steam heat and incandescent interior lighting. Cars 796-820 were built in 1973 with electric heating and fluorescent lighting, and at the same time cars 700-795 were rebuilt to those standards. There were plans to renumber those cars to the 7000's (cab cars 8000's) to conform with the numbering system adopted by the RTA, but the renumbering did not take place. At that time cars 7100-7121 were acquired.
Minor differences made these cars on the former Burlington line incompatible with cars on other Metra lines, even after the 1973 adoption of electric heating and head end power. No consistent explanation in the differences has been found. Some reports suggested differences in the electrical system, and other reports suggested higher strength standards on the Burlington line. The more plausible explanation seems to be the Burlington having used a different multiple unit control system for its diesel locomotives. And multiple unit connections must be available throughout the entire train, connecting the locomotive with the cab control car.
In 1998, new Amerail cars 7400-7422 were reassigned to the BNSF line. Each BNSF train thus would have one new wheelchair accessible car. Additional new Metra cars were assigned later to the BNSF line. Reportedly Metra eventually standardized all diesel trains, and all cars and locomotives are now compatible.
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