Metra releases Illinois-themed commemorative locomotive No. 402 (updated)

RELATED TOPICS: LOCOMOTIVES | COMMUTER | CHICAGO | RAILFANNING
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CHICAGO – Metra has released Boise-built MP36PH-3S locomotive No. 402 in a special paint scheme honoring the state of Illinois and the six counties that the agency provides commuter rail service in.

Our video shows the locomotive on a shake-down run on train MX03 from Chicago to Joliet following its release from overhaul. The train is departing the New Lenox station, just east of Joliet. While the locomotive tested on Metra’s Rock Island district, it will normally run on the commuter railroad’s Milwaukee District North and Milwaukee District West lines.

Metra notes that the locomotive already bore the name “State of Illinois” and was scheduled for rehabilitation and repainting through the in-house program at Metra’s 47th Street shops when the state passed its first capital bill in more than a decade, the Rebuild Illinois bill. To commemorate the bill and acknowledge the commitment made by state lawmakers, Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski asked Metra’s mechanical team to design a special paint scheme featuring the seals of the state and the six counties Metra serves.

“Our elected officials showed us by passing the capital bill that they believe in the critical role Metra plays in the Illinois economy and environment,” Derwinski said. “It seemed only fitting that we redesign the State of Illinois locomotive to illustrate not only our gratitude, but the collaboration that took place across Metra’s six-county service region and the state to improve the lives of Illinois residents who rely on public transportation every day.”

A post on Metra’s Facebook page notes that the special paint scheme was planned well ahead of the current COVID-19 pandemic, “it seems only fitting that Locomotive 402 is completed during such a difficult time. It’s a reminder that we’re stronger together, as a state and a community, even when we have to stay separated. We are proud to honor the state of Illinois and the six-county region we serve."

The Illinois locomotive joins three other special-paint locomotives in the Metra fleet. MP36s Nos. 405 and 425 honor predecessor operators Rock Island and Milwaukee Road, respectively, with No. 425 named in honor of former CEO Don Orseno. F40PHM-2 No. 211 is painted for BNSF predecessor Chicago, Burlington & Quincy.

— Updated at 4:40 p.m. with additional information and comment from Metra.

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