40th Anniversary Locomotive Wrap

Publication Date
Friday, September 15, 2017

A surprise from 1977 has hit the rails.

Metra on Thursday unveiled a special locomotive wrap on one of its F40PH locomotives to commemorate 40 years of continuous passenger service for the locomotive model that is the backbone of Metra’s passenger fleet. The wrap covers Locomotive No. 100, which was purchased by the RTA in 1977 and still operates on Metra routes today. The wrap, paid through the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society, was funded through private donors and a contribution by Progress Rail Corp.

We went behind the scenes to document the locomotive’s transformation to its retro glory. Crews spent several hours applying the blue, orange and brown wrap at Metra’s 49th Street shop. Arriving in sections, the vinyl wrap must be carefully placed and shaped to fit the locomotive. Check out the video and photos below to get an inside look at the process. 

Vinyl rolls are organized and placed on their respective sides of the locomotive.

Crews review the graphic design.

Each vinyl is carefully measured for perfect placement.

Vinyl panels are lined up with each other.

Rubber squeegees smooth out any wrinkles in the vinyl.

A blow torch slightly melts the vinyl, allowing crews to create a perfect seal around all edges.