Wednesday, January 21, 2015

So today a series of CTA rail cars are being retired

The Boeing-Vertol made 2400 series are being retired today. Often cars such as these were what made our some of my trips to downtown Chicago with my mother when I was younger. If you got to the front car you could literally hear them whistle down the tracks.

The pic above I had found on instagram and posted to the account for The Sixth Ward. And what's exciting is that these cars have been repainted in the livery probably what was used back in the 1970s and way before CTA decided to just go bare metal on their cars.

Well unfortunately I missed out on the retirement of these cars and it seems they're not letting passengers ride on them for one last time. While I've only seen a pic of them online I did see a train of these cars rolling by on my way home tonight.

The last time they did a public retirement was for the Budd made 2200 series cars. These cars were available for the public to ride before retirement. These cars have what are called blinker doors.

If I may explain the blinker doors are what I would call bus-style doors. The doors would close inward like they would on most city buses. These were the most eyecatching features for me especially since most of the time on the L I would board a train with typically sliding doors.

Before I knew the term blinkers I only referred to this as bus-style. And on CTA these were common at least before the recently trend to make public transit handicap accessible. In fact the 2200 series were the last CTA rail vehicles with blinkers and others had been retired much earlier.

Regardless it just means the CTA is entering the 21st century especially with the new 5000-series cars that have much more advanced amenities. And yet again CTA does plan on ordering a new series of cars.

ALSO you know what this means the next old cars to be retired are CTA's Budd made 2600 series. Before CTA got rid of conductors on all trains these cars had nifty controls where insted of some time of level to pull to open/close doors was a matter of pushing a button. For the most part conductors stood near the rear of the car away from where-ever the motorman cab was.

Since CTA did away with conductors basically trains are OPTO - one person train operation. One person drives the train and that same person insures that the doors are opened for passengers. So the 2200, 2400, and 2600 series were refitted for that purpose and also for these refits that means I couldn't sit at the front of the train anymore as I had as a child.

I forgot about the 3200 series which primarily ran on the brown and orange lines of the CTA. You may have also seen them on the Skokie swift but it seems that line uses a variety of cars during its operations. Either way they were made with OPTO in mind, however, these are the last cars CTA ordered in the 20th century. Soon their time for retirement will come as well.

BTW, YES the airplane manufacturer Boeing did build trains once upon a time. They even made some light-rail equipment used in Boston & San Francisco over the years. However it's safe to say they got out of that business.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The train was operated in regular service on the Brown (Ravenswood), Green (Englewood 63/Ashland) and Red (Downtown to Howard). Following the press trips around the Loop 'L (with public on board) they retraced the routes that they were on in their earlier days. Train finished the trips by running from 63.Ashland to Howard via State St Subway in the evening Rush Period. I was able to ride most of the trips and it was a nice event by the CTA. Thanks CTA for the chance to relive old memories.

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