CTA's new Green Line cars are rolling through Oak Park

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

After more than two years of testing, trials and tribulations, the CTA finally started rolling out new rail cars in July, starting with the Green Line.

The new cars, made in New York and dubbed the 5000-series, are wider and feature center-facing seating, allowing more standing room. They have a smoother acceleration and braking system than older cars, and LED displays showing which line the train is on and what stop is next. A map inside the car lights up to show just where the train is on the system.

An eight-car test train has been rotating throughout the CTA system since early 2010, moving from line to line. But it was pulled off the tracks last year when flaws were found in some of the new trains' Chinese-made parts, delaying the general deployment while changes were made in the manufacturing process.

On Sunday, July 1, the CTA sent out a press release announcing that the new trains were finally hitting the tracks for their full roll-out.

One six-car train was added to the Green Line, and more will be added as they're delivered, the CTA said, until all of the 35-year-old cars on the line are replaced.

All in all, the CTA has ordered 706 of the new rail cars from New York-based Bombardier, at a cost of $1.137 billion.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2012 4:12 PM

To OP Guy: "I'D like to see on one guy on the EL with a gun on my side." How about concealed carry? Rather hire out your own personal security than take responsibility for your self. Let the hired help die for me,I cant be bothered,eh?

Squeezed In  

Posted: September 11th, 2012 11:09 AM

In The Words Of Richard Dawson: Survey Says.... http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/ct-met-getting-around-0827-20120827,0,7845795.column

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: July 15th, 2012 1:25 PM

OP Guy, you are correct. Police are moved to areas in larger force but they don't move them in poor neighborhoods. It's only where money is. You can put an armed guard on each train. When a person gets on, they pay the guard 1 dollar for the security. That is how you can pay the guards. For most people, that is an extra 10 dollars a week.

OP Guy  

Posted: July 15th, 2012 12:18 PM

Mistakes, sure, the root if the problem is much deeper, but until the city of Chicago starts to take is seriously we have no choice but to fight crime. More man power IS the answer, but people think twice if the see a person that can intervene. Impractical you say? Michigan ave has 4 to 5 cops on every street corner recently due to recent flash mob attacks, so obviously more police presence dose make a difference. I'd like to have at least 1 guy on the EL with a gun on my side.

Deal with it  

Posted: July 13th, 2012 10:05 AM

Hey, Squeezed In...one on either side AND one in front. Surrounded.


Posted: July 13th, 2012 9:22 AM

OP Guy, You're right... security cameras are not the solution to the problem. But honestly, neither are security guards. Putting a guard on each car would be highly impractical and crime needs to be addressed in more intelligent ways than it is currently. The problem is much deeper than just iphone thefts on the CTA.

OP Guy  

Posted: July 13th, 2012 12:16 AM

Mistakes, firstly, I'd be happy to trade back to the old cars if that meant security guards on trains. Secondly, as the blue light specials have shown, cameras do not deter crime, they merely capture it...and the quality of detail is largely unusable to identify scum. The cameras on platforms haven't done much to curb robberies. Give me crappy old cars with real security any day.

Reluctant Transit Riger from Oak Park  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 10:08 AM

The 7/1 press release does indicate that one 6-car 5000 Series train has started service on the Green Line. But, yes they started with the Pink Line months ago - not the Green Line. And they had 40 cars in service on the Pink Line already last December when they pulled them from service, not a single test train. The security cameras on each car are indeed a welcome upgrade. Hopefully they will make a difference.


Posted: July 12th, 2012 9:33 AM

This article has so many mistakes I can't even count. The main was is that they've been rolling the new trains out on the PINK line. And they have been for months now. NOT the green line. And for those saying the CTA should spend more money on security and not new shiny trains... are you aware that many of the current trains date back to 1969?? That's right, the year that Nixon took office! Additionally, the new trains have security cameras in every car. So they ARE making rides safer.

OP Guy  

Posted: July 12th, 2012 1:50 AM

The new trains are fine. They're clean now, but will probably devolve into the the cars they replaced. The more pressing issue is safety on the green and blue lines. Throwing new shinny technology at customers is not going to make any of them safer from the dangers of riding on either line to and from Oak Park. How about the CTA spending less on new shine, and more on upgrading security and things that are going to keep passengers safe. I know a number of people that have switched to the Metra.


Posted: July 11th, 2012 1:36 PM

Did they buy them pre-scented like urine, or does that get added over time?

Positive Polly  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 1:30 PM

Well, of course I have been on the NYC subway. Lived there for a decade and rode the subway daily. :-)

Reluctant Transit Rider from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 1:24 PM

Polly, perhaps the reason you are so positive is that you've never been on a New York subway. Sure, it gets you from A to B, but not the most uplifting experience. The new cars will be the same dumpy, difficult-to-manuever length as the old ones, they need to be to swing the tight curves of the elevated loop downtown.

Positive Polly  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 12:49 PM

Sheesh! The old cars are dumpy and difficult to maneuver. This type of car has been used successfully for years in New York and other cities. I say hooray and it's about time!

Squeezed In  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:38 AM

Politically Correct Version: Great, now instead of having to sit next to one Weight-challenged individual, I will have a Weight-challenged individual on both sides of me. Maybe the CTA should do like the airlines and charge for 2 seats if you can't fit through the turnstyle. Reluctant Transit Rider, good point about the thieves. It will make it easier for them to grab and go.

Reluctant Transit Rider from Oak Park  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:13 AM

Yep, squeezed, I've been dreading this day ever since they unveiled the new design. It's going to make the rush hour commute an exercise in continuous eye-contact avoidance. And gives the weirdos and thugs centerstage for their antics. Honestly, was it really necessary to augment the unpleasant aspects of public transportation?

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:10 AM

Incredible how a column, no matter how positive in content and well-intentioned, will generate negative comments.

Squeezed In  

Posted: July 11th, 2012 11:00 AM

Great, now instead of having to sit next to one fat slob, you will have a fat slob on both sides of you.

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