On Monday, the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) 5000-series prototype railcars will move to the Purple Line as testing continues.
The 10 prototype railcars are being tested to determine how they perform when operating in the conditions that CTA's rail fleet is subjected to throughout the year. The prototypes must complete testing before the agency gives approval for the full order to be manufactured.
The railcars offer a variety of new features and technologies to benefit CTA customers. Each car will have seven networked security cameras, an event recorder system similar to a black box on an airplane and sensitive door sensors that will detect obstructions better than CTA's current rail fleet.
The new aisle-facing seating configuration is designed to accommodate more customers per car and allow more room for customers carrying backpacks, packages, luggage, strollers and bikes. The configuration provides 38 seats and space for two wheelchair positions, and added support poles and hand straps in the center of the car for standing customers.