Following successful debuts on the Pink Line and Green Lines, the new Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) 5000-series railcars were added to the Red Line this week.
“We are pleased the new railcars will be added to the CTA’s busiest rail line, offering customers a more comfortable ride and modern amenities,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The cars are a big part of our efforts to modernize the CTA and bring the system into the 21st Century.”
Two eight-car trains were added on Monday to the existing fleet on the Red Line and additional trains will continue to be added. The new cars will replace the 2400-series and 2600-series cars — which are 35 years old — in service on the Red Line, and will eventually replace the entire fleet on the Red Line.
State-of-the-art technology on the 5000-series cars allows for smoother acceleration and braking, creating a smoother, more comfortable ride for passengers. The railcars feature an aisle-facing seating configuration that adds six inches to the narrowest portion of the aisle, allowing more room for customers carrying backpacks, packages, luggage, strollers and bikes. The new cars can also accommodate two wheelchairs per car.
The cars also have LED displays with large text that replace the scrolling destination signs on car exteriors. Interior LED signs display the next station stop, date and time and can also be used for a text display of the audio announcements made to customers in the railcar.
CTA will eventually receive 706 5000-series cars at a total cost of $1.137 billion.