CTA’s New ‘L’ Cars To Hit Brown Line

CHICAGO (WBBM) – The CTA’s newest ‘L’ cars are on the move again.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts Reports

Early next week they’ll move from the Orange Line to the Brown Line. The Brown Line is the fifth rapid transit line on which the cars will be tested. Prior to the Orange Line tests, the cars ran on the Blue, Green and Red Lines.

A CTA spokesperson said the cars have had no recent issues. The cars were withdrawn from service May 27 for several weeks while changes were made to their braking systems.

CTA has mandated a year of tests, involving all of its rapid transit lines, for the 10 prototype cars, which represent a radical departure in technology. The cars are propelled by alternating current motors, which have never before been used on Chicago rapid transit equipment.

As a result, they cannot run in the same train with older cars, all of which have direct current motors.

The cars are readily identifiable by their LED route signs, hand straps for standees and on-board maps that show where the train is at all times. Testing will continue through April.

More from Bob Roberts
  • Byron

    The new trains have upholstered seats. BIG MISTAKE, CTA!!! The regular riders of the trains know what I’m referring to. You can’t tell if a seat is wet unless you either touch it with your hand or sit down. Most people would rather not touch ANYTHING on the train, so sitting down is risky. Who wants to sit in a seat soaked with melted snow, rain, or urine?! Yes, we smell urine on the trains and it can be on the seats and the floors. Please return to all plastic seats, CTA. It make much more sense. It’s more noticeable if the seat is wet. And, cleanup would be a lot easier.

    • Anna

      Oh god, upholstered seats?! BIG MISTAKE!

  • Alan

    II agree. Fiberglass seats make much better sense than upholstered seats. Save some money and keep my suit pants clean!

  • FGFM

    What the Capplewhiz!

  • Equipoise

    Gah! Keep those things off the Brown line! I like our cars with the several single seats (for when I’m alone) and the front “privacy car” (when my husband is with me) just fine. They’re nice, fairly new, usually very clean, and I’d hate to see them disappear, especially in favor of the Cattle Cars.

  • PaulF

    You people are all whiners. I like the new cars. I’ve noticed that people actually move into the car instead of congergating around the doors when it’s SRO.

    And to those of you who are complaining about the cost of the new cars:

    1) Railcars are expensive.
    2) The AC propulsion these cars have initially cost more, but will save $$ over the long run.

    And the reason you buy prototypes and extensively test them on each route is to avoid problems once the main order is placed and deliveries begin. In the past, the CTA didn’t do extensive testing. It was discovered that the 2600-3100 cars delivered in 1981-1983 were intolerant of fine powdered snow. And the 2000-2199 series cars delivered in 1964 eventually were kept off of the expressway lines was because it was discovered they were intolerant of rock salt.

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