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CTA To Press New ‘L’ Train Cars Into Service

CTA train (CBS file)

CTA train (CBS file)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Even if a new car isn’t in the market for you, you’ll soon get that new car feeling from the Chicago Transit Authority.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, the CTA has ordered 706 new 5000-series rail cars, and the first 26 are set to be been pressed into use in the near future, the Chicago Tribune’s John Hilkevitch reported.

Another 40 new ‘L’ cars are coming before the end of the year, and 192 more are coming in 2012, the CTA told Hilkevitch. The remaining cars will hit the rails in 2013 and maybe 2014, Hilkevitch reported.
The purchase of the new fleet will allow the CTA to retire ‘L’ cars built between 1969 and 1978.

All the new cars will be capable of 70 mph speeds while delivering a smoother ride. Each will also have electronic maps and destination signs showing the next stop.

Security cameras aboard each car will be capable of sending real-time video to the CTA Control Center and the Chicago Police Department.

But riders will also have center-facing, bowling alley seats, and fewer total seats per car.

Because the new cars are alternating current, and the old cars are direct current, old and new cars cannot be mixed in a train.

The prototype cars began what was supposed to be a year of testing in the spring of 2009.

The new cars are being manufactured in Plattsburgh, N.Y., by Bombardier, which also makes cars for the New York, Boston and Toronto subways, among others.