CTA Bombardier 5000 Series 5040
Location: Quincy/Wells, Chicago, IL
Operator of Vehicle: Chicago Transit Authority
Date of Photo: July 9, 2014
The Chicago L is one of my favorite rail systems in the United States. The mostly elevated system twists and turns its way through the Chicago skyscrapers in the Loop in a way that no other transit system does in this day and age. Right in the middle of downtown, it feels like you can just reach out and touch the passing buildings. And to top it off, at Tower 18, you have one of the busiest train junctions in the country, and it is a flat junction at that!
I have yet to ride the CTA’s newest rolling stock, the 5000 Series, pictured here. The 5000 Series introduced a number of features to Chicago for the first time, such as AC traction, which is pretty much standard on new rail vehicles these days. However, some of the features proved to be a bit more controversial. Gone were the colorful roll signs that identified a train’s line color and destination, replaced with amber LEDs. That didn’t last long, as the CTA opted mid-order to have multi-color LED signs installed on cars that had not been delivered prior to the decision to switch being made. Cars that had the amber LEDs received colored LED signs through retrofit. Another change was a mix of transverse and longitudinal seating. Unlike the amber LEDs, this feature was not modified, though Chicagoans might prefer otherwise.
As I said, I haven’t been on one of these trains yet, though I look forward to having the opportunity the next time I find myself in Chicago.
For more photos of CTA’s 5000 Series cars, please click here.