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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool today unveiled new 5000-series rail cars, marking the first time there has been an addition to the rail fleet since 1992. The first of these new rail cars are entering revenue service on the Pink Line. Emanuel and Claypool were joined for the inaugural run at the Midway station on the Orange Line by representatives from Bombardier Transportation, the manufacturer of the cars.
“The CTA remains the primary mode of transportation for many residents of Chicago, and these new rail cars reflect the Agency’s commitment to its customers and to our city,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “In order for Chicago to grow, continue attracting new businesses and increase the quality of life for all Chicagoans we must continue to invest in public transportation, improving transit infrastructure and expanding service.
After a successful prototype testing period, the first of 706 brand new, full production model cars will debut on the Pink Line. As more cars continue to arrive, they will be tested internally to ensure all components are operating properly before going into service.
“The 5000-series cars provide a more enjoyable ride for customers,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “These cars have wider aisles and roomier interiors, electronic destination signs and security cameras in each car for enhanced safety.”
The addition of these new cars to the fleet will allow CTA to retire some of its oldest cars which average between 32 and 41 years old.
“Modernizing the fleet is very important and is fiscally prudent because a younger fleet requires less maintenance and allows CTA to keep the trains on the system where they are needed and not in the repair shop,” Claypool said.
The rail cars feature an aisle-facing seating configuration which adds six inches to the narrowest portion of the aisle, allowing more room for customers carrying backpacks, packages, luggage, strollers and bikes. The aisle-facing seating also provides space for an additional wheelchair position, increasing the total to two per car.
The cars also have LED displays with larger text-size that will replace the scrolling destination signs on the exterior of the lead car. The LED signs on the interior will display the next stop, date and time. The same signs can also be used for a text display of the audio announcements made to customers in the rail car. Above the doors, there is a system map with LED lights that indicates the train’s present location as it travels along the route. In addition, the side doors have an opening/closing light in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.
Each rail car has multiple security cameras and will eventually transmit real time video to CTA’s Control Center, the Office of Emergency Management and Communication and the Chicago Police Department. CTA’s Control Center will also have remote access to signs, giving them the ability to make emergency audio and text messages inside the trains if needed.
After a competitive selection process, CTA selected Bombardier Transportation Corporation to manufacture the rail cars. Bombardier is a recognized leader in the manufacturing of mass transit vehicles.
The total cost of the rail cars $1.137 billion which is funded by two CTA bond issuances backed by sales tax receipts. The remainder is paid for by $150 million in federal funds.
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