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CTA Cancels Rides On Historic Train Cars Because Of Mechanical Problems

The cars were supposed to be out for riders in honor of the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Red Line subway station.

The CTA touted its 4000-series subway cars for the 75th anniversary of the State Street subway opening.
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DOWNTOWN — The CTA has to cancel a series of rides on its retro 4000-series train cars on Wednesday because of mechanical issues.

The cars from 1923 were among the first to operate in the subway, according to the CTA. The agency had planned to temporarily put them back into service as part of the 75th anniversary of the State Street subway opening on Wednesday, but it had to cancel the rides due to “mechanical issues,” a spokesman said.

“We sincerely apologize to our riders for the inconvenience and appreciate their understanding,” said spokesman Jon Kaplan. “We share their disappointment and we will look for future opportunities to bring out these 1923 rail cars.”

The cars had incandescent lights, “relatively simple electric motors” and were the first Chicago train cars made with steel instead of wood for safety, according to the CTA. Passengers were able to open the windows to get a fresh breath of air and the cars’ cushions were originally plush.

“While today’s cars can easily reach our systemwide speed limit of 55 mph … these cars tended to max out around 45 mph and had a completely different feel and sound — but one we find warm and charming on the special occasions we start these cars up today,” according to the CTA.