CTA Holiday Train Credit: CTA

PILSEN — All aboard Santa’s Express! Chicago’s annual Holiday Train will make stops this week along the Pink Line in West Loop, Pilsen and Little Village. 

The beloved CTA tradition returned last week to spread cheer on public transportation lines citywide, starting with service on the Green and Orange Lines. 

Now, the six-car train decked out with Christmas decorations, along with Old Saint Nick and his reindeer, is bringing the holiday spirit to the Pink Line Tuesday and Wednesday.

West Loop, Pilsen and Little Village residents can expect the train to run from 2:45-5 p.m. on Tuesday, making two round trips from 54th and Cermak to Loop and back.

The holiday train will return to the Pink Line Wednesday from 3-6 p.m.

And on Saturday, residents have a chance to get their photo taken with Santa at the 54th and Cermak Pink Line stop from 12:45-1:30 p.m.

Credit: Courtesy CTA

The holiday train was first introduced on the Blue Line in 1992 when a “Season’s Greetings from the CTA” sign was placed on the front of an out-of-service train used to deliver food to various charities. Over the years, this holiday tradition has evolved to include more elaborate holiday decorations like an open, flatbed car carrying Santa and his sleigh.

The train will appear on all eight CTA rail lines while a similarly decorated holiday bus will also run on 16 routes throughout the city. 

The train will run through December as part of regular rail service from about 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on select weekdays, making stops at all stations along the respective routes. And every Saturday the holiday train is in service it’ll be followed by the similarly decorated Elves’ Workshop Train.

Following its stint on the Pink Line, the Holiday Train will head over to the Blue Line starting Thursday. 

Credit: Image courtesy CTA


  • Blue Line on Dec. 6 
  • Blue Line on Dec. 7 
  • Blue & Pink Lines (Photos with Santa; Elves’ Workshop Train in service and directly following the main holiday train only on Pink Line) on Dec. 8
  • Red Line on Dec. 11
  • Purple Line on Dec. 12
  • Red Line on Dec. 13
  • Purple Line on Dec. 14
  • Red & Purple Lines (Photos with Santa; Elves’ Workshop Train in service and directly following the main holiday train) on Dec. 15
  • Purple Line on Dec. 20
  • Yellow Line on Dec. 21

Pilsen, Little Village and West Loop reporterrnrnmauricio@blockclubchi.orgnnPilsen, Little Village and West Loop reporterrnrnmauricio@blockclubchi.org Twitter @MauricioPena

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