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Ride An ‘L’ Car From 1923 During A Fundraiser For The CTA’s Heritage Fleet

Proceeds will go to help maintain the CTA's vintage cars.

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DOWNTOWN — CTA fans can ride a vintage L train for a day during an upcoming fundraiser.

The CTA and the Fox River Trolley Museum are teaming up for the fundraiser, with proceeds supporting the CTA’s Heritage Fleet Program and the museum. Attendees will spend the day riding a 4000-series rail car built in 1923.

The rail cars were used for 50 years and featured incandescent lights, sash windows that passengers could open and plush seats that were later replaced with cushioned vinyl, according to the CTA. They only got as fast as about 45 mph.

“In some ways, many of the functional attributes of these cars were not much different than that of the earliest ‘L’ cars and electric streetcars in Chicago,” according to the CTA. “Initially, these cars would have a conductor who would stand outside, between each car and open the doors immediately adjacent him at every stop — rain or shine or blizzard.”

The train will start at the Linden station and will travel along the North Side main line and go to the Loop and along the Green Line to the 63rd and Harlem stops, the Pink Line to the 54th stop and the Orange Line to Midway. There will be photo opportunities along the way.

The CTA’s Heritage Fleet Program was established in 2016 “to ensure that vintage CTA buses, rail cars and other equipment are preserved and maintained so they can be remembered and enjoyed through charters and events held for the public,” according to the agency.

Tickets are $150 and must be bought online in advance of the event. The trip begins at 9 a.m. May 11 at Linden.

Check out more of the CTA’s Heritage Fleet here:

Credit: CTA
Cars 6101-02, built in 1950 by the St. Louis Car Company, were among a fleet of more than 700 6000-series cars ordered by the CTA between 1950 and 1959—-at the time the largest series of railcars ever built for CTA with 720 cars.
Credit: CTA
CTA Heritage Fleet – 4000s
Credit: CTA
Credit: CTA
Credit: CTA