The new Series 5000 rail cars will be put into regular service first on the Pink Line -- and quite possibly within the next two weeks, according to a number of sources.
Last week CTA Tattler erroneously reported that the Blue Line would get the new cars first. Yep, I was wrong. Sorry. A source noted the passage at the end of this article in Chicago-L.org:
"At the ADA Advisory Committee meeting on July 11, CTA stated that the first line scheduled to get the cars is the Pink Line. CTA wanted to assign the cars first to a relatively small and self-contained line, with one shop and a limited number of cars, to begin training operators and maintenance staff. The smaller number of cars will also make the break-in and "teething" period more manageable for the CTA. As cars are assigned to the Pink Line, a like number of 2600-series cars currently assigned there would be moved to the Red Line, and their 2600s reassigned to the Blue Line, allowing the 2200-series cars to be retired.
"After the Pink Line, the next line to receive the 5000-series cars will be the Green Line, according to the CTA. Following the Green Line it has not been decided where the remaining cars will be assigned."
Meanwhile, over at the ChicagoBus.org Transit Forum, some highly knowledgeable members were reporting that there are 16 new cars (enough for four, four-car sets) at the 54th Street Pink Link Terminal. And at least two members were predicting the CTA would start service of the new cars on the Pink Line within two weeks.