New rail cars to sport colored LED signs of line name

New Series 5000 trains on the CTA's Pink and Green lines soon will show the rail line name in appropriate colors on the front and sides, instead of just plain white.

New rail cars sporting the correct colors went into service last Tuesday on the Pink Line. The first 114 cars built without the color signs will be retrofitted starting this fall, the CTA announced in a press release. The remaining Series 5000 cars already delivered will be retrofitted with the new signs. All remaining cars will be delivered with the new signs already installed.

The color LED signs won't cost anything extra to make the change. Such change orders "are factored into the purchase price of $1.137 billion for the full 706 rail car order," said the CTA.

This change will help commuters between Clinton and Ashland in particular, an area where Green and Pink line trains share the same track, so this is welcome news.

The change also answers one of the criticisms that myself and others had of the new rail cars.

Now there's the matter of the long expanses of the longitudinal, aisle-facing seats. Replacing them with bench seating without molded seat inserts will allow more people to sit, as I've often discussed here. But even I realize it's way to late for that change. Oh well, can't win them all.


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  • I can still comment w/o Facebook? Good. Because as soon as you go to that format, I'm gone.

    I've never been a fan of the longitudinal seating, but it makes sense. You can pack more people/strollers/granny carts/bikes onto a train that has benches along the sides than you can with forward or even backward-facing seats.

  • I agree with Cheryl regarding Facebook. I am not even on Facebook and have no intention of ever using it.

    I don't have a problem with the longitudinal seating, although it does seem to partially defeat the purpose of the "fishbowl" design of the cars. A flat bench rather than the molded seats might have allowed more people to sit, but it might also be too comfortable for a bum to lie down on and take space that could be used by 5 or 6 people.

  • Add me to the list of those who will be gone if Faceplant is used.
    I will never, ever sign up for that evil, soul sucking mess with absolutely zero privacy controls!

  • Back to the main topic.

    Two things that appear from the Press Release:

    (a) What seems to be the breakthrough is that the sign seems to be a high definition monitor that pretty faithfully replicates the look of the roll sign. That might be what is new, not that color signs were not available 3 years ago, in that they didn't just replace the amber dots with RGB ones resulting in pink, which was possible way back. But CTA has been obtuse about their rationales before. In any event, this does seem to be a marked improvement over the led dot matrix signs.

    (b) The diction in the press release about retrofitting the other cars wasn't horribly clear.

  • Note to non-Facebook users:

    At this point, I don't plan to switch to Facebook commenting. So, no worries.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    You may not be planning to switch over to that failing company, but the Trib Co runs Chicago Now & if they decide to switch over, just like the Trib has, you'll have no say in it!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Since there is no longer indentured servitude in this country, I believe Kevin can take his blog to a different server if he doesn't like the rules at Chicago Now.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Sooter, at this time, we have the choice of using current WordPress commenting or switching to Facebook commenting.

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