Have you gotten used to the new CTA 5000 Series rail cars yet? Doesn't matter because the CTA today announced it's inviting train manufacturers to bid on new 7000 Series rail cars.
Deliveries of the new rail cars should begin around 2016, according to a CTA news release. The new cars will replace current rail stock that is nearing or beyond 30 years of age, including the approximately 400 30-year-old 2600 series, built between 1981 and 1987. Additional, later-year options could allow for the timely replacement of the 256 cars in the 3200 series, which are currently 20 years old. In addition, the CTA could expand its rail fleet if ridership trends or system expansion warrants
The CTA says the 7000 series purchase will allow for continuous replacement of CTA’s aging rail fleet—departing from past practice of waiting as much as 20 years between rail car orders. The CTA anticipates the new 7000 series cars will begin arriving shortly after the last 5000 is delivered.
The 7000 Series would replace the oldest rail cars in the CTA’s fleet, potentially reducing the average age of the CTA's fleet to less than 10 years by 2022. Without the purchase of new rail cars, the average age of the fleet will be greater than 20 years by that time. The CTA fleet currently consists of approximately 1,280 rail cars.
Here's a hat tip to frequent CTA Tattler commenter Jack. Last week in a comment he noted that the CTA had posted the bid request on its "contract opportunities" page. And then he noted the CTA took down the page. Sharp eye, Jack.