With mixed emotions we will say good-bye Thursday to the Budd 2200 series rail cars - the oldest cars in the fleet with the "blinker" doors previously in use on the CTA Blue Line. You know, the ones that are hard to get in and out of - and the only cars that will not accommodate wheelchairs.
To commemorate this blessed event, the CTA will have two final special runs starting Thursday morning:
- A ceremonial short run will go round-trip and non-stop between Rosemont and Jefferson Park on the Blue Line. It will leave promptly at 10:05 a.m. from Rosemont. It won't stop at Jefferson Park; it will turn just north of that station for a non-stop trip back.
- A final full-stop regular run will leave O'Hare at 11:05 a.m. and make all stops to and from Forest Park. It's scheduled to make its final stop back at O'Hare at around 2:05 p.m.
- Normal fares will apply on both runs.
All eight rail cars will be decked out with their original exterior decals, according to a CTA news release, and will feature interior advertising cards from the period when they first launched.
The best news here is that with the retirement of these cars built in 1969-70, the entire CTA rail fleet will now be ADA-compliant and accommodate wheelchairs. The CTA will sell all except two of the remaining old cars for salvage. Two 2200s will be on display at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Ill., according to a Tribune report.
And check out the great video by Chicago Patterns blogger John Morris. He also has more photos and nice commentary and history of the 2200s on his blog.