First new rail cars delivered to Skokie shop

Contributors to are reporting that the first two new rail cars have been delivered to the Skokie shop for testing. These are part of an initial test order of 10 cars total, as we reported last week.

And in the Chicagobus forum post, contributor Greenstreet says many of the features promised by Huberman are not included in the two new cars:

Not only won’t many of the Huberman-proposed changes be in the
prototypes, they won’t make it into the final order. Sources said that
the changes would have resulted in even more delays and tens, if not
hundreds, more millions of dollars.

Here’s a list of some of the design changes he told the Tattler about more than a year ago. Most changes have been jettisoned.
# Recessed lighting. – Nope
# Reading lights. – Nope
# Six 9-inch TV screens in each car, rotating CTA info and advertising. – Nope, way too expensive and would require significant electrical design changes
# No more advertising cards — the small TVs are replacing all paper ad cards. – Wrong
# Computerized Internet controls mean no more herky-jerky rides. – Not an accurate description, but there will be smoother rides as a result of better computer controls
# A “smart” systems map in the middle of the car pinpointing the train’s current location. – Not sure if this is in the prototype
# The same number of seats arranged longitudinally to allow for more standing room. – True
# A padded “butt perch” in the area where a wheelchair would go so if
there was no disabled passenger onboard, other passengers could rest
against the padded perch. – Nope
# Security cameras in each car. – Probably not in the prototype, but in the final delivery

Not noted on this list, but some of the exterior cosmetic design
changes Huberman proposed are not on the two cars that were delivered
Friday. (The two-toned swirly design on the upper half of the exterior
that can be seen in the rendering linked here was not visible on the delivered cars).

Nothing is set in stone, but I do think we can count on the longitudinal seating that many commenters here say they detest. Look for mockups of the new seating at page 29 of this report from last year.


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  • What's the point then? They changed the seating, presumably will have LED lights, and have security cameras. Doesn't sound like much of an upgrade that we were expecting...

    Why would all those things cost so much more money. I got the impression most of that stuff was in the contract, and since we were supposed to receive these a year ago, I don't understand why these items would cause delays.

  • When and where are these likely to begin testing in service?

  • And weren't the TVs paid for by ads?

  • In reply to aczysz:

    The station TVs were put in by the ad company who runs them. Sounds like the CTA just wanted to build that in as a standard feature of their stock.

  • In reply to aczysz:

    Great... so all the stuff that will UPGRADE the rider experience is cut, while the stuff that will DEGRADE the rider experience and inconvenience riders is retained. Nice job, CTA. Then again, this could all be a rumor, since we haven't gotten any official news about the new cars.

  • In reply to aczysz:

    Something I've always wondered is why all the cars have the same design....Do you really need a operator, radio, PA, door controls on each car? It seems like you'd be paying a lot more for having all of these things in every car.

    I use a metra train as an example. You have a engine/control car at each end and passenger cars in between. It also seems you could save the space you use and could remove "hobo(urine) corner" out of each it would be more of a deterrent to crossing cars as well.

    Inquiring minds


  • In reply to aczysz:

    The CTA operates cars in married pairs which represent the shortest train run anywhere on the system. Having a control cab in each car eliminates the need to turn around and pairs can be cut from any train with minimum difficulty since there isn't a need to run maximum length trains for the entire day (thereby reducing wear on the fleet and infrastructure).

    In the long run it probably saves a substantial chunk of change both in time and equipment wear.

  • Personally I don't give a crap what all is in it as long as the cars are new so we can dump the ancient 2200/2400 series cars soon.

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