Holiday Train to spread good cheer starting this weekend on Red and Purple Lines

It’s back! The long-awaited Holiday Train will thrill passengers young, old and in between starting around noon Saturday at the Howard station, heading south on the Red Line. The detailed schedule for Saturday is here; Sunday’s schedule is here. The general schedule is here.

The Holiday Train is made up of six heavily decorated train cars, with Santa sitting in the middle on a flat-bed car. It will traverse all eight rail lines between Nov. 21 and Dec. 23. After all, Santa really has to get to work on Dec. 24.

Santa train.jpg

It really is a sight to behold. It’s especially cool to watch the faces of those who don’t know it’s coming. Usually folks on the opposite platform cheer for Santa and his elves as he pulls out of the station.

CTA Tattler will again this year plan a meet-up on the Holiday Train — with warm drinks afterwards, of course. I’m open to suggestion on the date and time.

Meanwhile, check the continuation for the schedule of when Santa sashays down your rail line.

Holiday Train schedule:

November 21-22 — Red and Purple Lines
November 25 — Pink Line and Loop Elevated
November 27 — Blue Line
November 29 —  Blue Line
December 2-5 — Green Line
December 9-12 — Brown and Orange Lines
December 16 — Red Line
December 17 — Purple Line
December 18 — Red Line
December 21 — Red Line
December 22 — Purple Line
December 23 — Yellow Line


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  • How does the Yellow Line runs work? Only the flat bed car?

  • Good question Sargas. I'm not sure...

  • Sargas -
    Last year they separated the train into three 2-car sets and ran those three continuously on the Yellow Line that day. No flatcar was used at all. But Santa (Santas?) rode inside with the passengers.

  • Cool, thanks

  • 1,900 layoffs, this is beyond poor taste. Merry Christmas, you're fired!

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    And so it begins....

    Last time CTA was facing cuts (all the way back in 2007!!), the CTA employees who volunteer their time decorating the Holiday Train, as well as those who staff it, were quick to refute customer complaints that the train is inappropriate in light of impending cuts. What many don't know or appreciate about the Holiday Train is that CTA employees collect donations and prepare food baskets that are given to community organizations at various stops. I wish I had the quotation, but I remember one Elf, who had received a pink slip, saying something to the effect that she knew even though she could lose her job there were people out there who were in more desperate straits and that being part of the Holiday Train was a positive experience. Maybe that sentiment won't survive this doomsday, but the train doesn't cost CTA much and, since the train is in regular revenue service, it may actually turn a profit on some runs.

    Don't hate; if you don't like it, don't ride it. The Elves are very fond of their train and you don't want to piss the Elves off!

  • In reply to marthat3:

    First off, cta has carries passengers, not customers. All of these elves and any union employee associated with the propoganda train should be ashamed of themselves. This is in very poor taste, and don't be surprised if there will be picketing.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    I would, in fact, be very surprised if there was picketing.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:


  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Because the Holiday Train has gone on for years without incident.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    you may have a point, however, I believe these layoffs are the real deal.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    You know what? No one is disputing the fact that there are issues involving the jobs of CTA workers. It is of critical importance to those workers facing layoffs. But..what NO ONE needs is another doomsayer, or nagger, to rain on everyone's parade. Since these are troubled times, I think we should encourage public and private entities to do what they can to help those even less fortunate, and brighten our days along the way. Merry Christmas!

  • In reply to Blacksand09:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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