Thwarted on attempt to ride maiden voyage of new rail cars

I really had the best intentions of being on the maiden
vogage of the new 5000 series rail cars.

At least one report noted that the first run with regular passengers
would be Run 806 out of Howard on the Red Line at 6:12 this morning.

So I woke up extra early today, wolfed down some breakfast headed out of
the house to my Morse stop at 6:10.

And at 6:14, I saw it rounding the bend, its chrome shining proudly and
front lights all bright and promising.

As the train got nearer, that promise fizzled.

The front destination sign read “Not in Service.” And the eight-car
beauty came whistling past, blaring its warning to stand away from the

As it passed, I saw car after car of empty, aisle-facing seats, begging
passengers to cram into them, warning “legs-wide-spread man” to close
’em up, mocking sleepers with much fewer places to rest their heads.

I suspect I’ll test that train one day soon. But it just won’t be the
same having missed the maiden voyage.


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  • I missed the noticed posted on the Yahoo group at 4:45 this morning:

    That is from the revised Service Bulletin R537-10 which covers Monday April 19th only. Service Bulletin R516-10 covers the rest of the weekday schedule through Friday May 14th. The only difference is (today) Run 806 is deadheading the equipment from Howard to 95th and will start revenue service from 95th north at 07:30. The rest of the days it will depart Howard in service at 06:12

  • Damn that sucks. I'm sorry.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    No worries Bill. I got a lot done at work since I got there early!

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    Sorry Kevin, sad they posted that so late in the game. Then you could have gotten to the station 30 minutes earlier to take a train to 95th to then ride it back downtown.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    Posted some pics and videos of them here:

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    I got to ride them today on my way to work. Here is what I noticed: MUCH SMOOTHER RIDE!! More of a modern feel and brigter. New seat configuration didn't bother me because it is just like sitting by the doors on the older trains. Thought the display above the emergency doors showing time and next stop is a nice touch. The floor seems softer when you walk on it. The announcement system is much, much clearer. The spaces underneath the seats will give seat hogs one less excuse to put their bags on the seats next to them. I'm wondering if the reason there are fewer seats is because next to the doors are wide open spaces for wheelchairs where normally there are seats (but that could have just been on the one train I walked on to). The doors also beep as they are closing, but I can't remember whether or not the usual "DING DONG" was being played this morning or not.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    I got to ride in one on the way home. I'm a Hobo Corner devotee, and there are no seats back there any more, maybe for the best. They've been replaced by a metal box with luggage storage on top. I agree with LoopWorker, much smoother ride, and the PA system is so clear it startled me at first.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    Sorry you missed it after all that preparation. In my case, the train just happened to come by as my Brown Line train was pulling into Belmont this morning. Even though I normally ride the Brown all the way in to the Loop, and the red line actually puts me about 5 blocks away from work, I jumped at the chance to take the shiny new train.

    As everyone else has said so far, very clean cars, very smooth ride. Also, much quieter in the tunnels. Not monorail quiet, but more like the DC metro than the usual clanking and rumbling -- enough to be able to have a conversation. I liked the next station signs in the cars, but the map that lights up wasn't as impressive as I expected. It would have helped if it were over the doors like the regular maps. Also, it just looked a little too low tech, gimmicky. Anyone else?

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    I haven't been on one yet, but I think I already like they've moved the maps away from the doors. Maybe that will get people to move away from the doors also.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    there are standard maps over the doors, and "lite-brite" maps in the center of the car. During the inaugural ride, no one moved away from the doors. CTA really needs some education on that.

    here is a good set of pictures from someone who was on the first run.

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