CTA issues bids to manufacture the next version of new rail cars

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.


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  • Maybe you can get Forrest or Brian or Steve to explain how it was on the Contract Opportunities website over a week ago, and then was withdrawn (still not there).

    I documented that well enough on this site.

    Furthermore, you could get CTA spokesmodel Catherine to explain if this means that the no bid deal to rebuild the 3200s as 5000s is now off the table, and, in effect, CTA would rather spend $2.5 million a car to replace them than $1 million a car to upgrade them.

    But you did find that Hilkevitch didn't have anything original this morning.

  • In reply to jack:

    The solicitation is back up, but under a different link.

  • It just seems lame to spend so much on faster new cars but yet they can't seem to allocate enough resources for track maintenance to avoid the plague of slow zones. Red is becoming a complete joke again. So much of the subway is slow zoned lately trains crawl through most of it. And the tracks where rebuilt, what...all of 4 years ago? We now also have new slow zones Lawrence to Argyle and Berwyn to Bryn Mawr. Wasn't the promise is that the slow zones though this area would be fixed by February with the rehab projects? They fix one zone and add two. Way to go CTA.

  • In reply to Matt:

    Matt: you may want to compare the Chicago situation with an article in today's Daily Herald about how NYC has 3 massive transit construction projects underway.

    Do the words "corruption tax" sound familiar?

  • I hope these folks all realize that when Election time comes around, the Villagers will all be out there with Torches and Pitchforks.

    Here's something that Chicago will NEVER see (too smart for us): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Rocket

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c6yk4HJHds

  • I hope they get the seating right with these new cars. It is a dreadful ride being squeezed in the seats on the 5000 cars. And I've noticed that less standing people move down the aisle - probably because they don't want to step on the feet of the sitting riders.

  • In reply to Edgewater Roadie:

    You're absolutely right.

    Full benches, no cupping, and zero forward facing seats. If you are going to do it right don't cut any corners.

  • In reply to untitledreality:

    Dream. Dream dream dream. Dream. Dream dream dream.

    As I noted last week, while the spec gives the Chief Engineer some choice, it appears no different than the last spec. So, unless you get a new Chief Engineer, don't get your hopes up.

  • In reply to jack:

    Maybe the Chief Engineer needs to take a ride on the Red Line at rush hour.

  • In reply to Edgewater Roadie:

    Maybe the Tribune can do an FOIA on whether his pass gets any use. Last time that was done was about 2006.

  • In reply to jack:

    When is the next Mayoral Election jack?

    Do you think Rahm would win -- IF he hasn't decided to go for the White House ( O M G )

  • 2015.

    Did you ask, say in 2003 if Daley was going to win again?

    And unless he decided a year earlier to campaign without a base of a current job, he won't be running for President.

  • NO, I would not have asked -- Daley could have gotten/get himself Re-elected Posthumously.

    And that will be a "fascinating" Election, due to all the warm feelings he has inspired since taking Office.

  • Well, as I imply, it won't be any different for Emanuel, especially if the Black political organizations can't get their stuff together. Let's see--in the 7th Ward one leader plea bargained, his wife is under investigation, and the hog with big nuts is under indictment. Danny Davis is an old joke--keeps running and pulling out (is that electionus interruptus?). You got anyone laying the ground to challenge Emanuel? Nope.

    Look, if he can get away with angering his neighbors on Lincoln Ave. [which is the only transit related matter in point at the moment], he can get away with most anything.

  • In reply to jack:

    The #11 was 1 (one) Bus Line - the Red Line Shutdown is the E N T I R E South Side past 63rd. St.

    A N Y disruption and the whole "Shuttle Bus" plan goes down like the Hindenburg (what would happen after a train derailment at 40th & Prarie -- will the Shuttles go all the way Downtown?).

    Watch the Firestorm hit when thousands are late for (or miss) Work.

  • But, despite what I thought, Rahm masterfully defused this by saying that the CTA created 400 bus driver jobs and is insisting on minority hiring by the construction companies.

    Although I predicted otherwise, I haven't seen any preacher organizing a protest, the aldercreatures are on board, and if things fall apart next July, it will be too late to do anything about it. And, as is pointed out by all the Alerts on the L system now, it isn't running in a manner that one can count on it to get to work.

    In the meantime, are you taking odds on the new Pope, as this one has announced he is retiring? Emanuel sure hasn't yet.

  • In reply to jack:

    The CTA Portable Farebox Plan for utilizing the MED as a Rail Alternative to the Shutdown could be installed in 1 (one) Weekend: http://www.grayline.20m.com/photo4.html

    So if things do go to Crap in July -- "Too late" won't be an excuse

    Both CTA and Metra sources have said that they are in discussion of some type of Metra assistance for the duration of the Shutdown (?); but want to refine the format before going Public (understandable); and both said that there will be several Meetings for Public Input.

    This week I am getting a Laser MFP capable of 35,000 copies per month duty cycle: http://www.frys.com/product/5871873

    I will be saturating any upcoming Meetings between now and May, and South Side 'L' and Bus stops -- with Gray Line Color Fliers: http://grayline.20m.com/cgi-bin/i/images/color_flier_front.jpg http://grayline.20m.com/cgi-bin/i/images/color_flier_rear.jpg

  • Still haven't gotten the chance to ride the new cars regularly (I haven't rode one period in 2 years back when they were just trialing a train or two). The Blue isn't even on the radar to get them. Again, I'm of the mindset that I'm grateful to fit on a train during rush so standing during busy periods isn't too much of an issue for me. Outside of rush? Trains are running so frequently now on the weekends that I shouldn't have an issue getting a seat or two to myself And if not, I'm paying for a ride on transit, not a seat of luxury.

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