Bombardier submits low bid for next delivery of new CTA rail cars - with fewer aisle-facing seats

The same company that manufactured CTA’s newest Series 5000 rail cars has submitted the lowest bid to build the next order of rail cars for the transit agency, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Bombardier Transit Corp. has bid $1.39 billion to build 846 “Series 7000” rail cars, set for delivery in 2018. Bombardier has already delivered almost 400 of 714 Series 5000 cars under a $1.14 billion contract.

The aisle-facing seating arrangement on the Series 5000 cars has been widely criticized for being too narrow for us big-butted and big-shouldered Chicagoans to fit into comfortably. The Series 7000 cars would be a mix of center-facing and pairs of forward- and backward-facing seats.

That’s good news.



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  • The questions (after having read the specifications) are whether the 7000s will still have to go through a one-year test (like the 5000s did) if they are essentially similar to and have to be compatible with the 5000s, and if Bombardier awarded the contract, and that since these cars are supposed to replace the 3200s, whether that is inconsistent with the previous announcement that the 3200s are supposed to get a rehab with a 10 year service life.

  • In reply to jack:

    I would think they would have to test the cars ahead of mass delivery. It's always been done in the past and is irresponsible to mass produce something that isn't viable. The 3200's rehab is well overdue, and it would help to speed up that project, but if deliveries started in 2018 on 7000's, they would still have at least a good 6 years of use in the rehabbed 3200's by the time they retired 300 2600's

  • OK, I’ll bight. What happened to the 6000 series?

  • In reply to emglatstein:

    There was already a 6000 series.

  • In reply to eBob:

    That doesn't mean anything. There were CTA cars 5001-5004 before, and Andre even confused a topic on these with those.

    The only thing that counts is that there is a large enough number block that isn't being used for other equipment. For instance, the railroad internet forums said that the first Bombardier series was going to be 1000, until it was pointed out that CTA was beginning to receive the 1000 series of buses.

  • In reply to emglatstein:

    Probably buses, although the 6400s will probably be gone by then.

  • That 6000 Series looks nice! I like the colour.

  • Maybe they can build into the contract the retrofit of the 7000 seating into the 5000 cars. I can only hope!

  • In reply to Edgewater Roadie:

    They said in the article that the new arrangement was not even going to be in the about 300 5000s yet to be delivered.

    Besides whether it would be technically possible, the contract is for new cars, not to remanufacture cars being delivered. When you buy a 2014 Ford Fusion, do you expect the dealer to also redesign your 2005 Five Hundred for free?

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