New 'L' cars finally rolling out on Green Line
07/03/2012 10:00 PM
After more than two years of testing, trials and tribulations, the CTA finally started rolling out new rail cars on the ‘L’ last weekend, starting with the Green Line.
The new cars, made in New York and dubbed the 5000-series, are wider and feature center-facing seating, allowing more standing room. They have a smoother acceleration and braking system than older cars, and LED displays showing which line the train is on and what stop is next. A map inside the car lights up to show just where the train is in the system.
An eight-car test train has been rotating throughout the CTA system since early 2010, moving from line to line. But it was pulled off the tracks last year when flaws were found in some of the new trains’ Chinese-made parts, delaying the trains’ deployment while changes were made in the manufacturing process.
On Sunday, the CTA sent out a press release announcing that the new trains were finally hitting the tracks for their full roll-out. One six-car train was added to the Green Line, and more will be added as they’re delivered, the CTA said, until all of the 35-year-old cars on the line are replaced. The cars will then roll out to the other routes.
All in all, the CTA has ordered 706 of the new rail cars from New York-based Bombardier, at a cost of $1.137 billion.