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CTA to celebrate vintage railcars’ 100th ‘birthday’ with a ride around the Loop


You can ride some of the oldest railcars in the Chicago Transit Authority’s Heritage Fleet around the Loop on Saturday.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the CTA will run historic 4000-series cars from its Heritage Fleet around the Loop L in celebration of its 100th service anniversary, the agency said in a press release.

L railcars weren’t always made of stainless steel and plastic. The two cars that’ll be running this weekend — cars 4271 and 4272 — feature the same burnt orange and brown paint scheme they had in the 1940s. The 4000-series cars, built by the Cincinnati Car Company between 1914-15 and 1922-24, were Chicago’s first steel-body L cars.

Not only is it the two cars’ 100th “birthday,” they were taken out of service about 50 years ago, too. Cars 4271 and 4272 were preserved shortly afterwards as part of the CTA’s Heritage fleet, which maintains historic buses and rail cars after they’ve been retired.

The last of the 4000-series trains stopped running on what is now the Purple Line in October 1973.

The two cars, which were relatively unmodified and had recently been overhauled when they were retired, have been restored to mimic what it would’ve been like to ride the L in the early 20th century — including reproductions of vintage advertisements.

Regular fares will apply to rides on Saturday. The CTA will also be handing out a limited number of commemorative posters on platform at the Washington/Wabash Station.

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