Sprint CTA Holiday Train

2015 Sprint CTA Holiday Train

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About the train

It’s that time of year to get into the holiday spirit and catch a ride on the Sprint CTA Holiday Train! Santa and his elves will ride the train passing out candy canes and season's greetings.

The spectacular train is an amazing sight - during the daytime and at night. The outside of the six-car train is adorned with holiday seasonal images. Thousands of twinkling lights outline the shape of the train and windows, with even more lights running across the tops of the cars.

Interiors of the cars are decked out with thousands of multi-colored lights, red bows, garland, and red and green overhead lighting. The hand poles are wrapped to look like candy canes.

As the train pulls into each station, Santa waves to the boarding passengers from his sleigh on an open-air flatcar carrying his reindeer and decorated holiday trees.

See also: Sprint CTA Holiday Bus

Charity food delivery

The CTA also continues a more-than-20-year agency tradition of supporting Chicago communities. Every year, CTA employees embrace the spirit of the holidays and donate time and money to purchase groceries and assemble food baskets that are distributed to community organizations across the city. We'll donate approximately 300 food baskets to local community organizations.

Each food basket contains all the ingredients for a complete meal including a canned ham, potatoes, mixed vegetables, muffin mix, macaroni and cheese, fruit cocktail, green beans, corn and dessert. The Holiday Train delivers the food baskets on three separate days over the holiday season.


The Sprint CTA Holiday Train will travel all 'L' lines in November and December as part of regular rail service. Normal CTA fares apply.

The train generally operates from about 1pm to 8pm on weekends and 3pm to 7pm on select weekdays (schedules for each rail line will vary), and will make stops at all stations along the respective routes.

2015 Detailed Sprint CTA Holiday Train Schedule
Click the dates below to see full details.

(Detailed schedules are posted as they become available. Unlinked dates indicate a schedule for that date has not yet been published.)
Red Line 11/21 - Sat
Green Line 11/27 - Fri
photo dayGreen Line 11/28 - Sat
Green Line 12/1 - Tue
Orange Line & Brown Line 12/2 - Wed
Orange Line & Brown Line 12/3 - Thu
Orange Line & Brown Line 12/4 - Fri
photo dayOrange Line & Brown Line 12/5 - Sat
Pink Line 12/8 - Tue
Pink Line 12/9 - Wed
Blue Line 12/10 - Thu
Blue Line 12/11 - Fri
photo dayBlue Line (+ photo-only stop on Pink Line) 12/12 - Sat
Red Line 12/15 - Tue
Purple Line 12/16 - Wed
Red Line 12/17 - Thu
Purple Line 12/18 - Fri
photo dayRed Line & Purple Line 12/19 - Sat
Purple Line 12/22 - Tue
Yellow Line 12/23 - Wed

photo day = Photos with Santa

Travel Tips
To ensure everyone has an opportunity to see and take part in this annual tradition, here are a few suggested tips to make the most of your Sprint CTA Holiday Train experience:
  • Travel light: with many families making the train a part of their holiday traditions, small collapsible strollers are encouraged so that you and others have an opportunity to board the train.
  • Boarding: the train will become more crowded as it travels down the rail line; therefore, we recommend customers consider the following:
    • Board at a station close to the beginning of the route. Unlike other in-service trains, many people who board the train often stay on board until it reaches the terminal—and will take it back home if the train is scheduled to make a return trip.
    • Rail cars toward the front or back of the train will be less crowded compared to those immediately adjacent to Santa’s sleigh.
  • Taking photos: if you are planning to ride the train and take photos from a station platform, don’t miss your opportunity to board the train! Board the train first and then plan to take photos of Santa or the train when exiting at your destination. TheSpr Holiday Train is an in-service train and has to maintain a service schedule; therefore it cannot dwell at stations for long periods of time.


Photos from 2014


Happy Holidays from the CTA - 2014 Holiday Video


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End (e.g. 1 N State St, Chicago, IL)

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System Status



Red Line Normal Service
Blue Line Normal Service
Brown Line Normal Service
Green Line Normal Service
Orange Line Normal Service
Purple Line Normal Service
Pink Line Normal Service
Yellow Line Normal Service


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