5000-Series Rail Car Prototypes Heading to the Green Line

May 14, 2010

The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that following four weeks of passenger service testing on the Red Line, the 5000-series rail cars will be moving to the Green Line this weekend and will go into service beginning Monday, May 17.

The CTA continues to gather information on the performance of the cars to improve the systems on the agency's order of the production cars.

The 5000-series prototypes will be tested on all eight rail lines through at least the end of the year. The passenger service testing is the next step in the agency’s evaluation of the 10 rail car prototypes to determine how they perform when operating in the conditions that CTA's rail fleet is subject to throughout the year. The cars must successfully complete testing before the CTA will finalize the order of the remaining 396 rail cars.

The rail cars offer a variety of new features and technologies to benefit CTA customers. Each car has seven networked security cameras, an event recorder system similar to a black box on an airplane and sensitive door sensors that will detect obstructions better than CTA's current rail fleet.

Customers may notice the new aisle-facing seating configuration that accommodates more customers per car, allowing more room for customers carrying backpacks, packages, luggage, strollers and bikes. The configuration provides 38 seats and space for two wheelchair positions and added support poles and hand straps in the center of the car for standing customers.

Other amenities include: an LED station indicator map with lights that move in conjunction with the train's location and electronic destination signs – widened to increase the size of the text, thereby improving readability – both inside and outside of the rail car. A new propulsion system using alternating current (AC) technology provides a smoother ride. Regenerative braking technology – where returning braking energy to the third rail for reuse to help power other trains and on-board electrical systems – can reduce power consumption.

More information on the 5000-series rail cars and a complete list of features can be found on the CTA's website at www.transitchicago.com

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