November 20, 2003

The Chicago Transit Authority is getting into the holiday spirit and putting the finishing touches on the 2003 edition of its popular Holiday Train. Now in its twelfth year, the train operates throughout the CTA rail system spreading holiday cheer to CTA customers. New this year, the train also will operate on three Monday evenings in December.

Decorated with thousands of multi-colored lights, the six-car train features a flat car in the middle that carries Santa and his reindeer. Car interiors are decked out with bows, garland, red and green lighting and hand poles wrapped to look like candy canes. The exterior is wrapped in a vinyl material depicting a holiday theme.

Customers paying regular fares are invited to ride the train as it make this year's debut on the Red and Purple Lines this weekend, November 22 and 23. It also will provide service to the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Saturday, November 22. Customers exit at State and Chicago and walk east to Michigan Avenue to watch the parade. The Holiday Train will roll into the Loop Friday afternoon, November 28 in time for the lighting of Chicago's Holiday Tree in Daley Center Plaza and will make stops at all nine Loop elevated stations.

The Holiday Train will travel various CTA rail lines during weekends in November and December. It will run between approximately 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (schedules for each individual line will vary somewhat) and will make stops at all stations along the respective routes:

November 29 - 30 Blue Line

December 13 - 14 Green Line

December 20 - 21 Brown and Orange Lines

In addition to its weekend service, the train will operate between approximately 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the following Mondays:

December 8 Blue Line

December 15 Green Line

December 22 Orange, Purple and Red Lines (until 8 p.m.)

For more specific information on dates and times, call 836-7000 (any local area code) or visit the web site at www.transitchicago.com.

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