November 30, 2001

The Chicago Transit Authority is getting into the holiday spirit with the 2001 version of its popular Holiday Train. Customers paying regular fares are invited to ride the train, which will run on the various CTA rail lines over the four weekends in December.

The six-car train is decorated with 35,000 lights. Interiors of the cars are decked out with bows, garland, red and green lighting and the hand poles are wrapped to look like candy canes. The train also features a flat car that carries Santa and his reindeer as well as other decorations. The exterior of the train is wrapped in a vinyl material depicting a holiday theme of ?Peace on Earth."

The train is the handiwork of CTA Rail Operations employees who work at the Skokie Shops facility. About 175 employees work or volunteer on some aspect of the train from the initial planning to decorating and staffing various Holiday Train events. Due to the train's increasing popularity over the past ten years, it now takes three to four weeks to assemble, wire and decorate the train.

On the weekend of December 1-2, the Holiday Train will run on the Blue Line. It will travel on the Red and Purple Lines December 8-9. It will travel on the Green Line December 15-16 and on the Brown and Orange Lines December 22-23. The weekend Holiday Train runs will be between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and will make stops at all stations along its respective routes.

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