November 23, 2001

The Chicago Transit Authority is getting into the holiday spirit with the 2001 version of its popular Holiday Train. The train will roll into the Loop Friday afternoon, November 23rd in time for the lighting of Chicago's Christmas Tree in Daley Center Plaza. Customers paying regular fares are invited to ride the train, which will make stops at all nine Loop elevated stations over Lake, Wells, Van Buren and Wabash.

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.

After helping launch the holiday season in the Loop, the Holiday Train will travel on various CTA rail lines during weekends in December. On the weekend of December 1-2, the Holiday Train will run on 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.

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