The Chicago Transit Authority is pulling out all the stops to spread Yuletide cheer and good will to its customers. Look for CTA's Santa's Express Train to make its debut in the Loop on Friday, November 24, just in time for the lighting of the Holiday Tree at Daley Plaza.
The train -- a festive six-car model decked with ornaments, holiday music and Santa riding a sleigh aboard a flatcar -- will operate around the outer Loop 'L' between 4:00 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. The impressive display was decorated by CTA's Rail Operations employees and has more than 30,000 lights.
CTA customers paying regular fares are welcome to ride on any of the six passenger cars on the train, which will stop at all nine stations on the Loop above Lake, Wells, Van Buren and Wabash.
After its debut in the Loop, CTA's Santa's Express Train will be pulling up to rail stations throughout the city on selected dates and times, with CTA employees on hand spreading holiday cheer by distributing candy to customers along the routes.
The train will operate on the Blue Line on Saturday, December 2, with the first trip heading downtown from Rosemont at 2:00 p.m., reaching Logan Square at 2:20 p.m., Clark/Lake at 2:35 p.m., and the Medical Center at 2:50 p.m. The return trip from Forest Park will start at 3:35 p.m., and will arrive at O'Hare at 4:50 p.m. The train will make its second trip downtown from O'Hare at 5:25 p.m. and start its final trip from Forest Park at 7:15 p.m.
In keeping with a nine-year tradition, CTA also will use the train to distribute food baskets to needy families. This year, CTA elves will team up with Santa Claus on Sunday, December 3 from 3:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. to distribute more than 150 holiday meal boxes to needy families at three stations along the Blue Line: Division, 18th Street and UIC-Halsted. Participating families were identified by CTA and the event is not open to the public.
The following Saturday, December 9, Santa's Express Train will make runs on the Red and Purple Lines from 1:25 p.m. until 8:05 p.m. Green Line customers can ride the train on Saturday, December 16, from 2:10 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Santa's Express Train will make its final run on Saturday, December 23, on the Orange and Brown Lines between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.###