Santa Claus is coming to town - riding the CTA

November 20, 2003
11/20/2003

Santa Claus is coming to town - riding the CTA

The Chicago Transit Authority is getting into the holiday spirit with the 2003 version of its popular Holiday Train. Santa and his elves will ride the train passing out candy canes and season's greetings.

The spectacular train is an amazing sight - during the daytime and at night. The outside of the six-car train is adorned with oversized garland and seasonal images. Thousands of twinkling lights outline the shape of the train and windows, with even more lights running across the tops of the cars.

Once inside, customers find the decorations just as festive. Interiors of the cars are decked out with thousands of multi-colored lights, more than 750 red bows, more than 1,500 feet of garland, and red and green overhead lighting. The hand poles are wrapped to look like candy canes.

As the train pulls into each station, Santa waves to the boarding passengers from his sleigh on an open-air flatcar that carries his reindeer and decorated holiday trees.

The train will operate over several weekends in November and December, in addition to special trips around the Loop on the day after Thanksgiving - in time for the lighting of Chicago's Holiday Tree in Daley Center Plaza.

Customers paying regular fares are invited to ride the train, which will make stops at all stations on the Red, Purple, Blue, Green, Brown and Orange Lines. On weekends, the train operates from about 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (schedules for each individual line will vary somewhat). On the day after Thanksgiving the train operates around the Loop from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • November 28: Loop elevated
  • 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.)
Click on the dates for detailed schedules:

Red & Purple Lines
Saturday, 11/22
Sunday, 11/23
Monday, 12/22

Loop 'L' - Outer Loop platforms
Friday, 11/28
The Holiday Train will circle the Loop from 4 p.m. until about 5:30 p.m. - making stops at elevated stations. Train will stop on the outer platform (Brown Line side). Train will then transfer to the Blue Line making all stops from Racine to O'Hare.

Blue Line
Saturday, 11/29
Sunday, 11/30
Monday, 12/8

Green Line
Saturday, 12/13
Sunday, 12/14
Monday, 12/15

Orange & Brown Lines
Monday, 12/15
Saturday, 12/20
Sunday, 12/21
Monday, 12/22

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