CTA CAR ASSIGNMENTS

TIME LINE (1949-1975)

Concise information indicating changes in rapid transit fleet assignments, by route. Includes the 4000 series cars, built by Cincinnati in 1914-1915 and 1922-1924. Does not include the older wooden cars, which were retired during the 1950's, other than mention that wooden cars were assigned to a particular line.

The 5000 series cars consisted of 4 three unit articulated sets, with two sets from each manufacturer. They were were renumbered 51-54 in 1964, when the Skokie line opened.

The North-South (Red) line at the time included the Howard, Englewood, and Jackson Park segments. The West-Northwest (Blue) line was formed in 1958 out of the Milwaukee and Douglas segments, and the new Congress segment which at that time replaced the Garfield Park segment. And the West-South (Green) line was formed in 1969 out of the Lake segment and the new Dan Ryan segment. The difference with those lines today, is that in 1993, the two south side segments were switched to the other lines. At that time, the present color identifications were adopted.



YEAR        1949  1950  1952  1955  1958  1962  1965  1971  1973  1975

NEW         5000  6000        6200        1-50  2000  2200
CARS      PS+StL  StL         StL         StL   PS    Budd

North-      4000  4000  4000
South                   6000  6000  6000  6000  6000  6000  6000  6000
                              6200  6200  6200  6200  6200  6200  6200

Milwaukee   wood  wood
                        4000  4000
                  6000

Douglas     wood  wood  wood  wood
                              4000
                        6000  6000

Garfield    wood  wood  wood
                              4000

West-                               4000  4000
North-                              6000                    6000  6000
west                                6200  6200  6200  6200  6200  6200
                                          1-50  1-50
                                                2000
                                                      2200  2200  2200

Lake/       wood  wood  wood
West-                   4000  4000  4000  4000
South                                           2000  2000  2000  2000
                                                      2200  2200  2200

Ravenswood  wood  wood  wood  wood
                              4000  4000  4000  4000  4000
                                    5000  5000
                  6000  6000  6000  6000  6000  6000  6000  6000  6000
                                                            6200  6200
                                          1-50        1-50  1-50  1-50

Evanston    wood  wood  wood  wood
                                    4000  4000  4000  4000
            5000  5000  5000  5000
                                                      6000  6000  6000
                                          1-50  1-50  1-50  1-50  1-50

Skokie                                          50's  50's  50's  50's
                                                1-50  1-50  1-50  1-50


YEAR        1949  1950  1952  1955  1958  1962  1965  1971  1973  1975


Additional Car Assignment Notes

After the West-Northwest line was formed in 1958, 4000's were needed during rush hours only, and were generally limited to Douglas-Milwaukee trains. The Congress line was America's first rapid transit line to utilize an expressway median strip, and the CTA wanted the image of a "modern" transit line.

The 2000's were eventually kept off the Douglas branch, due to unusual physical characteristics which caused a "rumbling" over the ground level segment in the town of Cicero.

Until 1973, the main reason for the continued use of 4000 series on the Evanston line, was an insufficient number of "newer" cars with trolley poles for the overhead electrification. The conversion of that line to third rail enabled the retirement of the last 4000's. Ridership shifts also enabled the reassignment of additional 6000's to that line from other lines.


SUBSEQUENT CAR ASSIGNMENT TRENDS

1977/1978 - 2400 series cars arrive
The 2400's at times operated over all rapid transit lines, except the Skokie Swift. Eventually, all 2400's were operating on the Lake-Dan Ryan line. The 2000's were moved to the Englewood/Jackson Park-Howard line, kept off lines utilizing expressway median strips. There were problems during winter, with salt on the expressways damaging the traction motors of the 2000's.

1980's - 2600 series cars arrive
This large group of cars went to all lines except the Skokie Swift, and enabled retirement of all but a few 6000's. The remaining 6000's, along with cars 1-50, were used on the Ravenswood, Evanston, and Skokie Swift lines. All 2000's were assigned to the Englewood/Jackson Park-Howard line, all 2200's were assigned to the Congress/Douglas-Milwaukee line, and all 2400's were assigned to the Lake-Dan Ryan line.

1990's - Rapid transit changes and new 3200 series cars
In 1993, the CTA adopted colors to identify its rapid transit lines. The 1993 switch of the south side lines resulted in the 2400 series cars going to the "Red" (Howard-Dan Ryan) line, and the 2000 series cars going to the "Green" (Englewood/Jackson Park-Lake) line. The new 3200 series cars went to the "Brown" (Ravenswood) line, the newly opened "Orange" (Midway) line, and 3200's equipped with pantographs went to the "Yellow" (Skokie Swift) line. The Green Line was closed in 1994 for renovation, and the 2000's were retired. 2400's were assigned to the Green Line when it reopened in 1996.


Some information is from "Chicago's Rapid Transit, Volume II: Rolling Stock/1947-1976", the Central Electric Railfans' association (CERA) Bulletin 115, along with some information from issues of the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society's publication, "First & Fastest".