November 10, 2011 A new six-car train made its debut on the CTA’s Pink Line. The upgrade is a welcomed one for Chicago commuters, the first addition to the rail fleet since 1992. Every two weeks, another six-car train is expected to be put in service through 2014, when the 706-car order will be complete.
Each brand new energy-efficient 5000-series rail cars manufactured by Bombardier Transportation has seven security cameras, to complement the thousands of cameras already installed on station platforms. The state of the art technology will be able to transmit real time video to CTA’s Control Center, the Office of Emergency Management and Communication and the Chicago Police Department.
Additionally, CTA’s Control Center will have remote access to signs, giving them the ability to make emergency audio and text messages inside the trains if needed.
“The 5000-series cars provide a more enjoyable ride for customers,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “These cars have wider aisles and roomier interiors, electronic destination signs and security cameras in each car for enhanced safety.”
The CTA plans to retire some of its oldest cars that are between 32 and 41 years old.
The total cost of the rail cars $1.137 billion which is funded by two CTA bond issuances backed by sales tax receipts. The remainder is paid for by $150 million in federal funds. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security paid for the cameras already in place.
Last week, Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn announced a $1 billion plus investment in the Red Line which will rebuild sections of deteriorated tracks to eliminate slow zones, replace or repair aging stations, install new power systems to improve performance and upgrade a significant portion of the Purple Line. Construction starts in 2012 and will last three years.
On Nov. 2, President Obama called on Congress to pass the transportation piece of the American Jobs Act, which will make immediate investments of $50 billion in U.S. transportation infrastructure.
“The United States is falling behind on investing in the roads, bridges, airports, and transit systems that keep our economy humming,” he said, adding “We spend just 2 percent of our GDP on infrastructure projects. Europe and China invest 5 percent and 9 percent of their respective GDPs on developing infrastructure.”
For a detailed history of CTA railcars and a complete list of features of the new 5000-series rail cars, CLICK HERE.