The CTA Holiday Train is a beloved Chicago tradition that brings joy to thousands of riders and community organizations during the holiday season. This festive train, decorated with thousands of lights and holiday decorations, travels along the city’s ‘L’ lines from late November through December. The train is accompanied by Santa and his elves, who hand out candy canes, take photos with riders, and spread holiday cheer.
Chicagoans eagerly await the arrival of the CTA Holiday Train each year, as it has become a beloved part of the city’s holiday traditions. The train’s schedule, routes, and tips can be found on the CTA website, allowing riders to plan their holiday rides in advance. The train also delivers food baskets to community organizations, making it a meaningful way to give back during the holiday season.
The CTA Holiday Train is a unique and festive way to celebrate the holiday season in Chicago. Its bright lights, cheerful decorations, and Santa’s presence make it a memorable experience for riders of all ages. As the train travels along the city’s ‘L’ lines, it brings holiday cheer to neighborhoods throughout the city, making it a beloved part of Chicago’s holiday traditions.
History and Significance
Origin of the CTA Holiday Train
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Holiday Train began in 1992 as a way to spread holiday cheer throughout the city. The idea came from an ad agency employee who saw the opportunity to decorate a train with holiday lights and decorations. The CTA loved the idea and decided to make it an annual tradition. Since then, the CTA Holiday Train has become a beloved Chicago holiday tradition that brings joy to riders of all ages.
The CTA Holiday Train is a six-car train adorned with holiday decorations and bright lights that runs during the winter holidays, from November to December. The train is decorated with multi-color lights, red bows, garland, and red and green overhead lighting. The train is also equipped with speakers that play holiday music and announcements from Santa Claus himself.
Holiday Train’s Role in Community Engagement
The CTA Holiday Train has become an important part of the Chicago community. The train not only brings joy to riders, but it also serves as a way for the CTA to give back to the community. The CTA partners with community organizations and charities each year to collect donations and raise awareness for important causes. In the past, the CTA has partnered with organizations such as Toys for Tots, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and the Salvation Army.
The CTA Holiday Train also serves as a way to engage with the community. The train makes stops at various stations throughout the city, allowing riders to take pictures with Santa Claus and his elves and to donate to the partnered charities. The train also provides a unique opportunity for riders to experience the holiday spirit while commuting to work or running errands.
In conclusion, the CTA Holiday Train has become a beloved Chicago holiday tradition that brings joy to riders of all ages. The train not only spreads holiday cheer but also serves as a way for the CTA to give back to the community and engage with riders.
CTA Holiday Train Experience
The CTA Holiday Train is a festive and exciting experience that brings holiday cheer to Chicago’s residents and visitors. The train is decked out with holiday decorations and features onboard festivities that are sure to delight riders of all ages.
The CTA Holiday Train features a variety of onboard festivities that are sure to get riders into the holiday spirit. The train is equipped with holiday music, and riders can expect to hear classic holiday tunes such as “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls.” In addition to the music, riders can also enjoy holiday treats and beverages, such as hot cocoa and candy canes.
Santa and Decorations
One of the highlights of the CTA Holiday Train is the appearance of Santa Claus himself. Santa rides on the train and greets riders, taking photos with them and spreading holiday cheer. The train is also decorated with festive holiday scenes, countless sparkling lights, and festive LED signs. The decorations are sure to put riders in a festive mood and make for a memorable holiday experience.
Special Features of the Holiday Fleet
In addition to the CTA Holiday Train, the Holiday Fleet also includes a decked-out holiday bus. The bus features many of the same decorations and onboard festivities as the train, and riders can also take photos with Santa. For the first time since 2019, riders and fans of the Allstate CTA Holiday Fleet will be able to partake in photo sessions with Santa on designated dates for both the festive bus and train.
Overall, the CTA Holiday Train is a fun and festive experience that is not to be missed during the holiday season. Whether you’re a resident of Chicago or a visitor to the city, the Holiday Train is sure to bring holiday cheer and joy to all who ride it.
Scheduling and Routes
Train and Bus Schedules
The CTA Holiday Train and Bus are a beloved Chicago tradition that brings holiday cheer to the city every year. The train and bus schedules are typically released in November, with appearances starting later in the month. Riders can see the full schedule for 2023 on the CTA website.
The Holiday Train and Bus run on different schedules, so it’s important to check the schedule for the specific mode of transportation you plan to take. The train typically runs on the Red, Blue, Brown, Pink, Green, Orange, and Purple lines, while the bus runs on various routes throughout the city.
The Holiday Train and Bus make stops at various stations and stops throughout the city, allowing riders to hop on and off to enjoy the festive decorations and take photos with Santa. The Holiday Bus Tracker Map is a helpful tool for tracking the bus in real-time and planning your route.
The train and bus make all stops along their scheduled routes, so riders can easily plan their trip and enjoy the holiday festivities. Normal CTA fares apply, so riders can use their Ventra cards or purchase tickets at the station.
Overall, the CTA Holiday Train and Bus are a fun and festive way to celebrate the holiday season in Chicago. With their colorful decorations and cheerful atmosphere, they’re sure to put a smile on the faces of riders young and old.
Planning Your Visit
If you’re planning to ride the CTA Holiday Train this year, here are some tips and fare information to help you prepare.
Tips for Riders
- Arrive early: The CTA Holiday Train can get crowded, especially during peak hours. Arriving early can help ensure you get a good spot on the train.
- Wear a mask: The CTA requires all riders to wear masks while on board the train, regardless of vaccination status.
- Strollers and devices: Strollers and devices are allowed on the train, but it’s important to keep them out of the aisles to avoid blocking other riders.
- Cameras: Taking photos and videos of the train is allowed, but be mindful of other riders and avoid blocking the aisles.
- Normal CTA fares apply: Riding the CTA Holiday Train is no different than riding any other CTA train in terms of fare. Normal CTA fares apply, and riders can use their Ventra cards or contactless payment methods to pay for their rides.
- Extra travel time: The CTA Holiday Train can take longer than usual to complete its route due to the high volume of riders and photo opportunities. Be prepared for extra travel time when planning your trip.
- First-come, first-served: Seating on the CTA Holiday Train is first-come, first-served. If you want to get a good spot, it’s best to arrive early.
- Departure times: The CTA Holiday Train operates on a set schedule, which can be found on the CTA’s website. Be sure to check the schedule before heading to the train station to avoid missing the train.
Overall, riding the CTA Holiday Train can be a fun and festive experience for riders of all ages. By following these tips and fare information, riders can ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride.