2400-series Railcar Farewell Tour
Photo: The historic 2400-series cars round the southeast part of the S curve near North/Halsted.
On January 21, 2015, we said "Goodbye, old friends!" to our 2400-series railcars after they spent 38 years in service.
The tour ran with eight cars from the 2400-series, restored to their original appearance from 1976 and filled with ad placards and maps from the 1970s!
The first of this series were introduced in 1976—a year where the nation was celebrating its 200th birthday. It was also the year when “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” won multiple Academy Awards (including Best Picture), when Jimmy Carter was elected President, when Apple Computer Inc. was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” won the Grammy for Record of the Year.
These cars were delivered with bold, red-white-and-blue graphics on both the sides and the end of the cars—a nod to the nation’s bicentennial—and were initially introduced into Ravenswood Service (today’s Brown Line) and North-South Route (roughly today’s North Side Red Line and South Side Green Line, via the State Street Subway), and West-Northwest Route (today’s Blue Line).
The 200 cars in this series were built by Boeing-Vertol between 1976-1978, with the car’s interior and exterior designs done by industrial design firm Sundberg-Ferar, who also worked on cars for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA, DC Metro), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).
One distinguishing feature of these cars that separated them from hundreds of their most recent predecessors is that they went back to sliding doors, which later made it possible to convert them for wheelchair access under the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Previous to these cars, starting back in the 1940s, our cars were built with streetcar-like folding “blinker doors” which had sets of four narrow panels that swung inward at stops.)
While the last cars of this series ended their service on the Orange and Brown Lines, they were most associated with the Green and Purple Line services from the 1990s until nearly the end of their days in service.
Learn more about the cars and event at transitchicago.com/2400farewell