(Reuter) The Chicago Transit Authority announced today that in a move to cut operating costs, reduce the huge budget deficits and stem the flow of red ink which threatens the agency's future and also makes the floors slippery, operation of CTA trains would be opened to volunteers. And of course, the obvious choice to manage all these new volunteers is the Illinois Railway Museum. IRM members now have the opportunity to bid on runs all over the system.
Nick Kallas, Executive Director of the Museum, said in a prepared statement: "I am personally honored to acknowledge this vote of confidence in our Museum by the CTA, with which we have always had a close working relationship. Everybody knows IRM wouldn't be where it is today without me. And we are more than prepared to step up and operate the CTA in the same safe, timely, and efficient fashion we run our own railroad. And of course, we're excited by the opportunity to hand out calendars and brochures to the millions of CTA riders every day. Also, CTA service will provide us with an excellent training ground to prepare new members for the more demanding conditions of service on our line at Union."
The General Manager of the CTA, who wished to remain anonymous, said in a press conference held earlier today that the agency was confident this unprecedented experiment would work out to everybody's benefit. "Hey, what have we got to lose? It's not like these are real trains or anything. Volunteers run the electric trains at my local Lionel club just fine!"
If you want to sign up, contact our regular crew caller, Jim West. He will be glad to fill you in on the available positions. And we have every assurance that he will continue to do his usual efficient job even with this somewhat expanded work load.