Friday, August 9, 2013

2200s Final Fling, or This Budd's (no longer) for You

Al writes...

Yesterday on relatively short notice the CTA announced a finale for the 1969 Budd 2200 series cars.  These cars were purchased to equip the new Dan Ryan Line and the extension of the Logan Square route to Jefferson Park. I do recall driving up from Champaign to be one of the first day riders on these routes. The first day buttons featured the brand new 2200s.
The 2200s were the first Budd cars for the CTA and the last cars with Blinker doors.  The blinker doors were somewhat of a Chicago standard dating back to the 1936 PCC "Blue Goose" streetcars.  But the Budd stainless steel construction has since become the CTA standard.

The 2200s are unique in that some of them spent their entire 44 year career on the West-Northwest routes, that now comprise the Blue and Pink lines.

The final fling consisted of a short turn from Rosemont  to just short of Jefferson Park and return, and then a final full trip from O'Hare to Forest Park and return in regular train service. An 8 car train of 2200s was used. (When was the last time a non ADA compliant -- due to the blinker doors -- train was operated on the CTA?)

Here's a few photos from along the Congress (er Ike) expressway in Oak Park.

After shooting here I was able to scurry over to Rosemont to catch the train on its last leg into O;Hare Terminal.

CTA did an excellent job on this trip.  Each car had a car host that passed out flyers explaining the history and significance of the cars.

Traditional car cards and signage were in evidence. And there were quite a few familiar (read IRM) faces about as well.  Announcements were made the old fashioned way, by a human being. I was very pleasantly surprised at how modern the cars appeared on the inside.  The ride was smooth and as quiet as a CTA L train can be, it was over all too quickly. Seems a shame to retire these cars but we all know mechanical parts age and at some point ongoing maintenance becomes a chore.

Good by old friends, now the only place to ride one of these Budd classics is at IRM.

One good thing about yesterday was that a new restaurant complex has been developed in Rosemont in the area where the stillborn casino was being constructed. One of those restaurants is modeled after the Hofbrauhaus in Munich.  So had to stop by and have a German Beer and Sausage, more in a restaurant review later.


David Wilkins said...

I like how they resurrected the "Air Conditioned" signage for the exterior.

Chris said...

It is disappointing that there will probably be no way to see a train of 2200s longer than the two cars IRM has ever again.