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Rail News: Mechanical

CTA to solicit bids for new 7000 series rail cars


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has issued an invitation for bids to rail-car manufacturers to produce new cars as part of fleet modernization efforts, CTA President Forrest Claypool announced yesterday.

CTA is seeking manufacturers for a new generation of rail cars, the 7000 series, to complement the new 5000 series cars now being used on three CTA lines. The 7000 series bidders will submit exterior and interior design proposals.

In late 2011, the CTA nearly doubled its order for state-of-the-art rail cars, bringing the total order to 706 cars. About 190 of the 5000 series cars have arrived so far, with new cars arriving at a rate of one per weekday.

The 7000 series purchase will allow CTA to continue to replace its aging rail fleet — a departure from the past practice of waiting as long as 20 years between rail-car orders, agency officials said in a prepared statement. CTA officials anticipate the new 7000 series cars to start arriving shortly after the last 5000 series car is delivered.

"The CTA is continuing its aggressive plan of investment and modernization of the nation's second-largest mass transit system, benefiting our customers and the regional economy, which depends on a vibrant, modern transit system," said Claypool.

The 5000 series cars — which provide smoother rides, more space and amenities, and security cameras on every car — have been fully deployed on the Pink Line, and currently are being rolled out on the Red and Green lines. The cars gradually are replacing the CTA's 40-year-old 2200 series and 34-year-old 2400 series cars.