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CTA holiday train, bus set to start spreading good cheer

Santa, his elves and “Ralphie the Reindeer” will carry season’s greetings to the city as the annual holiday fleet gets rolling Thanksgiving week.

The Allstate CTA Holiday Train will be on its merry way starting Friday, Nov. 29.
The Allstate CTA Holiday Train will be on its merry way starting Friday, Nov. 29.
Joel Lerner/Sun-Times Media file photo

The Chicago Transit Authority announced the return of its annual CTA holiday fleet, starting the week of Thanksgiving and spreading good cheer throughout the holiday season.

The Allstate CTA Holiday Train will be on its merry way starting Friday, Nov. 29. Commuters can expect a festive, six-car train filled with holiday scenes, lights and Santa following along on all CTA rail lines.

Then the Allstate CTA Elves Workshop train — first introduced to the Holiday Fleet in 2016, its halls decked with winter scenes as elves onboard share candy canes with riders — will follow right behind the holiday train.

The Allstate CTA Holiday Bus will make its debut Saturday in the annual Magnificent Mile Tree-Lighting Parade before it hits the streets Tuesday on 15 different bus routes throughout Chicago.

“Ralphie the Reindeer” — and his bright green nose — will light the way around town on the exterior of the bus.

In addition to festive artwork by students at Perkins Bass Elementary School, the inside of the bus will feature a mini-village, lights, holiday-themed seating and Santa and his sleigh.

Commuters can find the location and route of the holiday train using CTA Train Tracker and the holiday bus by using the CTA Holiday Bus Tracker.

The trains and the bus will make all stops along their scheduled routes, and normal CTA fares apply.


Green Line & Orange Line: Friday, Nov. 29

Green Line: Saturday, Nov. 30

Green Line & Orange Line: Tuesday, Dec. 3

Orange Line & Brown Line: Wednesday, Dec. 4

Orange Line & Brown Line: Thursday, Dec. 5

Orange Line & Brown Line: Friday, Dec. 6

Orange Line & Brown Line: Saturday, Dec. 7

Pink Line: Tuesday, Dec. 10

Pink Line: Wednesday, Dec. 11

Blue Line: Thursday, Dec. 12

Blue Line: Friday, Dec. 13

Blue Line (+ photo-only stop on Pink Line): Saturday, Dec. 14

Red Line: Tuesday, Dec. 17

Purple Line: Wednesday, Dec. 18

Red Line: Thursday, Dec. 19

Purple Line: Friday, Dec 20

Red Line & Purple Line: Saturday, Dec. 21

Yellow Line: Monday, Dec. 23

A detailed schedule of the entire CTA Holiday Fleet is also available on CTA’s website.