The Chicago Transit Authority is getting into the holiday spirit with its popular holiday train. It’s the closest thing you can get around here to the Polar Express.
The spectacular train is an amazing sight – during the daytime and at night. The outside of the six-car train is adorned with holiday seasonal images. Thousands of twinkling lights outline the train and windows, and even more lights run across the tops of the cars.
Chicago Tribune columnist Barbara Brotman described the sight:
“It’s as if a bunch of CTA maintenance people got seriously into the eggnog, sneaked into a storage barn and went wild.
The cars are thoroughly festooned with lights, snowflakes and CTA-themed holiday scenes like a bus stop for the No. 12/North Pole.
Where the front car would normally display, in this case, a green sign reading ‘Harlem,’ there is a red and green sign reading ‘Santa’s Express.’”
Interiors of the cars are decked out with thousands of multi-colored lights, red bows, garland, and red and green overhead lighting. The hand poles are wrapped to look like candy canes.
As the train pulls into each station, Santa waves to the boarding passengers from his sleigh on an open-air flatcar carrying his reindeer. Santa and his elves ride the train passing out candy canes and season’s greetings.
The Holiday Train travels all CTA rail lines in November and December as part of regular rail service. Normal CTA fares apply.
The train generally operates from about 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on select weekdays and will make stops at all stations along the respective routes.