The Allstate CTA Holiday Train began making its month-long trek across Chicago on Friday, Nov. 29, with stops on the Green Line. Accompanying the holiday train on Saturdays will be the Elves’ Workshop Train, a six-car train that follows the Holiday Train.
The Holiday Train generally operates from 3 to 7 p.m. on select weekdays (schedules for each rail line will vary) and will make stops at all stations along the respective routes. Every Saturday, from about 1 to 8 p.m., the Holiday Train also will be in service.
West Siders hoping to ride the Holiday Train can also catch in on the Green Line on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Blue Line riders will get to see the Holiday Train from Thursday, Dec. 12 through Saturday, Dec. 14.
For other times to ride the Holiday train beyond its stops in Austin, click here.
The Holiday Train began on the Blue Line in 1992 when a “Season’s Greetings from the CTA” sign was placed on the front of an out-of-service train used to deliver food to various charities. Over the years, this holiday tradition has evolved from its modest and humble beginnings to a more decked-out site.
Today, as the train pulls into each station, Santa waves to the boarding riders from his sleigh on an open-air flatcar carrying his reindeer and decorated holiday trees.
Both trains are wrapped with holiday and seasonal images. Thousands of twinkling lights outline the shape of the train and windows, with more lights running across the tops of the cars.
Strands of multi-colored lights are strung inside the two trains along with red bows, garland, red and green overhead lighting and hand poles wrapped to look like candy canes. Santa’s elves greet riders with plenty of candy canes for good boys and girls.