One of Chicago’s most cherished Christmas events is about to return! Santa’s holiday train trip around Chicago is always one of the most eagerly anticipated activities providing affordable fun for Chicoangs all over the city. The Chicago Transit Authority’s train and bus are decorated inside and out with festive decorations and thousands of lights to make them glow as they glide and glimmer around Chicago.
Now in its 31st year of operation, the Allstate CTA Holiday Train and the Allstate CTA Holiday Bus again began lighting up Chicago on Friday, November 25th.
While in years gone by passengers were serenaded by the jolly elves and invited on board, the CTA Holiday Train was “out of service” in 2020 in order to keep the event socially distanced. Santa and his elves still showed up all across Chicago greeting onlookers from afar but it reminded all of what we were missing out on.
Last year the train returned with a mandatory face mask policy no matter age or vaccination status and a passenger limit sometimes not stopping to pick up additional riders if it was too crowded.
Having started on families can this year ride the holiday train like days of old and wave at Santa and his reindeer as he whizzes around all 8 lines in his open-air sleigh through Tuesday, December 20th.
Dating back to 1992, the holiday fleet’s original purpose was to deliver food to various charities. A “Season’s Greetings from the CTA” sign was placed on the front of an out-of-service train taking food to various charitable agencies on the Blue Line and it set about a holiday tradition that would evolve and evolve over the next 30 years.
The train will of course this year continue its decades-old tradition of donating food baskets to local community organizations throughout the city while it whizzes around Chicagoland simultaneously delivering “joy and the holiday spirit to thousands of riders”.
Below is a breakdown of information taken from the Chicago Transit Authority website:
2022 CTA Holiday Train Schedule
- November 25: Green Line
- November 26: Green Line
- November 27: Green Line
- November 30: Orange Line & Brown Line
- December 1: Orange Line & Brown Line
- December 2: Orange Line & Brown Line
- December 3: Orange Line & Brown Line
- December 6: Red Line
- December 7: Purple Line
- December 8: Red Line
- December 9: Purple Line
- December 10: Red Line
- December 13: Pink Line
- December 14: Pink Line
- December 15: Blue Line
– O’Hare to Forest Park at 3:13
– Forest Park to O’Hare at 4:57
- December 16: Blue Line
– O’Hare to Forest Park at 4:13
– Forest Park to O’Hare at 6:02
- December 17: Blue Line
– O’Hare to Forest Park at 4:12
– Forest Park to O’Hare at 5:24
- December 20: Yellow Line
All trains on Yellow Line will be 2-car Holiday Trains for service departing:
– Howard from 3:08 until 6:53
– Dempster-Skokie from 3:22 until 7:07
2022 CTA Holiday Bus Schedule
- November 29 and 30: #56 Milwaukee
- December 1: #91 Austin / #92 Foster
- December 2: #22 Clark
- December 3: #22 Clark / #97 Skokie
- December 6: #74 Fullerton
- December 7-8: #66 Chicago
- December 9: #126 Jackson
- December 10: #12 Roosevelt
- December 13: #62 Archer
- December 14-15: #49 Western / #X49 Western Express
- December 16-17: #3 King Drive
- December 20: #79 79th
- December 21: #28 Stony Island
- December 22: #29 State
- December 23: #J14 Jeffery Jump