2600 series (Chicago 'L')

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2600 series
Purple Line express train.jpg
Rehabbed 2600 series cars on the Purple Line Express
In service 1981–present
Manufacturer Budd Company
Built at Red Lion Plant, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Family name High Performance
Constructed 1981–1987
Entered service 1981
Refurbishment 1999–2002
Number built 600
Number in service 565
Number scrapped 5
Formation Married pair
Fleet numbers 2601–3200
3458 (renumbered from 3032)
Capacity 45 (seated-A car)
46 (seated-B car)
Operator Chicago Transit Authority
Depot(s) Desplaines Yard
Kimball Yard (3458 only)
Rosemont Yard
Linden Yard
Midway Yard
Howard Yard
98th Street Yard
Line(s) served      Blue Line
     Purple Line
     Orange Line
     Red Line
     Brown Line (3458 only)
Car body construction Stainless steel
Car length 48 feet (14.63 m)
Width 9 feet 4 inches (2.84 m)
Height 12 feet (3.66 m)
Doors 4 per car
Maximum speed 55 miles per hour (89 km/h)
Weight 54,140 pounds (24,560 kg)
Traction motors 4 GE1262A1 per car
Power output 110 horsepower (82 kW) each motor
Electric system(s) 600 V DC third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The 2600 series is a series of Chicago 'L' car built between 1981 and 1987 by the Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 600 cars were built, 565 of them remain in service as of 2014.

The 2600 series was the fourth series of five interoperable series of Chicago 'L' cars known as the High Performance Family.

The 2600 series cars (numbered 2601–3200) were manufactured by the Budd Company, the same company that made the 2200 series. The cars were first delivered to the CTA in 1981, in time for the upcoming O'Hare Airport extension of the Kennedy Line (now known as the northwestern end of the Blue Line). Originally, an order was made for 300 cars, but this order was later increased to 600 cars, all of which were delivered between 1981 and 1987.

With 565 active cars, the series is by far the most abundant in the 'L' rolling stock. They were refurbished by Alstom of Hornell, New York, between 1999 and 2002. They are quite similar in design to the earlier 2400 series.

Currently, these cars make up the entire Blue Line fleet and parts of the Red, Orange, and Purple Line fleets. Car 3458 can be found on the Brown Line. In June 2014, as more 5000-series cars were being delivered, CTA began to transfer the Red and Purple Lines' 2600-series cars over to the Blue Line due to them being newer than the existing 2600-series Blue Line cars, in turn transferring the Blue Line's older 2600-series cars to the Orange Line as an interim replacement for its 2400-series cars until the Red and Purple Lines are fully equipped with 5000-series cars. Beginning in October 2014, CTA has also started to transfer some of the Red Line's 2600-series cars directly to the Orange Line to replace the rest of its 2400-series cars in the interim until the Red and Purple Lines are fully equipped with 5000-series cars.

Budd/Transit America had completed car 3200 on April 3, 1987.[1] Car 3200 was not only the final car of the 2600-series order, but was the final railcar to be constructed by Budd/Transit America. Once the order was completed, Budd shut down its railcar business.


2600-series cars as-built at the Cicero-Berwyn Terminal on July 17, 1994