2000 series (Chicago "L")

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2000 series
19670906 01 CTA 2141 @ Laramie Ave.jpg
CTA 2141 at Laramie Ave
In service1964–1993
Built atPullman-Standard Plant, Chicago, Illinois
Family nameHigh Performance
Entered service1964
Number built180
Number preserved2
Number scrapped176
FormationMarried pair
Fleet numbers2001–2180
Capacity47 (seated-A car)
51 (seated-B car)
Operator(s)Chicago Transit Authority
Car body constructionAluminum
Car length48 feet (14.63 m)
Width9 feet 4 inches (2.84 m)
Height12 feet (3.66 m)
Doors4 per car
Maximum speed55 miles per hour (89 km/h)
Weight47,400 pounds (21,500 kg)
Traction motors4 GE1250K1 per car
Power output100 horsepower (75 kW) each motor
Electric system(s)600 V DC third rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The 2000 series was a series of Chicago "L" car built in 1964 by Pullman-Standard of Chicago, Illinois. 180 cars were built.

The 2000 series was the first of five series of Chicago "L" cars known as the High-Performance Family. Delivered to the CTA in 1964, they were built as married-pair sets, like the PCC-based 6000 series cars before them. The 2000 series, along with the High-Performance Family in general, were meant as both as a supplement for the 6000 series cars (which were built from discontinued PCC streetcar components) and a replacement for the rapidly aging 4000 series cars dating from the early 20th century. The CTA also needed a train car that would meet more modern demands for train service, such as higher speeds and more comfortable interiors.

The 2000-series' more modern control systems initially prevented them from being used in a train with other system types, until the delivery of the 2200-series and later cars in the High-Performance Family. These cars were the baselines of future CTA cars to come, equipped with a futuristic look and modern technology: they were also extremely reliable, averaging 50,000 miles a year on busy lines such as the Lake-Dan Ryan Line. The cars had a number of modern features for the time, including air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, large windows, and sculptured fiberglass front ends for the car bodies. The car bodies were mainly aluminum. The High-Performance Family of designs would last until 1994 when the 3200 series were built, however even 21st Century CTA cars, such as the 5000 series cars, are close relatives of the High Performance Design cars with improvements for technological advances.

However, the 2000-series cars would have the shortest service life of all the High-Performance Family cars. Over the decades, the completely new advances presented in the 2000 series cars for the time presented maintenance problems in the future; the aluminum bodies rusted quickly in the Chicago winters, while snow caused motors to short out and brakes to become non-functional (especially after the 1979 blizzard). The 2200 series cars, originally meant as complements to the 2000 series cars, were much more durable on the L's busier lines, while the 2000 trains were moved to the older lines with less frequency. The 2200's construction, with a flat sided stainless steel body, under-car air conditioning units (as opposed to the 2000s interior units), and more capable Budd Pioneer motors all contributed to the much longer lifespan of the 2200 over the 2000; the final blow came when the Green Line was finally closed for renovations, as the 2000 series were not considered capable enough for Red or Blue line service.

The last 2000-series cars were scrapped after their final service on the Green Line on December 17, 1993, ending with a total lifespan of 29 years. Two pairs of cars were preserved; pair 2153-2154 is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois, and pair 2007-2008 (renumbered to 1892-1992), which was used for the CTA's historic celebrations, remain stored at the Skokie Shops.


  • "2000-series Cars". Chicago-L.org. Retrieved 2010-05-01.