2200 series (CTA)

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2200 series
CTA 2346.jpg
Retired 2200-series car 2346 in the Harlem Yard on August 24, 2013
In service 1969–2013
Manufacturer Budd Company
Built at Red Lion Plant, Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Family name High Performance
Constructed 1969–1970
Entered service 1969
Refurbishment 1990–1992
Scrapped 2011–2014
Number built 150
Number preserved 5
Number scrapped 139
Formation Married pair
Fleet numbers 2201–2350
2351 (renumbered from 2307)
2352 (renumbered from 2316)
Capacity 42 (seated-A car)
46 (seated-B car)
Operator(s) Chicago Transit Authority
Car body construction Stainless steel with fiberglass end window and headlight masks
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 47,400 pounds (21,500 kg)
Traction motors (?)
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 2200 series was a series of Chicago "L" cars built in 1969 and 1970 by the Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 150 cars were built. The last 8 2200-series cars were retired from service after their ceremonial last trips on the Blue Line on August 8, 2013. These cars were in service for 44 years. All cars were scrapped by October 2015.

The 2200 series was the second of five series of Chicago "L" cars known as the High Performance Family.

These cars were used for the Lake/Dan Ryan and West-Northwest routes.


In 1967, the City of Chicago began construction on two rapid transit projects, both in the median of two expressways, the Dan Ryan and the Kennedy. These two projects needed an order of new rail cars to supple the existing fleet, and the City of Chicago ordered 150 new rail cars from the Budd Company for the two projects. The city retained two important consultants on the projects, the Chicago Transit Authority (who would operate the cars) and the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), which was heavily involved in the architectural work of the new stations. The new cars were designed to complement the modernist approach that SOM was taking to the design of the new stations, and featured unpainted fluted sides, a first for the CTA that would later become the standard for its rail fleet.


The 2200-series cars (numbered 2201–2350) were manufactured by the Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and first delivered to the CTA in 1969, before the Dan Ryan branch (now known as the south end of the Red Line) opened. 150 cars were ordered, and all delivered in 1969 and 1970. In the 2000s, they were the only "L" cars to still feature the blinker door configuration, in which the doors to the train open inward into the car rather than slide horizontally. These doors, which had a much narrower opening than sliding doors, were unable to accommodate a wheelchair. Because of this, all 2200-series cars that ran in regular service on the Blue Line had to be coupled with a married pair of 2600-series cars in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In addition, during eight car operation on the Blue Line, the 2200-series cars were usually referred to as belly car service (which means that they were not at either end of the train), with 2600-series cars on the ends of the train.

The 2200-series also featured fluted, unpainted stainless steel sides, a unique feature in the rolling stock until the delivery of the 3200-series.

Cars 2244 and 2243 at the Illinois Railway Museum in July 2014

Cars 2307 and 2316 were renumbered 2351 and 2352; 2351 was originally numbered 2307 and repaired after its mate 2308 was damaged in an accident at Addison station in 1976; 2352 was renumbered from 2316 and paired with 2351 after 2315 was damaged in a fire in the Skokie Shops yard in November 1977.

Cars 2289 and 2290 were damaged in the 1977 Chicago Loop derailment on February 4, 1977. After the derailment cars 2289 and 2290 were later retired and scrapped.

The cars were rebuilt by the New York Rail Car Corporation of Brooklyn, New York, from 1990 until 1992, to extend their service life.

Retirement of the 2200-series cars began in October 2010 and was completed in August 2013. The cars were scrapped from 2012 to August 2014. However, cars 2273-2274 remained on CTA property at the 61st St Yard until October 2015.

The last eight 2200-series cars were retired from service after their ceremonial last trips on the Blue Line on August 8, 2013. The farewell tour of the 2200-series cars took place on a 6-car private charter ran by Eric Zabelny on August 25, 2013 which toured most of the CTA system.

After retirement, several cars were preserved. Preserved cars include:

Cars 2231, 2232, and 2275 are reportedly being used by the US government in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin for training purposes.[3] Car 2318 was reportedly sold to UNICOR. Additionally, cars 2258 and 2320 were used as movie props.[4] It is unknown if these cars are still being used for these purposes.