3200 series (Chicago "L")

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from 3200 series (Chicago 'L'))
Jump to: navigation, search
3200 series
Chicago Transit Authority Brown Line train.jpg
Unrehabbed 3200-series cars on the Brown Line.
In service 1992–present
Manufacturer Morrison-Knudsen
Built at Morrison-Knudsen Plant, Hornell, New York
Family name High Performance
Constructed 1992–1994
Entered service 1992
Refurbishment 2015–2017
Number built 257
Number in service 253
Number scrapped 4
Formation Married pair
Fleet numbers 3201–3457
Capacity 39 seated
Operator(s) Chicago Transit Authority
Depot(s) Kimball Yard
Midway Yard
Line(s) served      Orange Line - 66 cars
     Brown Line - 187 cars
Car body construction Stainless steel with fiberglass end bonnets
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 54,290 pounds (24,630 kg)
Traction motors 4 GE1262A4 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 3200 series (numbered 3201–3457) is a series of Chicago "L" car built between 1992 and 1994 by Morrison-Knudsen of Hornell, New York. 257 cars were built. As of 2017, 253 of them remain in service. The bodyshells of these cars were built by Mafersa, of Brazil, as a subcontractor to Morrison-Knudsen.[1]

The 3200 series was the last of five series of Chicago "L" cars known as the High Performance Family and the last railcars ordered for the Chicago Transit Authority that use direct current motors. Future train orders are using alternating current motors.

The original order for 256 cars was used for the opening of the Orange Line, which needed new cars when it opened in October 1993.[2] The order was completed in 1994.[3] The 3200-series contains many innovations over the previous 2600-series, including solid state computerized (microprocessor) control for much of the cab functions and traction system. Diagnostics are also easier to perform on this series than on previous series. In addition, fluted steel siding is included on these cars for the first time since the 2200-series, in order to reduce graffiti. The series also introduced hopper windows for use in case of air conditioner failure.[3]

Cars 3441-3456 were originally equipped with pantographs for use on the Yellow Line, which was powered by overhead lines until 2004. The pantographs on 3451-3456 were removed in the late 1990s when they were reassigned to supplement the Brown Line, while the rest lost their pantographs when the Yellow Line was converted to third rail power in 2004.[3]

Car 3457 was an additional car built for the purpose of serving as a mate to the 2600-series car 3032, after its mate 3031 had been damaged from a derailment at Wilson station on March 15, 1988. 3032 was renumbered 3458. The pair currently runs on the Orange Line,[4] which is currently equipped with both 2600- and 3200-series cars.

The 3200-series cars are currently all assigned to the Orange and Brown Lines. At various points during their service life a small number were also assigned to the Yellow and Purple Lines.

Mid-Life overhaul[edit]

In May 2014, two trainsets (one on the Brown Line and one on the Orange Line) were retrofitted with LED destination signs similar to those on the 5000-series cars as a project for a mid-life overhaul for the cars. The overhaul plans were approved on August 14, 2014.[5] In addition to new LED destination signs, new air conditioning systems are being installed, and the propulsion systems, passenger door motors, and wheel and axle assemblies are being rebuilt. The 3200 series rehabilitation began in 2015 and will be completed in 2017. In Summer 2015, rehabbed Brown Line cars began appearing in service.


The 3200-series cars currently in service will be replaced by the future 7000-series cars in the 2020s if all options are picked up. If all options are not picked up, then the 3200-series cars will remain in service longer until the 2030s.


  1. ^ Bushell, Chris (Ed.) (1991). Jane's Urban Transport Systems 1991, p. 409. Coulsdon, Surrey (UK): Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0951-5.
  2. ^ "CTA Selects Manufacturer for New Rail Cars". Chicago Transit Authority. 2006-05-10. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  3. ^ a b c "3200-series Cars". Chicago-L.org. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  4. ^ "Frequently asked questions #4.4". Chicago-L.org. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  5. ^ "CTA Prepares to Overhaul Its 3200-Series Rail Cars in 2015". Mass Transit Magazine. August 14, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014. 

External links[edit]