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Here Comes The Holiday Train! CTA Announces 2014 Schedule, New Holiday Bus

By Lisa White in News on Nov 21, 2014 9:35PM

(Santa heads for the loop by yooperann)

We're in the homestretch towards Thanksgiving, which means once we finish polishing off some turkey and stuffing, we anxiously wait to celebrate another tradition; the CTA Holiday Train! The train is back in service this year on Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving. This is the 23rd year for the annual Chicago tradition. Here are the dates on each rail line so you can start mapping out your festive trip:

Green Line: Nov. 28, 29 and Dec. 2
Brown/Orange Lines: Dec. 3 through Dec. 6
Pink Line: Dec. 9 and Dec. 10
Blue Line: Dec. 11, 12 and 13
Red Line: Dec. 16, Dec. 18 and Dec. 22
Purple Line Express: Dec. 17 and Dec. 19
Red/Purple Lines: Dec. 20
Yellow Line: Dec. 23

The CTA releases a more accurate timetable closer to the actual dates for each rail line, but on the day of you can use the CTA Train Tracker at rail stations or online to locate the Holiday Train, which will be indicated on the tracker by a candy cane.

Do you not get enough festive joy crammed in with other merry people, enjoying free candy canes and buttons while riding in the nicest smelling CTA car to ever exist? This year the CTA is debuting their Holiday Bus at the 23rd Annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 22.

The 60-foot bus features an exterior wrap with "Ralphie the Reindeer," complete with antlers and a ruby nose. The bus is adorned with both white and multi-colored lights, holiday-themed seating, artwork created by students from Mahalia Jackson Elementary, elves handing out candy canes on board and in the back of the bus is Santa's den, which features a cozy fireplace, Santa's armchair, toy soldiers, decorated trees and giant presents. The Holiday Bus will run on nine CTA bus routes around the city between Dec. 2 to Dec. 23 during regular service hours. You can head over to the CTA's Holiday Bus webpage to check the full schedule. Check out the sweet new ride below:

(The Holiday Bus. Photo: Courtesy of the CTA)