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Photos: The CTA Has A Sweet Fleet Of Vintage Railcars And Buses

By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 7, 2016 7:04PM

Not-really-breaking news: The Chicago Transit Authority is old. The CTA has been around since 1947, and public transit has been a mainstay of life Chicago life since the late 1850s, when the CTA reports that the city got its first horse-drawn streetcar service. (It ran/trotted south from downtown on State Street.)

Though the public transit we use today is pretty modern—I mean, look how much Ventra impressed this guy from Seattle!—the CTA also wants to honor its roots. As of this year, it's doing so with a "heritage fleet" of vintage railcars and buses, some of which date back to the 1920s. These old school transit artifacts, kept in working order by volunteers, can be busted out for private charters and special events—though it's unclear when they'll make their debut.

The fleet currently consists of the following, all pictured above:

* Two 4000-series rail cars from 1923. These have their 1940's-era orange-and-brown paint scheme, and are outfitted with reproduced advertisements from the era.

* An eight-car train of 2400-series rail cars from the late 1970s. Their red, white and blue exterior markings have been restored.

* Three buses from the 1960s.

And if you're confused about why this exists when the city is too cash-strapped to pay its pensions, don't worry. It's funded by the CTA gift shop (home to sick accessories such as map socks) and private charters (perhaps the secret behind Chance the Rapper's "Angels" video?).