CTA holiday train, return bus after Thanksgiving

Santa’s sleigh will be gliding down rail lines when the Chicago Allstate Transit Authority’s holiday train returns Friday, the CTA announced.

The beloved and festive locomotive is back for its 31st year with the CTA Allstate Holiday Bus and Metra’s very own holiday train.

The train will begin its holiday service the day after Thanksgiving and will serve all eight CTA rail lines, the transit agency said. The six-car train will be decorated with festive scenes, festive LED signs and countless sparkling lights that outline the shape of the train and its windows.

“Santa and his reindeer will once again travel outside the train, moving from rail line to rail line to greet children and families,” the CTA wrote.

The train not only “brings joy and festive mood to thousands of riders,” the transport service reports on its website. It has also been used to deliver food to various charities across the city since its inception on the Blue Line in 1992. CTA employees donate time and money to put together food baskets, and about 600 baskets will be donated to Chicago community organizations this year. CTA said.

The CTA holiday bus, decorated with lights featuring “Ralph the Reindeer,” will travel on 16 routes. Inside, passengers will find a miniature village, holiday-themed lights and seating, according to the CTA.

“Best of all, the bus has Mr. Claus sitting on a sleigh on the roof ready to deliver the toys!” – wrote the transport service.

The transit service offered would-be riders instructions on how to take pictures: make sure you’re not late for the train when you take the picture, and wait for the bus to stop before taking a picture with Santa.

Chicagoans looking to commute on the holidays can find train and bus locations by looking for the candy icon on CTA trackers. Trains are tracked in and buses are tracked in

The full holiday train and bus schedule can be found on the CTA website at

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