Yesterday I made it my personal mission to ride the CTA Holiday Train. Basically, it's this train that is totally tricked out and only used for a few rides during the holidays. It was making a round trip run during the afternoon rush yesterday. I looked up the schedule and made sure I was in the right place.
I mention that the train was tricked out but I must explain further. Imagine if the TV show Pimp My Ride got ahold of a train with one mission and one mission only: to make it crazy with Christmas. This thing is floor to ceiling INSANE! The poles are wrapped like candy canes! The seats are not upholstered in regular CTA blah, rather in Christmas fabrics! The ceiling is lit in red and green! There is an entire car replaced by a flatbed that Santa rides on (and mind you, it was 34 degrees at the time yesterday meaning that the precipitation we were getting was a fantastic mix of rain, sleet and snow) out in the elements (on the line we were on, there are about 10 subway stops going through downtown so I guess dear Santa gets a small reprieve)! They have people coming through handing out candy canes! The thing was full of kids having a total blast!
It was pretty darn cool. Although, I must tell you that I more enjoy accidentally seeing it go by or at a stop that when I'm not prepared for it. The sight of all the lights, music and general hoopla is enough to warm my soul when I come across it unexpectedly. When I looked up the schedule and chased it down, I think I lost a little bit of that feeling. And no matter how awesome the inside of the cars looks, it's nothing compared to the sight of that beast from the outside...
Holy lights, CTA! And that is just part of one out of seven cars (and don't forget the flatbed trailer with Santa). It's like a mini-parade in the middle of the commute.
Heading away from us in the tunnel... off to make some other people smile!