This 12"x12" 3D map of the Chicago CTA train lines is the perfect gift for you or any Chicago-lover in your life. Available in black and white backgrounds. See photos for options.
Chicago’s elevated train system began at the World’s Fair: Columbian Exposition in 1893, hosted in Chicago’s own Jackson Park. Among the technological wonders constructed for the event was an exhibit named the “Intramural Rail” which demonstrated the power of electric traction motors in passenger train transportation. By 1895, Chicago had two train lines using this technology in operation, the Lake Street Elevated and Metropolitan West Side Elevated, capable of transporting passengers between neighborhoods such as Douglas Park, Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square. These train systems were united by the Chicago Rapid Transit Company and continued to expand over the next fifty years.
In 1945, the Chicago Transit Authority was voted into existence by an act of the General Assembly of Illinois; however, it wasn’t until the purchase and merger of the Chicago Rapid Transit Company and Chicago Surface Lines in 1947 that the CTA was officially incorporated. In 1952 additional resources were acquired from the Chicago Motorcoach Company, completing a fleet of seven-hundred electric trolley cars in addition to its railways and creating the most expansive public transit system in America. By the 1960's, the CTA began to phase out trolley cars and modernize, splitting its services between its electric train-cars and diesel-burning buses.
Today, the CTA operates 1,800 buses and eight color-coded train lines. The train lines, nicknamed the “L” due to its elevated tracks and stations, services 145 stations over 224 miles of steel railways. The “L” is the third busiest rail mass transit system in America; each day the train system makes 2,145 full trips and provides an estimated 760,000 rides to Chicago natives and visitors alike.