L trains, subway, metro

- CTA, Loop trains

Chicago has an extensive subway system with many lines, operated by CTA (Chicago Transit Authority). What differs from many cities though, is that in downtown, the part called the Loop, the trains from most lines go high above ground instead of underneath it, adding a special character to the city. The elevated lines make it also possible to actually see things from the trains. These kind of trains are called "L trains" (Loop trains, or elevated trains). Some lines provide 24 hour service. It has about 750 000 passengers on a week day. The trains are, just like in New York, extremely old fashioned, especially compared to metro trains in China and many European cities. Each time the train stop it is shaking and screaming. The first L train, a steam locomotive with four coaches, begun service in 1892. It is a bit charming with the old stations that still remians in vintage style, like Quincy station that is the closest station to Sears Tower. In 2016 there was a flat fare of only $2.25 for ride, even as far as to O'Hare Airport, but we bought 3 day cards.

There are also buses in Chicago (operated by CTA), with pretty good connections for an American city, much better then for example New York and LA. They are white with red and blue stripes. Many of them are air hybrid buses. Metra trains are the double decked trains that trafficates longer distances.

One night there was a huge thunderstorm while we were in Grant Park, we had to flee into a cab. About one month later I read about a new thunderstorm, where a L train bridge collapsed, leaving dangerour burning circuits on the track. During our visit we also read about a guy who stabbed his girlfriend to death on the red line, in front of freightened passengers! With multiple witnesses to the crime, it's obvious that guy won't have a chance in court. There won't be a criminal defense lawyer Cincinnati or in Chicago that will be able to acquit him of the serious charges.
Every day we took the L train from the Fullerton station in Lincoln Park to different stations in the Loop, a journey about 30 minutes long. It takes more then one hour to get to O'Hare Airport, since it is very far away. The first day, we took the brown line to Fullerton from O'Hare, but it didn't stop! It just continued to ride one more station, and we had to get back one station. A guy told there are A and B stations, and it sometimes doesn't stop at some of them to speed up the line, a really idiotic system for travellers who just arrived in Chicago, especially since some stations can be quite dangerous to visit (it sometimes takes just one station to differ a good from a bad neighbourhood). When going back to the airport the last day, the brown line suddenly changed to pink line, so we had to go back a couple of stations and change, also crazy!
During our visit we had to get off at some Loop stations and walk several blocks, since they were shut down for renovation. With all that sad, it is still one of the coolest public transportations in the world!

Loop trains 01 - Fullerton, our nearest subway station Loop trains 02 - North of downtown seen from the train Loop trains 03 - Loop skyline Loop trains 04 Loop trains 05 Loop trains 06 - Chicago river skyline Loop trains 07 - Chicago river skyline Loop trains 08 Loop trains 09 - Quincy, a station in vintage style near Sears Tower Loop trains 10 -Quincy, a station in vintage style near Sears Tower Loop trains 11 - Quincy station Loop trains 12  - Quincy station Loop trains 13 Loop trains 14 - trains are very old Loop trains 15 - Fullerton station Loop trains 16 - Quincy station Loop trains 17 - Quincy station Loop trains 18  - Quincy station Loop trains 19 - red line towards Howard Loop trains 21 Loop trains 22 Loop trains 23 Loop trains 24 Loop trains 25 Loop trains 26 - Magnificent Mile skyline Loop trains 27 Loop trains 28 Loop trains 29 - Cadillac Palace Loop trains 30 Loop trains 31 - Franklin Center, Chicago's 5th tallest building (307m, 60 floors, 1989) Loop trains 32 - high above the ground Loop trains 33 - Jackson Blvd Loop trains 34 - Jackson Blvd Metra train