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Sidetracks

Sidetracks

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The History of the 'L'

The ‘L’ has been winding its way through the city for more than a century. Learn about the history of the system, which dates back to 1892.

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Photo Gallery: The Art of the 'L'

Explore a photo gallery of the murals, paintings, and architecture featured at stops all over the ‘L’ system.

Dog in CTA bus costume

Meet the CTA's Biggest Fans

From tattoos to costumed dogs, the CTA’s biggest fans express their love of transit in different ways.

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The Brains Behind the CTA's Twitter Account

Jace Ross and Tony Coppoletta manage the CTA’s Twitter account, which involves handling complaints and compliments – and the occasional turtle in a bowl.

Vintage CTA map circa 1913

How the CTA Map Got Its Colors

The CTA’s ‘L’ lines weren’t always known by their colors. Discover the history of the maps that guide commuters every day.

Vintage 'heritage' L train

Travel Back in Time on This 1920s-Era 'L' Train

Hop on an ‘L’ car that dates back to 1923 and learn what it would have been like to ride the rails back then.

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Neighborhoods and Community Areas and Wards? Oh My!

Chicago is sometimes called a “city of neighborhoods.” But what about community areas and wards? Here are the three ways the city is divided up.

Train tracks running through the backyard of a home

What It's Like to Live Inches from the 'L'

The train rumbles past the windows, porches, and yards of many Chicagoans. Meet one man who sees his proximity to the tracks as a good thing.

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All Aboard Chicago's Holiday Train

Take a ride on the CTA’s annual Holiday Train, a tradition that dates back to 1992. The train features 62,000 lights and has one very famous passenger.

Logan Square street

City Working on First Plan to Promote Growth, Avoid Gentrification Near South and West Side Train Stations

Transit can change neighborhoods. One policy plan is looking for ways to combat the gentrification that sometimes comes to neighborhoods with access to transit.

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Inside the CTA's Biggest Body Shop for Trains

Go behind the scenes at the Skokie Heavy Maintenance Facility, where ‘L’ trains go for their tune-ups and sometimes go through total overhauls.

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The Future of the 'L'

Almost every regular CTA rider has some ideas to improve the system, but what’s in the pipeline (or subway tunnel) for the future of the CTA?