In the mid-1940s, Chicago's public transit system was in a dismal state, with much of its equipment dating back to the turn of the century. In April 1945, the Chicago Transit Authority was created as a government agency to take over and run all the privately owned elevated ("L") and streetcar operations. One of the CTA's first acts was to order 130 new 6000-series cars to replace older equipment. Eventually the 6000-series grew to 720 cars delivered from 1950-1959, the largest series of cars ever built for the CTA and, for many, the classic symbol of Chicago's "L."
The 6000's were the first large series of "L" cars with a feature borrowed from the North Shore's Electroliners: curved sides that were narrow at the floor to accommodate existing "L" platforms and 8" wider at the window line to give passengers more room. The 6000's also borrowed much of their electrical technology from the PCC streetcar design of the late 1930s. And beginning with car 6201, they borrowed a whole lot more. The CTA had realized that its fleet of nearly-new PCC cars had been made superfluous by the automobile and new bus routes. So, beginning in 1953, it sent 520 "Green Hornet" streetcars to the St. Louis Car Co., where their trucks, motors, electrical equipment, window frames, and other parts were recycled into new 6000-series cars.
This quintessential Chicago "L" car returns to the RailKing lineup in 2018, offered in the final version of the classic Mercury Green, Swamp Holly Orange, and Croydon Cream paint scheme, introduced in 1955, as well as the red, white, and blue Bicentennial scheme. Like all M.T.H. transit cars, this model features Station Stop Proto-Effects, allowing you to program the train to stop automatically at designated station stops and announce authentic Chicago station names.
For more information on the 6000-series cars and the entire Chicago "L" system, visit www.Chicago-L.org