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CTA Car 6719—From Scrap to History
 

As dawn broke on a cold winter day in January of 2003, a 44-year-old Chicago Transit Authority rapid-transit train car slowly made its way into the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

This is 6719’s story, from its delivery to the Chicago Transit Authority on July 22, 1959, to its last ride on January 7, 2003.

1959: CTA Car 6719 Arrives in Chicago

“Start Delivery on 100 New Rapid Transit Cars”, in CTA Transit News, April 1959
“Start Delivery on 100 New Rapid Transit Cars”, in CTA Transit News, April 1959

“CTA on March 24 received the first two new rapid transit cars on an order for 100 light-weight, all-metal cars which was placed in March, 1958. The balance of the 100 rapid transit cars, purchased from the St. Louis Car Company, St. Louis, Missouri, for $5,150,5000, will be delivered at the rate of five per week until all cars are received. By using some parts from its “Green Hornet” streetcars, CTA is saving approximately $2,000,000 as compared with the cost of rapid transit cars built from all new components.”

From “Start Delivery on 100 New Rapid Transit Cars”, in CTA Transit News, April 1959

The Chicago Transit Authority modernized its fleet of rapid transit “L” cars throughout the 1950s with the staggered delivery of over 700 new railcars.

Chicago Transit Authority Car 6719 is delivered to the CTA on July 22, 1959
Chicago Transit Authority Car 6719 is delivered to the CTA on July 22, 1959

Car 6719 was one of the last of over 700 steel-and-aluminum-bodied 6000-series rapid-transit train cars built by the St. Louis Car Company for the Chicago Transit Authority throughout the 1950s. When new, the car featured a colorful Croydon Cream, Swamp Holly Orange, and Colorado Spruce Green exterior paint scheme.

CTA car 6719 in its Alpine Green and White paint scheme, at Congress Parkway and Paulina Street, 1975
CTA car 6719 in its Alpine Green and White paint scheme, at Congress Parkway and Paulina Street, 1975
 
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