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Smooth-talking conductor

You rarely hear from train conductors these days since the advent of automated train announcements. So it's a pleasant surprise to hear from the occasional fun-talking conductor, such as the one I encountered on the Red Line on yesterday's commute home.

The train had been delayed and was very crowded. But instead of the usual "other trains are following immediately behind" announcement, he said: "You might wanna wait for the train right behind me if you don't wanna get squished."

Then, at Fullerton: "Take it easy guys. Don't run over anyone going out."

Train wedding
At Belmont, a useful announcement: "The Purple Line train is right behind the Brown Line train on the outside track." And 30 seconds later: "The Purple Line train is leaving Wellington now."

And as he glides the train north out of the Belmont station, a simple, yet elegant, "See ya later."

It's still a far cry from the conductor of the "Love Train" in the 1980s and '90s. Who remembers that guy?


There was a conductor last winter in Chicago that would recite poems.....he was usually on the northbound red line:
"Done with work, made that money,
Now time to go home and see your honey."
He could make the most pissed off person on that train smile.

I remember the love train - it would go past the stops and the conductor would make comments about the stops, "DePaul - the Blue Demons", "Bellllllllllllmont ..... fun city". I also remember riding the old Ravenswood (brown line) trains with the folding doors during this time. In the summer the doors between the cars would all be open, the windows would all be open with a great breeze. I remember the conductor saying after the Belmont stop, "now it's just the folks going home from work...it's the going home train."

Maybe this wasn't the same love train conductor, but he had a smooth baritone voice, somehow missing his calling at a "smooth jazz" station. Little comments about the stops, telling people to be good to one another, etc. Around about 4 or 5 years ago.

He was the first thing I thought about when the CTA transferred over to the automated voice.

On rainy nights, he told people not to forget their umbrellas. It was a nice moment to see someone turn back around after he'd said that, grabbing their umbrella from beneath their vacated seat, smiling and shaking their head.

Yeah I remember when that guy lost his job to a machine. I think he was on the purple line by then. What a shame.

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