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Ten things to know about Chicago transit

In case you missed it last month, the Tribune published "Ten things you might not know about Chicago transit." It's mildly entertaining, including this nugget at No. 10:

"Hollywood loves the CTA, but doesn't understand it. The Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) lists some of the fi lm goofs: "The Fugitive" (1993) features a Balbo "L" stop, which doesn't exist. In "High Fidelity" (2000), the character played by John Cusack takes a Purple Line express to the Loop that goes underground, something the Purple Line doesn't do. "Risky Business" (1983), featuring the famed sex scene on an "L" car, depicts a single-car train on an underground route, which the CTA did not operate at that time."


#1) It Sucks.

"...takes a Purple Line express to the Loop that goes underground, something the Purple Line doesn't do."

Not yet. The movie may be about 10-15 years early as the next conceptual phase of the Circle Line calls for the Purple line to run South through the State street subway, then SW along the orange, then North through a new Cermak/Blue Island stop and ending at a new United Center stop along the Pink Line.

I haven't watched 'ER' in years, but they always used the Brown/Purple line stop at Chicago Avenue any time anyone got on/got off a train. I remember more than once seeing a character walk up the steps that were next to 'County' and stand on the Chicago platform, get on the train, get off at Chicago and walk down and into their neighborhood to walk home.

I work in the building Bob Newhart worked in, and I've always been impressed by the path he took from Michigan Ave. to (what looks like) the Quincy Brown Line station to get to his home near Thorndale & Sheridan. I'm still working it out, but I think he may have doubled back once or twice.

Hi Bob S:
Newhart got off at the now gone Isabella St. station in Evanston then walked to his condo at Thorndale Beach. About a 7 mile walk.

Another one is the constant addition of sound effects to the L.
Specifically air brakes, which the L doesn't have!

and of course, the matrix, which references the same "State and Balboa" stop (despite not being explicitly chicago). I had suburban friends who were convince that there was a stop there after that one came out.

lets not forget the scene in a prison break episode where they go use the red line, except it must have been in a another city. why bother putting signs up that make it seem like the cta red line if the people outside of chicago who haven't been on the cta wouldn't know the difference anyway, and anyone who _has_ been on the cta is not easily fooled by a sign.
as great as a show as it was, it had some lousy filming locations. you think a company like fox could afford to fly their staff to chicago to film...

does anyone know if the company that makes CTA cars works in any other cities?


Actually, some train cars DID have air brakes, like the 6000-series cars IIRC. If you listen to some sound clips on chicago-l.org, you can hear the brakes.

The movie called "on the Line' was film in Chicago and they used Adams/Wabash but I did not know red line 2931-32 and 2927-28 ran on "L" and used a brown line "Loop" sign on the last two cars.

Also in "High Fidelity," John Cusack rides the el to his record shop (at the corner of Honore and Milwaukee). He probably gets off at Damen, then for some reasons circles around down Wicker Park Ave. so he can walk under the tracks to get back to Milwaukee.

On "er," more recently they've been using the Library/Van Buren stop. In one episode a couple of years ago, a couple of characters rode the Loop in such a way that that they passed the parking garage on Lake every 15 seconds or so. But then, simply tracking the shifting location of their version of Cook County Hospital could take decades.

Neal, there aren't any sounds of CTA air brakes on chicago-l.org, under the miscellaneous sounds category, because 6000 series trains never had air brakes!
They had rheostatic dynamic braking with a friction brake then bring the train to a full stop.

Don't forget about Chuck Norris in Code of Silence(1985) He starts off in a fight on the Elevated lines (brown?) and then climbs on top of the train.

More errors

Plains, trains, & automobiles - Steve martin catches the Evanston Express (purple) line downtown on Thanksgiving (it doesn't run on holidays). and then the train backs up to pick up John Candy.

Running Scared - car on tracks scene - there was no where for that train to get onto the elevated tracks at that location.

Dreamscape - not really an error, but the train they're riding in, on nightmare sequence is a "linden" train (now known as a local purple line train).

And don't forget recent films like "The Lake House" and "Stranger than fiction" that painted buses so they WOULD NOT look like CTA buses.

Another error:
In Derailed, they ride a Metra train from Lake Forest into Chicago but it says the final stop is Chicago Union Station, but Union Pacific North Trains don't end there, they end at Ogilvie.

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