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CTA auction includes an entire train car, vintage signs

December 12, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko | RedEye

Want to buy a CTA train car? 

It's possible, thanks to an online auction that went live today featuring memorabilia and equipment from the Chicago Transit Authority. 

Rick Levin, president of auction house Levin and Associates, said this is the first time the CTA has auctioned off memorabilia to the public. Items in the auction include vintage signage, token counters, bus driver seats and even an entire 2200 series rail car. 

"You can be the first kid on your block not to just have a toy train set, but a full-size train," Levin said. 

The auction began Tuesday and ends Dec. 18. Items will be availible for pick up Dec. 19 and 20, and the CTA has a final say on what bids are accepted and which are not. All items have a starting bid of $0. 

"It's not really done to be a revenue maker," CTA spokesperson Lambrini Lukidis said. "We don't know what we're going to get out of this." 

In the case of the rail car, Lukidis said, the agency would seek at least a $4,000 bid, the amount a car would go for if it were sold for scrap. Many of the items in the auction are 40 to 60 years old, she said, and the effort is a way for the agency to test the market for CTA memorabilia among collectors and rail fanatics. 

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