However, it does appear that a lot of the Holiday expression around here DOES have a train theme, from the ones I shot a couple of weeks back up at the Conservatory, to the Holiday Train (below) that the CTA does, to even (accidentally) having a train aspect to the trip to Chinatown (plus one upcoming, once I get the kids over to the John Hancock Center).
Anyway, we blocked out some time to coordinate with the schedule for the Holiday Train yesterday, and I shot as much as I could (it only spends like 30 seconds in each station). It seems to me that in previous years, it wasn't anywhere near as crowded. A few days ago, I was out running errands and these coordinated with one of the train runs, so I went down in the subway for it ... I got some shots, but it was too crowded to get on, so that was missing all the fun stuff inside.
One of the nice things about the Holiday Train is that it's all done with volunteer work from the CTA employees, and (I believe) donations for the materials. They have special upholstery on the seats, a lot of Xmas decor (poles done up as candy canes), and groan-inducing mock ads (check out the one for the Northstar Buck's cafe) and jokes. The outside is done up with lots of lights, including the CTA logo and "Happy Holidays", and the middle car is a flatbed with Santa in his sleigh, with the reindeers, and snowy decor with Xmas trees.
My wife says the best thing about the Holiday Train (and she's pretty cranky about it) is seeing people's expressions who were simply waiting to get on to go someplace ... especially out-of-towners who just happened to be at the right place at the right time (the schedule is pretty specific, and generally speaking one has to plan to meet up with it)!