Bit of Chicago movie history goes with Randolph/Wabash L stop closing

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The CTA’s Randolph/Wabash L station closes for good at midnight Saturday, and with it goes a tiny bit of Chicago movie history.

The station was featured in the hit 1995 movie “While You Were Sleeping.”

Sandra Bullock plays Lucy, an unlucky-in-love CTA token collector — remember L and subway tokens? The CTA stopped using them in 1997.

When Peter, the man of her dreams, played by Peter Gallagher, is mugged on the platform and tumbles onto the tracks, Lucy springs into action.

Against CTA rules, Lucy doesn’t call the control center to make sure the power to the electrified third rail is turned off. Instead, she leaps onto the tracks and tries to rouse the unconscious man.

Leaning over him, she’s captivated. “Oh, God, you smell good,” Lucy tells him.

With an “express” train hurtling their way, Lucy shoves the unconscious Peter off the tracks and out of the path of the train.

But their romance is not meant to be.

At the end of the movie, Peter’s brother Jack, played by Bill Pullman, proposes to Lucy — at her booth on the Randolph/Wabash L platform. And, this apparently being the real thing, she accepts.

The new station at Washington and Wabash that opened Thursday, leading to the closing of the Randolph L stop. | Santiago Covarrubias / Sun-Times

Now, the Randolph/Wabash L stop is set to be demolished in late September as part of the two-year, $75 million project that saw a much fancier replacement station built at Washington and Wabash. The new station opened Thursday.

For anyone moved by the closing to watch “While You Were Sleeping,” here’s another piece of L movie trivia: “Although there were a number of daytime scenes filmed at Randolph/Wabash, this station was never shut down as part of movie production,” according to CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase. She says riders were still able to use the station during the movie shoot.


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