Restoration of Yellow Line Service 

Service along the Yellow Line service will resume on Friday, October 30.

Yellow Line
reopening countdown
...until service resumes!

After closing in May due to an embankment collapse related to construction by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, the Yellow Line is being prepped to welcome back customers.

The Yellow Line remains a great travel option for commuters and visitors to and from Skokie and the Northern Suburbs, offering service that’s:

  • Quick—less than 10 minutes between Dempster-Skokie and Howard.
  • Convenient—trains every 10-15 minutes during morning and afternoon rush, every 15 minutes on weekends. Direct connection to/from Purple Line Express and Red Line trains serving downtown Chicago.
  • Affordable—$2.25 a ride (a significant savings over gas and parking).

To welcome riders back, the Village of Skokie and we will offer free parking at the Dempster-Skokie station Park & Ride, 5001 W. Dempster Street, through the remainder of 2015—a savings of $40-$60 a month.

Additionally, the CTA will offer free rides from the Dempster-Skokie and Oakton-Skokie stations through November 6.

The CTA appreciates everyone’s patience during this shutdown, and looks forward to welcoming riders back to the Yellow Line.
Importantly, between now and the restoration of service, we will be performing track maintenance, inspection and testing—including running test trains—through the end of October.

Customers are reminded to stay off the tracks and stay alert near grade crossings.

On this page:



What is the Yellow line service schedule for Friday, October 30?

Trains will resume operating on a normal weekday schedule, with the first Dempster-Skokie-bound train departing Howard at approx. 4:45 a.m. The first Howard-bound train will depart Dempster-Skokie at approx. 5 a.m.

The full Yellow Line service schedule is available here.


Why was Yellow line service suspended?

Service along the Yellow Line was suspended in May 2015, following an embankment collapse that resulted from construction on Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) property.


What’s being done to make sure it is safe for Yellow Line service to resume?

Before restoring service, CTA engineers have been and will continue to perform track maintenance, inspection and testing of the Yellow Line tracks, which includes:

  • Re-energizing of traction power/third rail.
  • Operation of a rail smoothing car, to eliminate any accumulated rust along the full length of Yellow Line tracks.
  • Testing of signal equipment to ensure full functionality including track circuits, switch machines, wayside signals and grade/pedestrian crossings.
  • Yellow Line stations inspections and cleanings.
  • Inspection of 5000-series rail cars that service the Yellow Line tracks.
  • Operator re-training session on Yellow Line route.
  • A minimum of 48 hours of train testing along entire track corridor which includes weighted trains to simulate full capacity.


Why has it taken so long to restore Yellow Line service?

Restoring Yellow Line service as soon as possible, while keeping the safety of riders has been our top priority throughout this project. The restoration of service along the rail line follows the design and reconstruction of the embankment by MWRD and their contractor, Walsh Construction.

MWRD and Walsh Constructions crews worked around-the-clock to rebuild and stabilize the soil embankment that collapsed. Only once the embankment was restored could they begin rebuilding approximately 1,200 feet of northbound and southbound Yellow Line tracks, which includes ties, rail plates, fasteners, running rail and third rail; and reconnecting signals and communication lines – among other things.  


Maintaining safety

Safety has remained the number one priority throughout the reconstruction of the Yellow Line. Although service will not be fully restored until October 30, we will be operating test trains along the Yellow Line as part of our final testing and inspections.

It’s important for everyone to stay alert when near or at grade crossings and to always stay off the tracks – it’s not worth your life.

More rail grade crossing safety tips are available in our brochure available for download (.pdf).

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