February 29, 2004

The CTA today announced that Brown Line rush hour service north of Belmont Avenue will be fully restored for Monday morning's rush period. Fire damage to a substation last Saturday disrupted rush hour service for 11 Brown Line stations. Trains operating out of those stations impacted ? Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell, Western, Damen, Montrose, Irving Park, Addison, Paulina and Southport ? will resume their normal rush schedule, operating every three minutes during peak morning and evening periods.

CTA staff have worked non-stop since last Saturday to repair the cables and substation equipment damaged in the February 21st fire. CTA has worked with Com Ed to restore primary power for Monday.

"When announcing the impact on weekday service last Sunday afternoon, we estimated that it would take two weeks to fully restore power," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?But after a round-the-clock effort to bring service back to normal levels for our customers as soon as possible, I am pleased to say that we are fully back a week earlier than anticipated."

Repairs to the substation included removing more than 1,200 feet of damaged power cable and replacing it with new cable; cleaning and testing more than a dozen breakers, transformers and communication lines; replacing 2,400 square feet of hot tar roofing; and the removal of debris resulting from the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

"Last week's alternate service for Brown Line customers north and west of Belmont went well given the circumstances," added Kruesi. ?We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience they may have experienced and are grateful for their patience and understanding of the situation."

The fire destroyed cables at the CTA electrical substation at 4650 N. Lincoln Avenue. It is one of three substations that provide 600 volt current that powers the Brown Line branch from Belmont to Kimball. As a result of the damage, the CTA did not have sufficient power to support the heavy demand required to run six-car trains every three minutes, as occurs during a normal rush hour period.

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