CTA Announces Completion Date for Forest Park Branch Rebuild Phase 1 Track Work; Alerts Riders to Upcoming Temporary Changes in Weekend Service

September 21, 2023

Project work impacting Blue Line service the weekend of September 29-October 2 – is a critical step in completing project work on time.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced that track work being performed as part of Phase 1 work of the Forest Park Branch Rebuild is nearing completion and that Blue Line trains will resume normal operations early morning Sunday, October 8. To help ensure that work remains on-budget and on-schedule, CTA is alerting riders to upcoming project work that will temporarily impact service the last weekend of September.

Weekend Work (9/29 – 10/2)

Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, September 29 through 4 a.m. Monday, October 2, the following temporary changes in service will be in effect:

  • Blue Line Service: Trains will operate in two segments: 1) between O’Hare and LaSalle, and 2) between Forest Park and Illinois Medical District (IMD). The Clinton, UIC-Halsted and Racine stations will be temporarily closed.
  • Bus Shuttles: A local bus shuttle will operate 24/7 between the accessible IMD and Jackson Blue Line stations, making stops at or near all temporarily affected stations.
  • Elevator Access at Jackson Blue: Due to the street-to-mezzanine elevator at the Adams-Jackson entrance undergoing maintenance, riders who require an accessible path will be directed to the Jackson station complex and shuttles on Dearborn via the pedway to/from an elevator on State. CTA signs will be posted throughout the station and along the street level pathway to guide riders. 

These temporary service changes largely mirror the service plans first implemented at the start of project work (also known as “Part-A”, see Map 1 below) back in July. There will be no rail service between the IMD and LaSalle stations during weekend project work.

This temporary change in weekend service is necessary in allowing crews to connect the recently installed tracks with the power and signal systems and begin conducting the required testing to allow for Blue Line trains to operate through the completed project area.

Final Week of Project Work (10/2 – 10/8)

Then, beginning 4 a.m. Monday (10/2), Blue Line trains will resume operating under the most recent service plans (also known as “Part-B”, see Map 2 below), serving the Clinton and UIC-Halsted stations, and operating in the following two sections: 

  • Between O’Hare and UIC-Halsted, and
  • Between Forest Park and Illinois Medical District (IMD)

There will be no rail service between the UIC-Halsted and IMD stations during Part-B project work, which is expected to conclude in the early morning hours of Sunday, October 8.

To mitigate impacts on riders and encourage use of alternative CTA service options, the agency continues to offer free and reduced rides during construction on various bus and rail lines (see Map 3 below).


To incentivize use of easy alternative service options near the project area, CTA will continue to provide free rides on select bus routes operating between the Green and Pink lines. Free rides will be available on all CTA north-south bus route stops between the Green and Pink lines from Ashland (#9 and #X9 routes) on the east to Austin (#91 route) on the west. Bus operators will allow riders to board for free within this fare zone.

Free rides will also be available on designated north-south Pace regular, fixed route bus service in the project area. Riders boarding Pace’s #307, #311, #315, and #318 bus routes between the Harlem/Lake branch on the Green Line and Forest Park Brach on the Blue Line will be able to ride for free. Riders boarding Pace’s #316 bus route between 54th/Cermak on the Pink Line and the Forest Park branch on the Blue Line will also be able to ride free.  

CTA will also be offering 50% reduced fares for rail customers using Ventra Cards boarding at Ashland/Lake and all stations west on the Green and Pink lines, as well as those boarding at IMD and all stations west on the Forest Park Blue Line branch (see Map 3 below).

Additional information regarding alternative service options is available on the project website (transitchicago.com/FPrebuild).

Free and reduced rides will be available up until the completion of Phase 1 work on Sunday, October 8.


As part of this $268 million project, crews are completely rebuilding 15,000 feet, or almost three miles of track, between the LaSalle and IMD stations; demolishing and completely rebuilding the Racine station to meet modern accessibility guidelines; and upgrading the traction power system that provides electricity to the system and will result in improved service reliability.

Upon completion of track work on Sunday, October 8, the Loomis St. auxiliary entrance of the Racine station will re-open. The main entrance of the Racine station will remain closed and is expected to re-open in late-2024, at which time the Loomis St. auxiliary entrance will close for reconstruction through 2025.


Map 1: Part A Service

In effect 10 p.m. Friday, September 29 through 4 a.m. Monday, October 2



Map 2: Part B Service

In effect 4 a.m. Monday, October 2 through early morning Sunday, October 8



Map 3: CTA Alternatives and Free/Reduced Fares



Back to news
System status snapshot
‘L’ route status
Red Line
Normal Service
Blue Line
Normal Service
Brown Line
Normal Service
Green Line
Normal Service
Orange Line
Normal Service
Pink Line
Normal Service
Purple Line
Normal Service
Yellow Line
Normal Service
Bus routes w/alerts
Elevator alerts