Track maintenance, inspection and testing to be performed in October; CTA reminds customers to stay off the tracks
The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that Yellow Line service will resume Friday, October 30. Track maintenance, inspection and testing—including running test trains—will continue through the end of the month. For everyone’s safety, the CTA reminds customers that it is important to stay off the tracks and stay alert near street-level rail crossings.
The Yellow Line was suspended in May following an embankment collapse that resulted from construction on Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) property. The restoration of service follows the design and reconstruction of the embankment by MWRD and its contractor, Walsh Construction.
“Restoring Yellow Line service as quickly as possible has remained our top priority while maintaining the safety of our riders,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “We know how critical access to public transportation is to the livelihood of people across the Chicago area and we look forward to welcoming Yellow Line riders back to the quick, affordable service to which they are accustomed.”
CTA President Carter will be joined by Village of Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen and MWRD officials for a ceremonial first ride the morning of October 30 at the CTA Oakton Station. The officials will ride vintage 2400-series rail cars in celebration of the return of the Yellow Line. Additionally, the CTA will put into service CTA’s two newest 5000-series rail cars—the last to be delivered from an order of 714 cars, part of CTA’s ongoing modernization of its rail fleet.
“The Village of Skokie looks forward to the resumption of Yellow Line service,” said Mayor George Van Dusen. “We appreciate the community's patience with this inconvenience. The Village monitored the CTA and MWRD's handling of this system failure and we are reassured that our concern for local riders was heard. We further appreciate the continued community support for the numerous businesses near the Yellow Line stations that rely on commuters as customers, and we hope that ridership will quickly return to the levels attained before the unfortunate service interruption.”
The restoration of the embankment by MWRD and Walsh Construction also included re-fencing the right-of-way area between the tracks and MWRD property; the rebuilding and stabilization of the soil embankment; the reconstruction of approximately 1,200 feet of north and southbound Yellow Line tracks atop the embankment including ties, rail plates, fasteners, running rail and third rail; and reconnecting signals and communication lines.
“We are grateful for the collaborative relationship we have maintained with the CTA and the Village of Skokie during the rebuild process,” said MWRD Executive Director David St. Pierre. “All parties worked cooperatively to meet the same goal—the safe return of the Yellow Line to service as soon as possible. We also appreciate the patience of the public as we worked through the many issues related to this complex project.”
Prior to restoration of service, CTA engineers will continue to perform track maintenance, inspection and testing of the Yellow Line tracks including:
- 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 on Yellow Line route.
- Several days of train testing along entire track corridor, which includes weighted trains to simulate full capacity.
Following suspension of Yellow Line service in May, the CTA has taken extensive efforts to minimize impacts to customers including by providing customers with free Shuttle Bus service in both directions that serve the affected Yellow Line stations. The Village of Skokie and the CTA have also provided free parking at the park and ride facility at its Dempster-Skokie station. The CTA has continued to communicate with Yellow Line customers throughout the suspension of service through its alert system, social media content, informational fliers as well as sandwich boards posted at affected stations and bus stops.
To promote the reopening and encourage ridership to return, the CTA and Village of Skokie will undertake significant outreach efforts to riders, residents and local businesses. Additionally, the Village of Skokie and CTA will provide free parking at the Dempster station for the remainder of 2015.
For more information, please visit: www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/yellowreturn.aspx
# # #