CTA to Modernize Red Line Tracks at Addison Station

March 7, 2019

Improvements will upgrade tracks to provide smoother ride and eliminate slow zones ahead of start of Red and Purple Modernization Phase One Project

Work begins March 8; Construction work will have impacts on service, local community

The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that it is investing nearly $4 million in railroad track improvements on the Red Line at Addison station, as part of Mayor Emanuel’s ongoing modernization of CTA rail service and the Red Line, the city’s busiest rail line. The project will provide a smoother ride and eliminate a slow zone and track conditions that could lead to future slow zones, improving service for CTA riders.

The track upgrades will ensure reliable service on the Red Line and Purple Line during future major construction work under the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project, which will begin later this year and is CTA’s largest project in history. The work, which is scheduled to begin March 8 and be completed by April 1, includes replacing worn track components that are important to providing reliable train service.

During the work, CTA will continue to provide Red and Purple Line service. CTA will work to minimize impacts to our customers; however, CTA recommends that customers plan ahead and allow extra travel time.

“The Red Line is a critical transportation route for our customers, providing 75 million rides a year, which is why we continue to invest in it and modernize for the future,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “The investments we are making will offer long-term benefits as well as improve the experience for commuters. We thank our customers in advance for their patience during this work.”

Work details

  • Track renewal work will be performed on the two westernmost tracks that carry southbound Red and Purple Line Express service. 
  • Replaces track components that are important to providing reliable train service, including concrete plinths, plates and fasteners, contact rail chairs and mounting blocks.
  • Eliminates a 25 mph slow zone on the southbound Red Line track and reduces the chance of future slow zones developing in the area -- reducing the risk of greater delays at a later date, particularly during RPM construction work.
  • The work is planned to be completed ahead of the Cubs’ opening day April 8.

Community impacts

  • The work will have community impacts that include noise, truck traffic, occasional sidewalk and parking restrictions and intermittent street and alley closures.

Service impacts and alternatives

  • Red and Purple Line service will continue throughout the work period with occasional delays to service because Red and Purple Line northbound and southbound trains will have to share tracks.
  • The Addison station will close the weekends of March 8-10 (late Friday night through late Sunday night) and March 29--April 1 (same) because there will be no trains stopping at Addison. The station will be served by shuttle buses that can transport passengers to the next station.
  • For three weeks (March 10 thru March 30), the Addison station will offer southbound Red Line service only and will not provide northbound service at Addison during that period. People riding northbound trains to Addison, or who board northbound trains at Addison, will need to:
    • Use the Sheridan or Belmont stations to board northbound trains.
    • Board a southbound train at Addison, alight at Belmont and cross over to the other platform to board a northbound Red Line train.
    • Note: As Sheridan station is not accessible, customers who require an accessible station will have to use Belmont or Wilson stations to enter, exit or transfer

Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project
The CTA is moving forward with the RPM project. Currently the agency is relocating utility lines and equipment ahead of major project construction that will begin in late 2019 and be completed in 2025.

Phase One includes reconstructing the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger, 100 percent accessible stations and track structure totaling six miles that is nearly a century old; building a rail bypass north of Belmont station that will improve service reliability on the Red, Purple and Brown lines, increasing train speeds, easing overcrowding on rail cars, and providing additional train service capacity for projected future growth; and installing a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont that, similar to roadway traffic signals, will improve CTA train flow and increase service reliability.

Red Line investments since 2011
The Addison track work is preceded by a number of Red Line investments completed or under way under Mayor Emanuel, including:

  • New 95th Street Terminal
  • Red Line Extension (planning under way)
  • Red and Purple Modernization Phase One project
  • New Wilson Red/Purple Line station
  • Clark/Division Red Station – new accessible entrance on LaSalle
  • Red Line South Reconstruction
  • Red Line North Interim Improvement Project


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