CTA to Test Switches in Preparation for Southbound Phase of Three-Track Operation

February 28, 2008

Southbound Red Line trains will operate on Brown/Purple Express tracks at the Fullerton station from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. this weekend as a test of planned southbound routing and switching mechanisms in preparation for the next phase of three-track operation scheduled to begin March 30. CTA plans to test track switches and routing plans each weekend through March 30, in addition to training operators, switchmen, towermen and supervisors on the planned configuration of trains for southbound operation through Clark Junction.

1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, March 1, Sunday, March 2 and Monday, March 3

At the Fullerton station, southbound Red Line trains will use the far west track normally used by southbound Brown Line trains. Southbound Red Line customers must board and exit on the same side of the platform (west) as southbound Brown Line customers.

Normal southbound service will resume at 5 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Details of Three-Track Operation

Beginning Sunday, March 30, 2008 southbound trains will be limited to one southbound track at the Belmont and Fullerton stations due to construction for the Brown Line capacity expansion project. To help ease the impact, the CTA will begin operating eight-car trains on the Brown Line during morning and evening rush hours. Currently, Brown Line trains consist of six cars. The introduction of eight-car service will occur nearly 18 months earlier than originally planned.

In order to safely provide eight-car trains, Paulina and Wellington stations will close for renovation on March 30. Currently, these stations can only berth six-car trains. While the stations are under construction, Brown Line trains will bypass both stations.

Also on March 30, the CTA will reopen the Southport station and open a temporary station at Diversey. Both stations had been closed for construction and will be able to accommodate eight-car trains by March 30. Using a temporary station at Diversey will make it possible to reopen for service nearly three months earlier than originally planned. Work to install elevators and complete the stationhouse at Diversey will continue throughout the spring.

Station specific information related to three-track operation and details on the Brown Line capacity expansion project is available on CTA's web site, www.transitchicago.com, and the Brown Line web site, www.ctabrownline.com.

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