February 22, 2004

Brown Line rush hour service north of Belmont Avenue will be disrupted as a result of a weekend fire that severely damaged a substation that powers the line, the Chicago Transit Authority announced today. Customers who use the 11 Brown Line stations north and west of Belmont should allow for extra travel time during both morning and evening rush hours. Those stations are: Kimball, Kedzie, Francisco, Rockwell, Western, Damen, Montrose, Irving Park, Addison, Paulina and Southport.

Non rush hour service and weekend service is not affected and will run on normal schedules.

The Saturday morning 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. As a result of the damage, the CTA does not have sufficient power to support the heavy demand that is required to run six car trains every three minutes, as occurs during a normal rush hour period.

Instead, during the morning rush hour period, southbound trains will depart from the terminal at Kimball every six minutes and make all stops along the line. Because there will be fewer trains that will fill up faster, additional southbound trains will be added at Belmont via the Purple Line. These trains will provide enough capacity to accommodate customers south of Belmont.

For the evening rush, northbound Brown Line service will run on normal schedules to Belmont, with trains operating every three minutes during the peak. Once at Belmont, only every other Brown Line train will operate all the way to Kimball. Customers should pay close attention to the destination signs on the front of trains. Customers going beyond Belmont should board trains with signs that say "Kimball". Customers exiting before Belmont should board trains with "Belmont" signs.

The CTA expects this adjusted schedule to remain in effect for a couple of weeks while repairs are made to the substation.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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