Upgraded Railroad Tracks Provide Smoother Ride and Eliminate Slow Zones Ahead of Red And Purple Modernization Phase One Project Later This Year
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., today announced CTA has completed 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 track upgrades improve the reliability of Red Line service in preparation for 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.
“For Chicago to continue to be a global city, it must have a world-class transit service to connect residents to jobs, education, culture and above all opportunity,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We’ve seen countless businesses make the decision to locate in Chicago because of our attractive transportation network, proof that modernizing CTA rail service is an effective strategy for economic growth and creates a seamless, safe, and reliable transportation system for every neighborhood.”
The track investment at Addison replaced worn track components to provide CTA Red Line customers with a smoother ride, and also eliminated a slow zone and track conditions that could lead to future slow zones. The work was completed on time and on budget.
“The Red Line provides 75 million rides a year, connecting people to jobs, education and opportunity,” 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, both in the short term and in the long term as we begin work on the RPM project.”
CTA’s RPM Phase One project will benefit customers across the CTA system. The $2.1 billion project 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.
• 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.
Advance work on the RPM project, including relocating utility lines and property demolition, began in 2018. Following completed property demolition, the agency is continuing relocating utility lines and equipment, with major project construction to begin in late 2019 and be completed in 2025.
Red Line investments since 2011
The Addison track work is preceded by a number of Red Line investments completed or currently in progress under Mayor Emanuel, including:
• New 95th Street Terminal
• Red Line Extension (planning underway)
• 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