More Red Line Slow Zone Elimination Work Planned for 2008

November 7, 2007

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $26.6 million contract to replace deteriorating timber rail ties in the Red Line subway with concrete ties. The contract approved today will eliminate 2.5 miles of slow zones in both directions in the subway from Clark/Division to just north of North/Clybourn and just under a mile between Lake and Roosevelt.

This is in addition to work currently underway to install concrete rail ties in the Red Line from Grand to Clark/Division. Trains are expected to return to normal speeds by the end of the month along that section of track.

'slow zones are a major source of frustration to customers so we deem these repairs critical to improving trips for Red and Blue Line riders," said CTA President Ron Huberman. ?As work is completed speed restrictions are incrementally lifted along sections of track. The noticeable improvement in service makes this a worthwhile investment of the limited funds available."

The project is funded through FTA and RTA grants not available for operations.

Red Slow Zone

The work is part of a comprehensive slow zone removal plan which the agency announced in July. The main focus of the work is to replace deteriorated wooden rail ties and eliminate slow zones on the Red and Blue Lines.

Rail tie replacement in the Blue Line subway between Damen and Clark/Lake was completed in early September allowing trains to return to normal speeds. Work continues on the Blue Line and more than 25,000 feet of slow zones will be eliminated between Jefferson Park and Harlem by the end of this year. Work is also currently underway on the Red Line along the tracks shared by Brown, Red and Purple Express trains from Armitage to Howard.

Blue Slow Zone

Construction work in the Red Line subway has required rerouting trains to the elevated tracks during off peak hours throughout the summer and fall. Similar reroutes of Red Line trains will again be necessary when work begins north of Clark/Division in early 2008.

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