With three-track operation at the Belmont Brown Line station scheduled to conclude by the end of the year, the CTA today announced that Purple Express trains in the Loop will resume operation traveling clockwise on Monday, December 29. In April 2007, when three-track operation began at both the Belmont and Fullerton stations, the CTA moved Purple Express trains to travel in the same direction as Brown Line trains (counter-clockwise around the Loop) to supplement Brown Line service and help ease congestion in the Loop during three-track operation.
With fewer Brown Line trains in service as a result of three track, Purple Express trains were rerouted in the Loop to mimic Brown Line service and help customers more quickly exit the downtown area.
“Restoring normal Purple Express routing in the Loop allows riders improved rush-hour options,” said CTA President Ron Huberman. “Purple Express trains are a faster option than the Brown Line for customers headed to the Lake and State Street elevated stations, and in the evening rush allows riders headed to the North Side to use either side of the elevated platforms to exit the Loop.”
Purple Line Express trains will resume operating clockwise through the Loop with stops at Merchandise Mart, Clark/Lake, State/Lake, Randolph/Wabash, Madison/Wabash, Adams/Wabash, Library, LaSalle/Van Buren, Quincy, Washington/Wells then return to Merchandise Mart and head north to Howard.
The CTA announced the acceleration of three-track operation in June. Reconfiguring the construction schedule to complete work six-months earlier than originally planned will allow the CTA to restore normal operation for Brown, Red and Purple Express trains in the corridor between Belmont and Fullerton. Southbound Brown, Red and Purple Express trains have been limited to one southbound track at Belmont and Fullerton since March 30 while the platforms are rebuilt and tracks reconfigured to allow room for the installation of elevators at both stations.
The first phase of three-track operation began Monday, April 2, 2007. Red, Brown and Purple Express trains shared one northbound track at Fullerton and Belmont. Normal northbound service resumed in March 2008 and southbound three-track operation began.
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