Red Ahead: Red & Purple Modernization

What's new?

CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund: Now accepting applications!

Scholarship_Logo_4AThe Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently announced that applications for the ‘CTA Elevating Futures Scholarship Fund'  are now being accepted. The scholarship was created in 2019 in partnership with the RPM contractor, Walsh-Fluor, as well as Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Scholars to provide scholarships to Chicago high school students who want to pursue four-year degrees in construction and engineering.

To learn more and to apply, click here

Red-Purple Bypass: Building the steel bridge structure

Construction of the new Red-Purple Bypass continues! The first piece of steel that will form the bridge to support new tracks and equipment was installed last fall and this month (January) we are building the portion of the bridge that extends over the Red and Purple Line tracks north of Belmont -- this is the bridge that will carry Kimball-bound Brown Line trains over the tracks. The steel erection work will continue for several months. Learn more here.

UpdateTo continue work on the new Red-Purple Bypass, Red Line service between Addison and Belmont will be suspended this weekend, starting at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, through no later than Monday, Jan. 18. CTA will provide free bus shuttle service for customers between the two stations. The work that will be performed includes completing the installation of steel for the bypass that extends over the Red and Purple Line tracks north of Belmont station. The Red-Purple Bypass will be completed in Summer 2021. For more information about the bypass, click here.

Check out some recent photos!

January 2021












We’re building temporary stations at Bryn Mawr & Argyle


As part of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project, we plan to completely rebuild the century-old Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations.

To rebuild them, we must close them for nearly four years. However, we are building new temporary stations at two of the four locations, Argyle, above left and Bryn Mawr, above right, to provide our customers with Red Line access during construction 2021-2024.

Read more about what we're doing and when the stations will open in our Q&A here.

Recent construction photos:


The Bryn Mawr temporary station takes shape in December 2020.


Construction of the Argyle temporary station is under way, January 2021.


Track construction near Granville: Nov. 13-16, 20-23

Beginning in 2021, CTA will completely reconstruct the Red Line’s Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr stations. To prepare for this reconstruction, new rail interlockings were built at Montrose and Thorndale in July and August 2020. These interlockings, which permit trains to safely switch between tracks, will allow CTA to provide continuous Red and Purple Line service while these four Red Line stations are rebuilt.

Now that the new interlockings are complete, we will be removing an aging rail interlocking near the Granville Red Line station. Preliminary work will take place between Sheridan Avenue and Sheridan Road on the weekends of Nov. 13-16 and Nov. 20-23 and the remaining decommissioning will occur during the new station and track construction.

On Oct. 28, 2020, we met virtually with local residents to provide an overview of the work. The presentation can be found here and below.



Granville interlocking work overview: Virtual town hall presentation




flyer_imageProject flyer


Apply for the RPM Open for Business Program.

Your business contributes to the character and charm of your community. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that your customers see you and recognize the vital role you play.

RPM Open for Business Program:

  • Supports small businesses, nonprofit organizations and major attractions or entertainment venues
  • Includes marketing efforts to promote participants

Program is free of charge - Apply now and be seen.



Red Line 'pre-stage' track improvements are ongoing in 2020





September 2020, from left to right: new platform steel for Bryn Mawr temporary rail station; sheathing on main entrance of Bryn Mawr temporary station; embankment improvements for Argyle temporary station; relay house and signal work at Montrose; steel erection for new Thorndale relay house; HVAC installation at new Berwyn relay house.

We are continuing track upgrade work on the Red and Purple lines in preparation to start construction of four new stations and tracks between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr as part of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project.

These track improvements to the Red and Purple lines near Thorndale station and near Montrose Avenue will make it possible for us to continue to run Red and Purple Line service during new station and track construction, which is expected to begin in 2021. The interlockings allow our trains to safely switch tracks, which is important to providing service during construction 2021-2024.

Are you done with RPM pre-stage work?

We will continue to make pre-stage improvements during the remainder of 2020, including installing new signal houses that help us manage train operations, retaining wall repairs and other track improvements. We're also currently building new temporary train stations at Argyle and Bryn Mawr in 2020 that will serve passengers during station reconstruction 2021-2024.

When do Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr fully close for reconstruction?

We expect to begin building new stations and track structure in 2021, with new stations expected to open by the end of 2024. Temporary stations at Argyle and Bryn Mawr will be constructed in 2020 and open during station and track construction to serve our Red Line customers throughout construction.


RPM construction has begun!


Better CTA service is coming! We've broken ground on the transformational Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project, with work beginning on a key component of RPM, the Red-Purple Bypass north of Belmont station. The bypass will allow for more trains, less congestion and a less cramped commute to work.

The modernization project has many steps, and it is important to know when and how you or your business may be affected.  Sign up for construction impact alerts in your community here.


How are we building the Red-Purple Bypass?