Blue Line customers traveling on the O'Hare branch are experiencing a faster, smoother ride between the Jefferson Park and Harlem stations as CTA today announced that Phase 1 work to replace deteriorated rail ties, tie plates and spikes has been completed and 22,500 feet of track has been replaced.
The CTA has worked with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) on coordinating work on the tracks in the middle of the Kennedy Expressway since mid-October and, despite several weekends of ice and snow storms, have completed the work on schedule. In particular, coordination with IDOT District One was key to completing the work.
"Trains have resumed normal speeds in most sections between Jefferson Park and Harlem. Customers traveling on that stretch have commented on the smoother ride and faster speeds," said CTA President Ron Huberman. ?We appreciate the patience demonstrated by our customers while construction was underway, as well as the patience of motorists during lane closures."
Train speeds that had been restricted to 15, 25 and 35 mph along various sections of track between Jefferson Park and Harlem have now increased up to 55 mph.
Since announcing the slow zone elimination plan in July, trains have been able to resume normal speeds on nearly 60,000 feet of track.
Slow Zones Eliminated in 2007:
- Blue Line subway Damen to Clark/Lake --18,000 feet removed
- Red Line between Morse and Loyola -- 2,775 feet removed
- Red/Purple/Brown from Armitage to Diversey -- 2,537 feet removed
- Yellow Line Crawford Crossing -- 2,000 feet removed
- Red Line subway from Grand to Clark/Division -- 8,000 feet removed
- Red Line southbound from Wilson to Sheridan -- 3,325 feet removed
- Blue Line Harlem to Jefferson Park -- 22,500 feet removed
A short section of track, just north of Jefferson Park to Foster, remains under a slow zone restriction due to the need for special track work. This work will be completed when the next phase of work from O'Hare to Harlem begins in the spring. Materials needed to complete the special track work are not available until spring.# # #