Slow Zones Decrease on CTA’s Rail System

January 23, 2008

Since June, Nearly 20 Percent of Slow Zones Eliminated

Since announcing the slow zone elimination plan last summer, the CTA has removed nearly 20 percent of slow zones that have burdened customers. In June, slow zones restricted train speeds on 250,057 feet, or 21.2 percent, of track across the CTA's rail system. Through a focused effort of rail tie replacement, slow zones currently occupy 16.9 percent, or 199,392 feet, of the entire rail system.

"We have been able to restore normal train speeds along several key stretches of track in the Dearborn Subway, State Street Subway, O'Hare branch, the Red Line Dan Ryan branch and along the Brown Line tracks at Chicago Avenue as you approach downtown," said CTA President Ron Huberman. "Our riders were frustrated by the slow speeds and have commented on the improvement in service as we have lifted speed restrictions."

Train speeds were restricted to 35, 25, 15 and even 6 mph along various sections of track. Over the last six months train speeds have increased on one-fifth of existing slow zones.

Slow zone elimination work will continue on the Blue, Red, Purple and Brown Lines in the coming months as weather permits. This year work will begin on the Green Line as well. The elimination of slow zones has been accomplished through a reorganization of the track department that has improved productivity, as well as a series of contracts focused on track work. CTA forces have been working in all weather conditions to meet slow zone elimination goals.

"Although we have tried to limit the impact to customers as much as possible while making the necessary repairs, there have been some disruptions to service at night and on weekends. We are grateful for the patience of those who have been affected," added Huberman. "Riders understand the trade off when they can experience a faster trip."


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