Upcoming Planned Service and Boarding Changes for Brown and Purple Express Line Customers as CTA Works to Complete New Red-Purple Bypass

October 22, 2021

Brown Line service to be temporarily suspended between Belmont and Southport starting early Saturday, Oct. 23; service suspension to be extended to Irving Park station early Sunday, Oct. 24 through early Monday, Oct. 25; All northbound Brown, Purple and Red boarding, exits will use Howard platform at Belmont through Monday, Nov. 8

CTA will temporarily suspend a portion of Brown Line service starting early Saturday, Oct. 23 through early Monday, Oct. 26, as CTA performs the final major construction steps necessary to complete the new Red-Purple Bypass as part of the CTA’s $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One Project. 

The service disruption, detailed below, is necessary for CTA’s contractor to attach the new Bypass to the existing Brown Line tracks near N Kenmore Avenue. This service disruption will allow CTA to finish building a new interlocking that connects the Bypass and the existing Brown Line tracks near N Kenmore Avenue. CTA customers this weekend will be provided with free shuttle bus service between Belmont and Southport Saturday and early Sunday and Belmont and Irving Park early Sunday to early Monday. Customers are encouraged to allow extra travel time.

Work to attach the Bypass north of Belmont station will begin Monday and will affect northbound boarding at Belmont through Monday, Nov. 8. Linden-bound Purple Line Express and Kimball-bound Brown Line trains will board and exit on Red Line Howard side of the platform beginning Monday, Oct. 25 at 10:45 a.m.

The Bypass is expected to be in service before the end of the year.

Service impact information
Saturday, Oct. 23, 4 a.m. through Monday, Oct. 25, 4 a.m.

  • Saturday 4 a.m. to Sunday 4 a.m.: Shuttle buses will replace Brown Line rail service between Belmont and Southport.
  • Sunday 4 a.m. to Monday 4 a.m.: Shuttle buses will replace Brown Line service between Belmont and Irving Park.
  • Normal Brown Line service will resume at 4 a.m. Monday.

Monday, Oct. 25, 10:45 a.m. through Monday, Nov. 8

  • Monday 10:45 a.m. to Nov. 8: Linden-bound Purple Line Express and Kimball-bound Brown Line trains will board and exit on Red Line Howard side of platform.

All service changes will affect CTA train tracker estimations. Customers should plan their trip ahead at transitchicago.com.

About the Red-Purple Bypass
The new Red-Purple Bypass is under construction to allow CTA to add train service and reduce train traffic congestion at Belmont station, where Red, Purple and Brown line trains intersect. The completion of the bypass is the first significant benefit for CTA customers and the first major milestone to be reached in the RPM project.

Before it can be put into service, the Bypass must be attached to the Brown Line near N Kenmore, between W Roscoe and W Newport on the northern end; and to the Red and Purple lines just north of the Belmont station on the southern end. The latter work is expected to occur in late October through early November.

When the Bypass is in service, Kimball-bound Brown Line trains will travel on the Bypass over Red and Purple Line tracks. The completion of the Bypass will allow CTA to move on to rebuilding the 100-year-old Red and Purple Line track structures between Belmont and Cornelia, which will also improve service reliability and train speeds for CTA customers. That work is expected to begin late 2021/early 2022 and be completed in 2025.

RPM Phase One Overview
RPM Phase One Project includes three major components:

  • Reconstruction of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger, 100 percent accessible stations; and replacement of track structure totaling six track-miles that is a century old.
  • New Red-Purple Bypass construction (expected completion in 2021); followed by the reconstruction of Red and Purple Line track structure between Belmont and Newport/Cornelia (expected completion by the end of 2024).
  • Installation of a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont that, similar to roadway traffic signals, will improve train flow and service reliability.

The Red Line and RPM
The CTA’s Red Line is CTA’s busiest rail line, providing more than 67 million rides a year and serving some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in U.S. The RPM Program, which will be done in multiple phases, will rebuild the 9.6-mile stretch of Red and Purple Line track structure and stations on the North Side that are a century old. RPM will replace aging infrastructure; increase CTA’s capacity to increase train service as needed; and improve our service for customers with more reliable, comfortable service. Future phases of RPM have not yet been announced and are currently unfunded. Learn more about RPM online at transitchicago.com/RPM and sign up for project alerts at transitchicago.com/RPMalerts.

For more information about the RPM project, visit transitchicago.com/RPM. To sign up for project alerts, visit transitchicago.com/rpm/alerts.

Know before you go!
CTA strongly recommends customers allow extra travel time and plan ahead by using the Google Transit Trip Planner and purchasing fares in advance.

Masks are required on CTA: Per federal mandate, masks or face coverings are required on all CTA properties -- even if you are vaccinated. Free masks are available on every bus and at every rail station.

More information about CTA’s efforts to provide the safest and healthiest transit experience can be found at transitchicago.com/ready.

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