Wilson Station Modernization Project to Begin Next Construction Phase in March

February 25, 2015

Southbound Red, Purple Line Express trains to share single track between Wilson and Belmont for one year; Wilson to remain open and northbound Red, Purple service will be unaffected

Starting next month, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will begin the next construction phase of the Wilson Station Reconstruction Project, which will require three-track operations in which southbound Red and Purple Line Express trains share a single track for part of their trips.

The weekend of March 6, crews will begin the demolition and reconstruction of the southbound Purple Line Express tracks, the westernmost tracks on the four-track elevated structure that provides Red and Purple Line Express service. During this construction phase, which is expected to last one year, southbound Red and Purple Line Express trains will share one track between the Wilson and Belmont stations. Trains will run normally elsewhere.

The expected impact on southbound customers, starting Monday, March 9:

Red Line
  • Same number of trains will run, and headways (time between trains) will remain the same (approx. 3-4 minutes during AM rush). Schedules remain the same as well.
  • CTA estimates the additional travel time for some Red Line trips at approximately 2-4 minutes during the AM rush, due to train congestion
Purple Line Express
  • Same number of trains will run, though scheduled times will vary slightly
  • Trains will add stops at Wilson, Sheridan and Addison stations during morning rush only
  • CTA estimates the additional travel time for Purple Line Express riders at approximately 4-6 minutes during the AM rush
Wilson station
  • All existing entrances and exits at Wilson station will remain open. Southbound Red Line customers will still board trains using the existing platform.

In addition to reconstruction of the southbound Purple Line Express track and elevated structure, crews during this phase of construction will also construct a new southbound station platform and new, temporary entrances on the north and south side of Wilson, as well as a temporary exit near Sunnyside. The temporary entrances/exits will serve customers during a later stage of the Wilson project.

The project will occasionally require some temporary street closures and parking restrictions near the elevated structure. The CTA will work to minimize impacts on commuters and the neighborhood as much as possible, and will continue to work closely with local aldermen to finalize details and provide the community with advance notice of impacts to sidewalks, streets and alleys.

The $203 million Wilson project is part of more than $5 billion of transit improvements announced by Mayor Emanuel since taking office in 2011, including projects to build new rail stations and modernize others, purchase new buses and rail cars, and continue investments in technology to benefit customers and provide a better commuting experience. It is also one of the largest station projects in CTA history and is the latest in a series of Red Line modernization projects to take place since 2011.

The Wilson project is modernizing the 91-year-old stationhouse and the station’s more than 100-year-old track structure. When the project is complete in late 2017, riders will have a modern, spacious and more accessible station that will be a new transfer point for Red and Purple Line Express trains. About 2,200 feet of elevated tracks, signals and supporting infrastructure will also be relocated and reconstructed, eliminating slow zones and improving service reliability for customers, as well as providing a more pleasing street environment on Wilson Avenue and Broadway Street in the heart of Uptown.

The revitalized station will serve as an economic anchor for the historic Uptown neighborhood by stimulating local business and promoting job growth.

For more information about the Wilson project, visit transitchicago.com/wilson.


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