Work Begins to Replace Loop Train Control System on Elevated Line

May 6, 2008

05/06/2008

Crews will begin work this week to replace the signal and train control systems, and replace deteriorated rail ties and track in an effort to prevent slow zones along the Loop elevated tracks. The new train control system will enhance CTA's ability to operate trains through two junctions where Brown, Orange, Green, Purple and Pink Line trains enter and exit the Loop.

The new system will replace the current system that has been in operation for more than three decades. In addition, approximately 10,000 feet of track will be renewed along with the replacement of rail ties that will eliminate nearly 600 feet of existing slow zones and help to prevent future slow zones. The track work will require trains to be rerouted periodically from the Lake and Wabash stretches of elevated track to the Wells and Van Buren elevated tracks. Customers can expect these types of reroutes through Thanksgiving 2008. As weather permits in early 2009, crews will begin work on the Wells and Van Buren elevated tracks, requiring trains to be rerouted to the completed Lake and Wabash tracks. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2009.

A new signal and train control system will be installed at the Loop junctions of Van Buren/Wabash and Lake/Wells. These are two of the busiest junctions on CTA's rail system. Approximately 115,000 customers travel through the junction at Lake/Wells on a typical weekday and 79,000 through the junction at Van Buren/Wabash. The new systems will help to improve the reliability of service by regulating train movement, speed and intervals at those junctions.

?These two junctions are critical to reliable Loop elevated service," said CTA President Ron Huberman. ?With the current aging signal and train control systems at these locations, trains sometimes experience delays waiting to either cross into or out of the Loop. Replacing the older system with state-of-the-art equipment will improve train traffic efficiency into and out of the Loop."

As part of the Loop project, the current signal system will be replaced with a modern automatic train control signal system. A portion of the bridge control system that operates the Lake and Wells Street bridges also will be upgraded. Signals act as traffic lights along the rail routes directing rail operators to proceed, slow down or stop. Signals also give the operator information regarding track conditions and speed limits.

?Trains operating on the elevated structure will experience reroutes periodically to allow work to proceed without train traffic or live rail," added Huberman. ?Unfortunately, the work will cause some disruption to service and we will keep riders informed of reroutes."

Details of reroutes for the coming week are outlined below. This weekend tracks will be closed in both directions along Lake and Wabash. Details on Loop train reroutes over the weekend will be provided in a separate press release.

Wednesday, May 7 from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. Thursday morning ?Brown Line trains will be rerouted from the outer track to the inner Loop track, and travel in a clockwise direction. Entering the Loop, Brown Line trains will make their first stop at Clark/Lake, then State/Lake, Randolph/Wabash, Madison/Wabash, Adams/Wabash, Library, LaSalle/Van Buren, Quincy/Wells and Washington/Wells, then proceed to the Merchandise Mart and resume the normal route.

Northbound Green Line trains will be rerouted from the outer tracks along Wabash and Lake to the inner Loop tracks along Wells and Van Buren. Northbound Green Line trains will make their first stop at Library, then LaSalle/Van Buren, Quincy/Wells and Washington/Wells, then proceed to Clinton and resume the regular route. Southbound Green Line trains will operate normally on the inner track along Lake and Wabash streets.

Thursday, May 8 from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. Friday morning ? Orange Line trains will be rerouted from the inner track to the outer Loop track, and travel in a counterclockwise direction. Entering the Loop, Orange Line trains will make their first stop at Adams/Wabash, then Madison/Wabash, Randolph/Wabash, State/Lake, Clark/Lake, Washington/Wells, Quincy/Wells, LaSalle/Van Buren and Library, then proceed to Roosevelt and resume the normal route.

Pink Line trains will be rerouted from the inner track to the outer Loop track, and travel in a counterclockwise direction. Entering the Loop, Pink Line trains will make their first stop at Washington/Wells, then Quincy/Wells, LaSalle/Van Buren, Library, Adams/Wabash, Madison/Wabash, Randolph/Wabash, State/Lake and Clark/Lake, then proceed to Clinton and resume the normal route.Southbound Green Line trains will be rerouted from the inner track along State and Lake to the outer track along Wells and Wabash. Entering the Loop, southbound Green Line trains will make their first stop at Washington/Wells, then Quincy/Wells, LaSalle/Van Buren and Library, then proceed to Roosevelt and resume the normal route.

Thursday, May 8 from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Friday morning ? Southbound Red Line trains that normally operate through the subway between the Fullerton station and the Cermak-Chinatown station will operate on the elevated structure. Southbound Red Line trains will be routed to the outer Loop tracks along Van Buren and Wells. Entering the Loop, southbound Red Line trains will make their first stop at Washington/Wells, then Quincy/Wells, LaSalle/Van Buren and Library, then proceed to Roosevelt and resume the normal route. Northbound Red Line trains are not affected and will operate along their normal route in the subway.

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