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12/27/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CTA to extend service hours on Cermak branch



The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is nearing completion on its $483 million renovation of the Cermak branch of the Blue Line, so the authority will begin increasing service along the 6.6-mile line.

Beginning Jan. 1, trains will run every 15 minutes from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturdays and on every 20 minutes from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays. On weekdays, service hours will be extended until 1 a.m. instead of 12:45 a.m.

The renovation project – which began in 2001 -- is scheduled to be complete in late January. CTA has renovated eight stations, replaced track and support structure, and installed a new signal and communications system. The more than century-old structure that supported the elevated portion of the branch was deteriorating, so CTA implemented slow zones that required trains to operate as slow as 15 mph instead of 55 mph. After the project is complete, a trip to the Chicago Loop will take 25 minutes instead of 45 minutes.

The project was funded by a Full Funding Grant Agreement, Illinois FIRST, Regional Transportation Authority and the Illinois Department of Transportation.


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