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Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way


Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Chicago Transit Authority to reconstruct Dan Ryan Branch next year


Yesterday, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced plans to completely reconstruct the South Red Line from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street in an effort to eliminate slow zones and increase travel times.

In spring 2013, CTA plans to close the 10-mile stretch of the South Red Line, known as the Dan Ryan Branch, for five months so crews can replace all ties, rail, third rail, drainage systems and ballast. The closure will impact nine stations.

In the meantime, CTA will offer riders alternative transportation options, such as free shuttle buses from Red Line stations south of 63rd Street to connect them with the Garfield Green Line station, Red Line service running on Green Line tracks from Roosevelt to Ashland/63rd, and expanded service on numerous nearby bus routes.

CTA officials weighed the five-month closure with another option to perform work on weekends only. However, the weekend-only work would have taken four years to complete and cost $75 million more than the complete closure, agency officials said. Now, CTA plans to take the $75 million saved and reinvest it in Red Line station upgrades, such as new elevators, lighting, paint and electrical substation improvements.

Built in 1969, the South Red Line tracks have well exceeded their expected lifespan, CTA officials said. About 40 percent of the branch includes slow zones, where trains travel much slower than the designated speed limit. Once the project is complete, travel times will be cut by 20 minutes on the round trip between 95th Street and Roosevelt, according to CTA.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/5/2012