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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CTA awards construction, IT contracts


Chicago Transit Authority’s board Sept. 11 approved several deals, including a $22.3 million contract for the Brown Line expansion and Clark Junction projects’ construction management, and another for the development of a computer-based simulation of the entire CTA rail system.

Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers Inc. (CTE Engineers) will participate in construction planning and design review during the Brown Line expansion and Clark Junction projects’pre-construction phase, then handle day-to-day management of the large-scale construction contracts, which have not yet been awarded.

CTA is in the process of negotiating a Full Funding Grant Agreement with Federal Transit Administration. Once funding is in place, a date will be set to begin construction; CTA officials hope it’ll begin in late 2003, according to a prepared statement.

The project would include extending platforms at 18 stations to accommodate eight-car trains and increase capacity 33 percent. An additional 16 stations would be constructed and 13 would have elevators installed. Crews also would complete signal, electrical and communications upgrades. The Brown Line’s design, engineering and construction budget is $476 million.

Rehabilitation of the 100-year-old Clark Junction, where Brown, Purple and Red line trains merge, is slated to begin this fall and would include replacing worn sections of track, installing special track work, and upgrading third rail power, communications and signal systems. More than $60 million is budgeted for this project.

Meanwhile, Transportation Decision systems Inc. landed the $583,519 deal to complete a software model and train CTA personnel to use it. Agency officials expect to use the tool to study service improvement options.

The computerized model would be designed to simulate operations on all lines and branches of CTA’s system concurrently, including train interactions on shared track, and shared junctions and crossings. CTA’s bid also specified that the system be able to replicate changes such as temporary single-track operations, line extensions, new or closed stations, reconfigured switching plants, and the characteristics of different model rail cars.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/16/2002