Railroad News

CTA caps off preparatory trackwork for major RPM project

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval Carter Jr. late last week announced the completion of track improvements on the Red Line at Addison Station.

The nearly $4 million project was preparatory work for the $2.1 billion Red and Purple Modernization Program's (RPM) first phase. Work crews replaced worn track components on the Red Line, the CTA’s busiest rail line. Completed on time and on budget, the project also eliminated a slow zone and improved poor track conditions that could lead to future slow zones, CTA officials said in a press release.

"The Red Line provides 75 million rides a year, connecting people to jobs, education and opportunity. The investments we are making will offer long-term benefits as well as improve the experience for commuters, both in the short term and in the long term as we begin work on the RPM project," said Carter Jr.

The RPM is the CTA's largest-ever capital project. The program's first phase calls for:
• reconstructing the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr Red Line stations into larger, accessible stations, and upgrading 6 miles of track structure that’s nearly a century old;
• building a rail bypass north of Belmont Station to improve service reliability on the Red, Purple and Brown lines, increase train speeds, ease overcrowding on rail cars, and provide additional train service capacity for projected future growth; and
• installing a new signal system on 23 track miles between Howard and Belmont to improve train flow and increase service reliability.

Work continues on relocating utility lines and equipment. Major construction on the first phase is slated to begin late this year and conclude in 2025.

"For Chicago to continue to be a global city, it must have a world-class transit service to connect residents to jobs, education, culture and above all opportunity," said Emanuel. "Modernizing CTA rail service is an effective strategy for economic growth and creates a seamless, safe and reliable transportation system for every neighborhood."

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