CTA Red-Purple Line alternative: Modernization 2-Track Underground

2 Track Underground Alternative.JPG

This alternative would provide modern amenities at stations, extend the useful life of the
system for the next 60-80 years, increase speed and reliability, and address safety and
accessibility concerns. This alternative would operate underground in a new 2-track
alignment in place of the current 4-track alignment in the North Red Line segment.


Estimated cost
$4 billion

Longevity
60-80 years

Evanston Branch
Same as Modernization 4-Track Alternative in this segment for this alternative.

North Red Line
This alternative would replace a significant portion of the existing 4-track elevated rail structure and embankment with a below-grade 2-track alignment. This alternative would provide a single more frequent local service in both directions between Linden and Belmont in this corridor; no express overlay service would be provided.

The alternative alignment would begin north of Belmont and transition below ground, proceeding underneath the northbound Brown Line tracks. The alignment would continue northward generally following Sheffield/Sheridan to the intersection of Sheridan and Broadway, and then proceed north underneath Broadway until it transitions back to the elevated alignment just north of Loyola.

Due to the grade separation of trains where the Brown and Red Line intersect, this alternative provides for the greatest potential capacity. Subway stations would be constructed at Addison, Irving Park, Wilson, Foster, Bryn Mawr, Glenlake, and Devon/Loyola.

The current 4-track elevated embankment alignment between Loyola and Howard would be replaced with a 2-track alignment on a modern concrete aerial structure. This alternative would require right-of-way acquisition outside of the existing Red Line alignment for station entrances and auxiliary structures.

Curves would be straightened and new subway stops would be located to maximize train speed. The potential exists in the remaining elevated alignment to provide additional access to Howard station at Rogers Avenue and remove Jarvis station.

Pros

  • Would eliminate choke point north of Belmont where the Brown Line crosses over Red Line tracks.
  • Would speed service with only 10 station stops: Belmont, Addison, Irving Park, Wilson, Foster, Bryn Mawr, Glenlake, Loyola, Morse and Howard.
  • Adds 10 supplemental entrances at Waveland, Sheridan, Sunnyside, Winona, Hollywood, Elmdale, Devon, Lunt, Paulina and Rogers.
  • Even with fewer stops, this alternative provides the most entrances. (Actually, this has 29 stops. The four- and three-track alternatives have 31 stops. Thanks Marc.)

Cons

  • Eliminates Purple Line Express service.
  • Eliminates four station stops between Belmont and Howard - Jarvis, Thorndale, Argyle and Lawrence.
  • Eliminates two stops in Evanston - South Boulevard and Foster.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

Comments

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  • I'm puzzled why the subway portal would be north of Belmont so that Addison would be a new subway station. Is there not enough room north of Addison to get the line underground before reaching Irving Park?

    The existing Addison Red station is in very good shape, virtually a new station by CTA standards. The next Red station north of Addison that has been built or significantly remodeled since WWII (or earlier!) is Granville.

  • The other projects mention the curve at Addison as needing to be straighted, so perhaps that is what they would rather use an underground station for? Although honestly, I don't see how the curve at the station would matter if they got rid of the purple line express.

  • The other projects mention the curve at Addison as needing to be straighted, so perhaps that is what they would rather use an underground station for? Although honestly, I don't see how the curve at the station would matter if they got rid of the purple line express.

  • I think what you are missing is that if the portal is North of Belmont the Brown Line won't have to wait for the Red Line to pass, or vice versa. Yes the Addison stop is in good condition but speeding up service for 2 lines is a plus for me. Although I agree with other commenters that the subway is a risky choice, as it is hard to know what lies under the proposed area.

  • Your pro bullet item about the 2-track having the most entrances is wrong. It only has 29 total entrances whereas the 3- and 4-track have 31 entrances each.

  • In reply to blogmarc:

    You are correct Marc. I changed the post.

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