Longtime readers (and perhaps more casual ones) know that I'm primarily a
Red Line commuter, just like 40% of all CTA rail riders. I live less
than two blocks from the Morse stop at the north end and the Red Line
spits me out right near my office building downtown.
So it's nice to travel on other rail lines occasionally, as I did
heading to Midway this past weekend. I like flying out of Midway more
than O'Hare, and the rail trip is actually rather placid compared to the
First, there's view the view of the Loop from the "second floor." There
are a number of distinctive, historic buildings to enjoy on your way
south. After heading south from Roosevelt, you notice old and new
apartment and condo buildings hugging both sides of the tracks.
Next on the west the tracks curve around the modern new Chicago Police
District 1 station at 1702 S. State Street, and cross over the Red Line
as it emerges from the subway.
The Orange Line next curves past a riverside park and continues on its
by the river and other rail track. With the slow zones now gone on the
Orange Line tracks, the train picks up speed, certainly traveling faster
than the Red Line ever does.
The housing stock is newer on the Southwest Side, with plenty of matching blond brick three-flats, bungalows and ranch houses.
Finally, the Orange tracks bend toward Midway. And make sure you bring your walking shoes. A long walk to the terminal awaits.
my return trip north into the city, I got a stark reminder of my usual
Red Line commute: A 30-year-old guy already reeking of pot stepped
between the cars and first urinated to the tracks below. Then he
unsheathed a doobie took a few hits. I was watching the whole time, and
he noticed. When he returned to the Hobo Corner, he just gave me a