The virgin voyage down the auxiliary exit at Belmont El

It’s all about timing. Today at 1 pm at stepped off a southbound Red Line train at Belmont and walked toward the north auxiliary exit. I saw a plastic strip draped between the two handrails at the top of the stairs.

I asked the worker if the exit was opening. He said, “It sure is, and you’re going to be the first passenger to use it.”

And so I was. I walked down the pristine steps, and from the steps landing, admired the tiny, old brick station house that used to sit across the street. Lovely.

I walked back up to the platform and saw that the elevator was already serving passengers. Workers were removing the plywood enclosures around the escalator. The escalator was operating in test mode. A foreman said it would officially open at 3 pm.

I didn’t have my camera with me. But I intend to go back soon to get photos. Tune in later.

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  • They should have let you cut the ribbon.

  • I think the auxiliary entrance is great. I'm not a fan of the orange looks like it was shipped from 1983. But at least it's bright!

  • In reply to wantonlife:

    Regarding the orange sculpture: actually it was shipped in from 1974. That sculpture was originally installed at Kimball in 1974 and was relocated to the renovated Belmont station in December. According to, Space Junction of Energy was the first specially-created artwork designed for and installed in a CTA

  • how so? Wasn't it complete on December 31?

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