Next stop is Addison on the Red Line Express out of Howard

After some readers wrote that they noticed a Red Line train bypassed the Jarvis station southbound every morning, I made an inquiry about it.

I learned that there is one Red Line train operating at 8:20 a.m. out of Howard that runs express to Addison. The train operates on the Purple Line track and makes no Red Line stops till Addison — not even Sheridan.

“This train was added to prevent overcrowding further down the line,” said a CTA spokesperson. “The CTA’s Planning and Operations departments are testing it and
evaluating its effectiveness.”

Well, I’m thinking those trying to get to work or school after 8:20 boarding north of Addison don’t think it’s very effective.

But what about you folks at Addison and south? Have you boarded this train? Ever wonder why it’s empty when it gets to Addison? Well, now you know.


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  • I will preface that I'm not a red line riders. Trains come every 3 to 5 mins on the red line, I don't see the problem. And it'll help those further south who have to let a few trains go by because they're so full.

    On the blue line side, I've always been an advocate of short turning every third train at UIC because we're wasting service by sending too many trains to forest park. Its an inconvenience for some but the benefits are far greater.

  • CJ, I agree in principle with what you're saying. I just wish there were more crossovers north of Addison so the CTA could start runs at stops further north - maybe staggering them.

    Plus it was bad timing with this experiment, since we saw zero degree temps for the better part of that week.

  • You also hit another one of my points, there's not enough crossovers. Not just for express service but when there's a delay to a malfunctioning train. You have to sit behind it. There's lots of reasons to build crossovers.

    And you're right about the timing- but it will happen in winter no matter what if they continue with this. You'll never please everyone. If I was a riders, it would've started in 100 degree weather and I'd be on a rampage. I'm much more tolerant of zero degree weather than I am of 100 degree.

  • Considering that during rush hour, some trains are packed by the time they leave Morse, I would commend CTA for showing some initiative here.

    Obviously, since there is no more Wilson Yard (in the train sense) the trains have to come from Howard. However, Kevin, there are crossovers (such as the one just south of Loyola), and various people discussed under various posts how that could be used to bypass from Granville to Addison.

    Of course, for Metra riders, this is old hat (such as Milwaukee North Line trains running express from Fox Lake to Deerfield, or BNSF trains being split among Aurora-Naperville, Lisle-Downers Grove, Fairview-Congress Park, and Brookfield-Local zones.

  • In reply to jack:

    I don't remember those crossovers being full interlockings with automatic switches. The problem is that hand thrown switches are time consuming.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    That could be. However, since Train Tracker indicates that the system has the information about the runs, automating them shouldn't be that expensive, compared to, say, any of the vision alternatives higher than 2.

    As far as Addison, I've been on trains that were on the outside track at Sheridan, and then switched to the inner track, and as the original posts points out, that is being done on this express train.

    However, as I first indicated, the Metra solution applied here by CTA seems an adequate first response.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    I wondered what was going on. I usually get to Berwyn around 8:25 or 8:30 and for the past few days there have been zero trains visible to the north. ibright05's guestimate of 3-5 minutes might hold true earlier or later, but certainly not around then.

  • In reply to bopo:

    It's the scheduled headway. That's public data. Trains bunch but overall they do come every 3-5 during rush.

  • In reply to bopo:

    Congrats to the CTA for trying *something*, anything to solve congestion closer to the loop. I take the brown line new the beginning of the line, so I always get a seat...but I pity the poor folks south of Belmont that NEVER, EVER get a seat...but rather have to crush in.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    The red line is packed by the time it gets to Addison. Anything that actually allows Addison folks to board a train is a nice development.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    I noticed this, its odd too because there is usually a purple express that pulls out just after (scheduled 08:21 am). But this seems like a legit idea. Slightly OT but anyone noticed the slow zone removal on the SB outer track between Loyola and Argyle past few weeks? Didn't think the embankment could handle that speed again!

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