Work about to start on Chicago Brown Line platform to replace flooring

While the Renew Crew does its work at the Chicago station on the Red Line, a new flooring crew begins to replace rotted floor boards at the Chicago station on the Brown Line. As I noted earlier this year, the CTA admitted it made a mistake in installing wood flooring with a fire-retardent chemical, but without a water sealant.

Tattler reader Cheryl has always been on top of this story, with photos from the Francisco station shown here that I posted in the summer. Now she shares these photos of new boards stacked up on the Chicago Brown Line platform ready to replace the worn flooring.

CTA Tattler Holiday Train outing is this Saturday

Don’t forget to join us on the Blue Line at Jackson station at 4:30 pm Saturday as we start our annual journey on the CTA’s Holiday Train. More details here.


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  • This is coming to the point where there should be indictments. However, despite the appearance that corruption isn't Anita Alvarez's concern, I'll note that it has been 5 weeks since I sent a letter to the CTA IG on another topic, and so far, as I predicted then, haven't received a response.

  • Is it just me, or does it strike others as patently unfair that the line that has been most recently updated, and runs the newest cars also always seems to get the attention it needs in a reasonable amount of time, while the Red line crumbles? I understand the dangers of walking on rotten planks to get to and from your train...and Jack is right to call for prosecution of those responsible for that debacle, but It seems to me that the line ridden by our Political class in this town always seems to get the most attention. Will we need a CTA president and/or a Mayor who rides the Red line to and from work to get anything done?

  • In reply to boofoochoochoo:

    Boofoo: While it might seem like the Brown Line is getting lots of dollars, the Red Line will soon start getting about $1 billion in improvements, including station rehabs.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Yeah, I get that Kevin. But look at how bad things have had to get before they FINALLY did something about the Red. I suspect that if these rotten boards had been on the Red line, someone would have had to fallen through the platform in order for CTA to pay attention. The Red line is the Red-headed step-child of the CTA.

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    In reply to boofoochoochoo:

    boofoo, my fiance's foot did go entirely through a plank of wood at the kedzie stop a couple of months ago...It is that bad.

  • In reply to boofoochoochoo:

    At least the city hall political class,* for the most part, wasn't from there until the last election. Also, Rahm claimed that he was at 95-State at least 10 times during the campaign, and was the first one to bring up that the Dan Ryan Line needed $400M-600M of work, not mentioning that it got $250M of work in 2005-2006.

    The more relevant question, which is raised here and by Kevin's comment about the Red Line, and was the subject of my unanswered IG letter, is that why nothing here ever is fixed after money is poured into it. I said it is good that stations are getting attention, but no one has ever said what the source of money for this $25 million project is, or whether anyone will be held accountable for the garbage installed on the Brown Line project within the past 4 years.

    *One of the stations was in Blagojevichville, but I saw that for the two days of the sentencing hearing, someone provided a chauffeured car for him, so he wasn't riding the Brown Line.

  • In reply to jack:

    Blago never rode the L.
    Several years ago, a blizzard hit on Dec 8 in the afternoon.
    The next day, there was a comment from him that it took 3 hours to drive him home. Clark & Lake is next to the state building & he would have been home in an hour to the Francisco station just a couple of blocks from his home.
    He was always a jerk!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Well, we knew that. The more interesting question is that if he is so broke as a result of defense costs, who paid for the car and chauffeur? I guess he isn't that broke.

    For that matter, most reports were that he worked at home until he was arrested. He must have been off his habit that day.

  • In reply to jack:

    Actually, most days he worked at his campaign HQ at Ravenswood & Berteau, which is just a couple of hundred feet from Rahm's house.

  • In reply to boofoochoochoo:

    Seems being the operative word. The newest cars are actually on the pink line and are going to be on the green line next. Furthermore, according to the CTA the brown line has the second highest percentage of slow zone tracks behind the Dan Ryan Branch. Believe me, we crawl getting to the loop and the Dan Ryan will be the next to get updated.
    Slow zone percentage:
    Dan Ryan 28.5%
    Ravenswood 24.3%
    Purple line express: 24.1%

  • I also can also attest that due to the many permanent curve slow zones and the many deferred maintenance slow zones that have popped up over the last year, the Brown Line is one long slow zone from Armitage to the Loop. So much for all those millions spent extending platforms to permit 8 car trains to increase capacity. Nearly 25% of the line is in slow zones now!!! That really cuts down on the number of trains that can be sent down the line at rush hour. The total number of people moved per hour was probably higher on the line slow zone free with 6 car trains than now. The CTA is such a mess of a transit agency. This also probably explains why the Brown Line in the morning seems as overcrowded as ever. Fewer trains can traverse the tracks during the morning rush without causing a huge backup of trains creeping at 15 mph. What's the deal anyway, why are there so many freaking slow zones now on the Brown Line now? I guess the big Brown Line rehab was just the stations, very little replacement of track and ties was done. It would make too much sense to fix both the tracks AND the stations at the same time!! I can already hear the call for yet another big rehab project that will cost millions.

  • In reply to Matt:

    The main things they said they did were (a) extend the platforms, and (b) replace the electrical substations. There were some notices about welding some of the structural supports.

    Looking at the maps, it appears the the majority of the slow zones (you know they aren't going over 15 mph into the terminal or around the sharp curves ) are on Detail B, i.e. the old North Main between the subway portal and roughly Oak St. Other than stripping out the outer track there, I'm sure they didn't do any track work, or it would have been shut down for at least a large series of weekends. Transferring to the Red Line seems the better deal (at least with regard to slow zones) as the only one between Lawrence and Downtown is NB at the Division curve.

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