Details on Red Purple Modernization with station consolidations

Here are the details on Modernization with some station Consolidations:

On the Purple Line (see map in gallery):

  • The Foster and South Boulevard stations would be closed, or “consolidated” in CTA-speak.
  • New auxiliary entrances would open at Gaffield (Noyes), Church (Davis), Greenwood (Dempster), and Madison (Main).
  • 16 of 20 slow curves would be straightened.
  • New stations with elevators and wider platforms.
  • A 4.5 minute improvement in speed from Linden to Howard, to 11 minutes.
  • Eight-car trains would serve all stations.

On the Red Line (see map in gallery):

  • Stations would be closed at Jarvis, Thorndale and Lawrence.
  • New auxiliary entrances would be added at Paulina and Rogers (Howard), Albion (Loyola), Glenlake (Granville), Hollywood (Byrn Mawr), Foster (Berwyn), Ainslie (Argyle), Sunnyside (Wilson), Sheridan (at a new Irving Park station), Waveland (Addison).
  • New transfer station at Loyola. A transfer station is scheduled to be built under current plans to rebuid the Wilson station.
  • Ten cars would serve the stations.
  • The trip from Howard to Belmont would be cut by 6.5 minutes to 19 minutes.
  • 16 of 20 slow curves would be straightened.
  • A “flyover” for the Brown Line would be built at the Clark Junction.
  • New stations with elevators and wider platforms.


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  • Was the "Clark Junction" flyover part of the earlier plan? Thinking this was added -- a significant and beneficial change.

  • In reply to emglatstein:

    Yes, the Clark Junction flyover was added.

  • I remember a couple of years ago when I was attacked on this blog for suggesting to the CTA to buy up all the property at Sheridan so the tracks could be straightened.
    I was also ripped for saying a Church St. exit was desperately needed for the NB Davis platform due to huge rush hour crowds fighting their way down the very inadequate stairway, that dumped them at the bottom, where they they had to take a roundabout exit, instead of a couple of Rotogates directly onto Benson.
    I also ripped the CTA for not building a short, maybe three foot stub at the north end of track 4 at Belmont & buying the rest of the property needed for the flyover during the station reconstruction.

    But there's nothing here about how long there won't be L service on the Far North Side.
    You can't replace the embankment without shutting it down for a couple of years!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The new Church entrance would be built on the north side of Church, I presume? The platforms will have to be lengthened to accommodate 8-car trains, and it makes sense to extend them over Church and then build a new auxiliary entrance on that side.

    Of course, the current platforms just about reach the south side of Church anyway - they could build an entrance there now if they wanted to. But the north side makes more sense to me.

  • Eliminating the Lawrence red line stop is very short-sighted given the possibility of Rahm creating a Music/Entertainment District right in the midst of that stop. There is no parking in that neighborhood for concert-goers so there needs to be adequate transit.

  • In reply to chris:

    I sort of agree, but at the same time an Ainslie entrance is just a block away from Lawrence. It still serves that area pretty well.

    It does make catching the 81 more difficult, though. I'd personally prefer closing the Argyle station and making an Ainslie entrance from Lawrence but I doubt closing the Argyle stop is politically feasible (just like I wonder if closing Jarvis will be).

  • In reply to strannix:

    Ainslie is not bad, but there is nothing on Ainslie. Just residential which would make it an odd entrance. This walk would be further to the Aragon, Riviera, and Green Mill from this proposed entrance. Plus, since this is only an entrance, the exit would be even further from Argyle or Wilson. Better to rebuild Lawrence platform north of the street and add and auxiliary to Argyle.

  • Isn't Foster (Evanston) the stop where you get off to go to Northwestern?

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Yes, but I wonder if the Noyes and Davis stops aren't more useful for Northwesterners. I don't really know. What I do know is that Foster and Noyes are both very low-ridership stations, so 'consolidating' them makes sense.

  • What is the love affair with additional entrances? I don't get it. Every station on the Congress line had additional entrances that required a half-mile walk to the platform. Trimming the run times are great, slowly returning to the 1960s run times with AB service. How about shaving the ridiculous time it takes to enter the Howard stop from just past Jarvis

  • In reply to oconnorm:

    Additional entrances increases the amount of people who can walk to the station. The north side is Chicago's densest and many people live in walking distance of these proposed auxiliary entrances. The additional entrances will also help with the circulation of passengers during peak times by not forcing the crowd to a single point of entry/exit. Don't know where you're basing your assumptions about A/B skip stop service returning and I doubt it ever will. And as a everyday user of the Congress blue line, I know I don't walk four blocks to reach the platform.

  • In reply to oconnorm:

    Congress was & is unique in having nothing but long, long ramps everywhere but Damen [Ogden was added with stairs after a few years] Central, which is just plain weird, first you go down & then up more stairs & Forest Park.
    The now closed stations also were built with stairs years after it was opened.

  • Disagree, between Wilson and the proposed alternative enterance to Argyle on Ainslie, you'd have two CTA stops within 1 block of the current Lawrence Ave. station, which would still serve the area but would do a lot to reduce the congestion and potential criminal element that tends to congregate around CTA stops, especially in this part of Uptown.

  • Why do these plans have to be so painfully 'all or nothing'? Both the Modernization with Consolidation and the Modernization without Consolidation plans should be merged to provide the most beneficial solution in my opinion.

    With the trending decline in Purple Line ridership, the complete rebuilds of each station to accommodate 8 car trains and the impetus to create the fastest ride to Belmont as possible the stretch from Howard to Linden needs to be consolidated. This saves 1.5min, provides additional entry points. Combined with the revamped Purple Express service South of Howard, the Linden-Belmont ride time drops from the current 35min to 23min.

    Then considering that the Purple Line will be making stops at both Loyola and Wilson regardless of the plan implemented, the Howard-Belmont ride time will remain constant at 12min.... so with this express service being offered with multiple transfer stations why must the Red be consolidated as well? Keep it as a local service, servicing each existing station, keeping every community group happy while only sacrificing a measly 2.5min over a full ride from Howard-Belmont. The amount of access points stays the same, 21 vs 21 even with the three station difference.

    So why exactly aren't we seeing a plan that implements consolidation of the Linden branch and a non consolidation of the Howard branch?

    Also, why is the CTA intent on building a full aerial viaduct instead of another solid fill embankment where it already exists? Construction is cheaper and it wouldn't alter the existing neighborhood fabric.

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    I'm so glad they're straightening those dumb 90 degree turns and closing stations. I always thought it would be better to close Wilson and build a new station at Montrose. The next going north would be Lawrence. Then close Argyle & Berwyn and build a new station between them at Foster (where it belongs). Next north Bryn Mawr, then Granville, Loyola, Morse, Howard.

  • In reply to Barry Aldridge:

    I agree with closing Berwyn to speed up service, but not Argyle, the latter of which supports one of Uptown's most important business districts. Argyle Street would die without the 'L'.

    Both Foster and Berwyn by the Red Line are largely high-density residential in character (except in the immediate vicinity of Broadway), and the 92 Foster can terminate at Argyle were Berwyn to close. It's not like this would create a mid-route diversion to the 92, as this would function as the terminus of the route.

    Thus, the priority for Red Line station location should be where the foot traffic is, not for where the major streets are.

    The Ainslie auxiliary exit from Argyle would work just fine for getting people to the Uptown Entertainment District; I don't know why there won't be one to Leland from Wilson to further ameliorate the loss of the Lawrence stop.

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