Rail lines rerouted for weekend work

  • By Amy Lee
  • Transit reporter
  • October 15, 2008 @ 4:00 PM

Planned weekend installation of two new signal and train control systems in the Loop means Brown, Pink, Orange and Green line riders will cope with rerouted trains for the next few days.

Beginning at 10 p.m. tonight, the northbound Green and Brown lines will be rerouted onto inner Loop tracks. These reroutes will be in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday morning, then again from 10 p.m. Thursday night to 4 a.m. Friday morning.

• The Brown line train will travel clockwise through the Loop, beginning with the Clark/Lake stop, and proceed on its normal route at Merchandise Mart.

• The Green line train will also be routed on inner Loop tracks but its first stop will be Library, then onto La Salle/Van Buren; it will pick up its normal route at Clinton.

Weekend crews are scheduled to replace track and rail ties and install the new signal and control system at the Loop junction of Van Buren/Wabash and Lake/Wells this weekend to better regulate train intervals and speed, according to the transit agency. The work is part of the agency's slow zone prevention project and is expected to wrap up by Thanksgiving.

Several weekend reroute are planned that will impact southbound Brown lines, Orange lines from Midway, Green line trains from 63rd and from Harlem/Lake and Pink lines. Individual line reroutes can be found on the agency's Web site.

On Monday, bus riders can track eight new bus routes on the CTA's bus tracker Web site. Buses equipped with global positioning system technology allows riders to log onto the site to track up to five real-time bus routes, estimated arrival times and, if requested, receive an alert when a bus is approaching a particular stop.

CTA officials say the addition of these routes means 49 percent - or 75 of 153 - bus routes are accessible through the Web site tracker. On Monday, the tracker will be available on the following routes:

• #6 Jackson Park Express

• #11 Lincoln/Sedgwick

• #69 Cumberland/East River

• #79 79th

• #87 87th

• #145 Wilson/Michigan Express

• #151 Sheridan

• #157 Streeterville

In addition, CTA this week launched a new email service to inform riders of planned weekday and weekend service changes. Emails with details on planned weekend work are scheduled to be sent to riders tomorrow, while week-ahead changes are scheduled to be sent out on Friday. Riders can sign up for the alerts here.

The CTA will also send press releases to those who request them. The CTA says it does not share or sell email addresses. The agency hopes to roll out an emergency email alert system in early 2009, which will alert users to major delays or disruptions to service along their selected routes, officials say.

"Customer communications is a critical piece of our efforts to improve the overall customer experience on the CTA," CTA President Ron Huberman says in a release. "But even more important is offering emergency service information to our customers during an event that is impacting service."

Amy Lee is a Chicago-based journalist. She covers transit issues for the Daily News.