How will RPM benefit the 44th Ward?
The Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) corridor is a 9.6 mile stretch of track built over a century ago stretching from Belmont to Howard. It serves some of Chicago’s densest areas including Lakeview and the 44th Ward. In order to accommodate current and predicted increases in ridership along the RPM corridor during rush hours, the CTA needs to increase service, however it is currently at capacity. The RPM program addresses this issue by completely modernizing and rebuilding much of the century-old corridor from Belmont to Howard. In the 44th Ward, RPM will encompass the complete reconstruction of the Red and Purple Line track structures from Belmont to Cornelia/Newport (referred to as the North Main Line Reconstruction). Between Addison and Belmont, southbound Red and Purple line service will operate along the same northbound track; while, northbound Red and Purple Line service will operate along the same southbound track. This change is necessary for the dismantlement and replacement of the North Main Line’s western most tracks. A temporary track structure has been built to enable the continuation of normal service of the Loop-bound Brown Line as the normal track configuration is updated.
What is the Red-Purple Bypass?
As part of the first phase of the RPM Program, CTA has completed construction of the Red-Purple Bypass directly north of the Belmont Station. The bypass has eliminated a bottleneck that previously prevented the CTA from adding more train service along the Red, Purple, and Brown Lines. The previous layout of the rail intersection required that all northbound Brown Line trains cross over the four tracks used by the Red and Purple Lines, interrupting and delaying Red and Purple Line trains as Brown Line trains crossed over. The new configuration enhances the efficiency of train operations, raising the amount of service the CTA can run along the entire Red, Purple, and Brown Lines. This enables the CTA to reduce overcrowding and meet growing demand for transit service. Benefits of the Red-Purple Bypass include:
- The addition of up to eight more Red Line trains per hour during rush periods
- Ability to accommodate up to 7,200 additional customers per hour during rush hour
- Increased Red and Purple line train speeds by 60 percent through this intersection
- Customers are saved a half-million travel hours each year
Temporary Track Structure
In order to continue to provide Red, Purple, and Brown Line service throughout RPM Phase One construction (2019-2025), a temporary track structure has been built parallel to the Red, Purple, and Brown Line tracks between Belmont Avenue and north of School Street. Trains will use this track for several years during construction.
- Spring 2018: Advance utility relocation work begins
- December 2018: CTA selects Walsh-Fluor as design-build contractor
- February 2019: CTA issued Notice to Proceed to Walsh-Fluor to begin project work
- Winter 2019: Property demolition complete
- End of 2019: Heavy civil work related to advance utility relocation to be substantially completed
- October 2019: Major construction begins on Red-Purple Bypass with start of track foundation work
- 2021: Red-Purple Bypass to be completed
- 2021 – 2024: CTA reconstruction of North Main lines (Red and Purple Line track structure reconstruction between Belmont and Cornelia/Newport)
- End of 2024: North Main Line reconstruction to be completed.
For more information on this project, please visit https://www.transitchicago.com/rpm/