(starting a new thread since this topic really didn't fit under the Red-Purple Modernization thread)
It looks like the Dan Ryan branch track project is going to roll out as someone else originally projected many weeks ago – a complete shutdown of the south branch of the Red Line from just south of Roosevelt to 95th. Subsequent to that post, I had heard that the CTA was going to offer a second option of weekend-only work for 4 years, but that the preferred plan was the complete 5-month shutdown. They had decided to present the second, weekend-only option, in order to give the appearance that they were offering the community and aldermen an option.
Well, it now looks like the weekend-only closures option is not seriously being considered. They are going with the complete shutdown plan. The complete Dan Ryan branch shutdown will begin in spring 2013 and last through the summer.
The details are basically as Mayfield laid out weeks ago:
Red Line will shut down completely from south of Roosevelt station to 95th in spring 2013 The shutdown will continue for 5 months Southbound Red line trains will be rerouted to Green line tracks after stopping at Roosevelt and will serve all Green line stops to Ashland/63rd Express bus shuttles will run from Garfield Green station to 63rd, 69th, 79, 87th, and 95th Red. there will be other additional supplemental bus service
One thing that changed since Mayfield outlined this plan is that the CTA intends to offer some free and discounted fares to some riders affected by the shutdown. This helped to ensure the support of the aldermen, at least in one office I am aware of. Not sure of the extent of these free fares. This is still under discussion. I heard possibly free shuttle buses and free fares boarding at Garfield Greenline station.
Also, the CTA has reached out to and received the support of the Chicago Urban League (for support on hiring issues?). As I hear it, the big selling point is the number of jobs this project will create.
This information is for your information and discussion. I have no official proof I will post, and no official sources I will identify. Doing so would probably cut off my source of info.
Looks like they are putting a switch in from track 1 to track 2, just south of Lawrence/Red line. I guess that's part of the preliminary work that needs to be done before the project will start. Looks like they are starting at track 1 and working they're way to four, unlike both Belmont and Fullerton/Red line which was the opposite.
I took a few pictures of the Clark/Division station on the Red line. At street level, on Lasalle, they already have concrete staircases in place and the big hole over Division has been filled. Looks like they want to open up the street for November. At platform level, they have now opened up an area on the east side of the station and we can now see the decorative ceiling tiles they are installing. They also have one light bar installed, and the marble sheeting on the floor of the station in that section. (pictures from left to right are: Lasalle SE corner, Lasalle NE corner, station ceiling, station lightbar, station floor)
I'm trying to follow the logic about the CTA wanting to extend the Red Line to 130th via a shared elevated embankment with a Union Pacific Freight Line. Are they saying that they will lay third rail next to existing freight tracks and share said tracks with a freight line? Initially, I thought not and that would be impossible, but when you put "share" in the context, that changes the meaning.
If this is being read correctly, does the CTA realize what kind of delays they are in for from 95th to 130th? Freight Trains can be anywhere from 100-200 cars in length and cause "Freight Delays" on all Metra lines where Metra and Freight co-exist.