Underground Lines Information
Red Line, consisting of the North Side Main Line, State Street subway, and Dan Ryan Branch
- The Red Line is the busiest route, with 234,232 passenger boardings on an average weekday in 2013. It includes 33 stations on its 26-mile (42 km) route, traveling from the Howard terminal on the city’s north side, through downtown Chicago via the State Street subway, then down the Dan Ryan Expressway median to 95th/Dan Ryan on the South Side. Despite its length, the Red Line stops 5 miles (8.0 km) short of the city’s southern border. Extension plans to 130th are currently being considered. The Red Line is one of two lines operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is the only CTA “L” line that goes to both Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field, the homes of Chicago’s Major League Baseball teams, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Rail cars are stored at the Howard Yard on the north end of the line and at the 98th Yard at the south end.
- Blue Line, consisting of the O’Hare, Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway, and Congress branches
- The Blue Line extends from O’Hare International Airport through the Loop via the Milwaukee-Dearborn subway to the West Side. Trains travel to Des Plaines Avenue in Forest Park via the Eisenhower Expressway median. The route from O’Hare to Forest Park is 26.93 miles (43 km) long. The number of stations is 33. Until 1970, the northern section of the Blue Line terminated at Logan Square. During that time, the line was called the Milwaukee route after Milwaukee Avenue, which ran parallel to it; in that year service was extended to Jefferson Park via the Kennedy Expressway median, and in 1984 to O’Hare. The Blue Line is the second-busiest, with 176,120 weekday boardings. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Brown Line or Ravenswood Line
- The Brown Line follows an 11.4-mile (18 km) route, between the Kimball terminal in Albany Park and the Loop in downtown Chicago. In 2013, the Brown Line had an average weekday ridership of 108,529.
- Green Line, consisting of the Lake Street Elevated, South Side Main Line, and Ashland and East 63rd branches
- A completely elevated route utilizing the system’s oldest segments (dating back to 1892), the Green Line extends 20.8 miles (33.5 km) with 30 stops between Forest Park and Oak Park (Harlem/Lake), through The Loop, to the South Side. South of the Garfield station the line splits into two branches, with trains terminating at Ashland/63rd in West Englewood and terminating at Cottage Grove/63rd in Woodlawn. The East 63rd branch formerly extended to Jackson Park, but the portion of the line east of Cottage Grove, which ran above 63rd Street, was demolished in the 1980s and 1997 due to structural problems and then not rebuilt due to community demands. The average number of weekday boardings in 2013 was 68,230.
- Orange Line or Midway Line
- The 13-mile (21 km) long Orange Line was constructed from 1987 until 1993 on existing railroad embankments and new concrete and steel elevated structure. It runs from a station adjacent to Midway International Airport on the Southwest Side to The Loop in downtown Chicago. Average weekday ridership in 2013 was 58,765.
- Purple Line, consisting of the Evanston Shuttle and Evanston Express
- The Purple Line is a 3.9-mile (6 km) branch serving north suburban Evanston and Wilmette with express service to the Loop during weekday rush hours. The local service operates from the Linden terminal in Wilmette through Evanston to the Howard terminal on the north side of Chicago where it connects with the Red and Yellow lines. The weekday rush hour express service continues from Howard to the Loop, running nonstop on the four-track line used by the Red Line to Wilson station, then serving Belmont station, followed by all Brown Line stops to the Loop. 2013 average weekday ridership was 42,673 passenger boardings. The stops from Belmont to Chicago Avenue were added in the 1990s to relieve crowding on the Red and Brown lines. The name “purple line” is a reference to nearby Northwestern University, with four stops (Davis, Foster, Noyes, and Central) located just two blocks west of the University campus.
- Pink Line consisting of the Cermak Branch and Paulina Connector
- The Pink Line is a 11.2-mile (18 km) rerouting of former Blue Line branch trains from 54th/Cermak in Cicero via the previously non-revenue Paulina Connector and the Green Line on Lake Street to the Loop. Its average weekday ridership in 2013 was 31,572. The branch formerly ran to Oak Park Avenue in Berwyn, 2.1 miles (3.4 km) west of its current terminal point. In 1952, service on the portion of the line west of 54th Avenue was closed and over the next decade the stations and tracks were demolished. The street level right-of-way is used to this day as parking, locally known as the “”L” Strip”.
- Yellow Line, or Skokie Swift
- The Yellow Line is a 4.7-mile (8 km) three station line that runs from the Howard Street terminal to Skokie terminal in north suburban Skokie. The Yellow Line is the only “L” route that does not provide direct service to the Loop. This line was originally part of the North Shore Line‘s rail service, and was acquired by the CTA in the 1960s. The Yellow Line previously operated as a nonstop shuttle, until the downtown Skokie station Oakton–Skokie opened on April 30, 2012. Other plans in consideration are to extend the line from its current Dempster Street terminus to Old Orchard via an elevated right of way and the construction of an infill station in Evanston. Its average weekday ridership in 2013 was 6,338 passenger boardings.
- The Loop
- Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, and Purple Line Express trains serve downtown Chicago via the Loop elevated. The Loop’s eight stations average 72,843 weekday boardings. The Orange Line, Purple Line and the Pink Line run clockwise, the Brown Line runs counter-clockwise. The Green Line is the Loop’s only through service; the other four lines circle the Loop and return to their starting points. The Loop forms a rectangle roughly 0.4 miles (640 m) long east-to-west and 0.6 miles (970 m) long north-to-south. The loop crossing at Lake and Wells has been described in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s busiest railroad crossing.
information taken from wikipedia.org