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Red Line South faces slow zone--again

For five months last year, the CTA shut down the southern portion of the Red Line to rip up and replace track. Stations were closed and riders were ferried to the Green Line.

This construction was to rid that area of the Red Line, long a magnet for stop-and-go service, of slow zones. When the southern section of the Red Line reopened in October, CTA Chief Infrastructure Officer Chris Bushell told RedEye that portion would require minimal maintenance for 10 years.

Less than three months later, the Red Line South has a slow zone.

The CTA placed 1,731 feet of rail near by the 95th Street station under slow zone this month, according to a monthly slow zone map posted this week. About half the slow zone requires trains to go 15 miles per hour while the other half allows trains to go a maximum of 35 miles per hour, the threshold for slow zone designation.

The CTA said a small crack developed in rail near the 95th Street station last week after the temperatures plunged.

The CTA said it anticipates the slow zone will be lifted within about a week, following the repair of the rail, which will be covered by the project contractor because the construction materials are still under warranty. An interim repair is currently in place.

"The Red Line South project continues to meet our expectations, providing faster, smoother rides to our customers, and we continue to hear great, upbeat feedback from passengers about how much they like the new railroad," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said in an e-mail.

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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