East 63rd (Jackson Park) branch
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- Hours of Operation: 4am-1am,
Mon-Fri; 5:15am-1am, Sat; 5:50am-1am, Sun
Length of Route: 1.5 miles
Number of Stations: 2 stations
Car Types Assigned: 5000-series
Assignment sheet for
latest car assignments)
The public took to the new elevated line quickly and extensions
toward Jackson Park were opened incrementally as new sections were
completed. On August 14, 1892, only two months after the railroad
began operations, the first extension southward was opened between
39th Street and 47th Street. This was quickly followed by further
expansion to 51st, then 55th streets. By the end of 1892, the
structure was complete to 63rd Street, allowing 61st station to come
into use on January 22, 1893. The next day, the Rapid Transit and
Bridge Construction Company officially turned the title for the line
it had built over to the South Side Rapid Transit Railroad Company,
even though construction was still not quite complete. But in short
order, by late spring, erection of the line to Jackson Park was
largely finished. Service to Madison Avenue (later Dorchester
Avenue), just a couple blocks from Jackson Park, was inaugurated on
April 23rd. Service into the park did not begin until May 12th,
almost two weeks after the exposition's May 1st opening. (The fair
itself wasn't particularly on-time either: it opened a year late,
making the Columbian Exposition 401 years after Columbus'
"discovery"...) In the interim, passengers bound for the fair could
use a specially-designed walkway on the elevated structure to get the
additional couple blocks to the fair. When the final segment opened
in mid-May, the Jackson Park terminal was above an annex to the
Transportation Building in the fair. Here, passengers could either
walk out of the station to the fair, enter Louis Sullivan's famous
Transportation Building, or transfer to the fair's own elevated,
electric Intramural Railway. During late night and early morning
hours, the fair grounds were closed and trains terminated at the
Stony Island station a mere several hundred feet west.
The Columbian Exposition proved to be both a blessing and a
problem for the South Side Rapid Transit. The "L" proved to be a
popular way to get to the exposition and ridership was strong. The
company even added some express trains from downtown (even though
there were no express tracks at the time) and built a second platform
at the Congress Street terminal to separate boarding and alighting
passengers. But just as the fair boosted ridership, the closure of
the fair in October 1893 caused it to crash quickly. Average daily
ridership fell from 116,000 in June 1893 to 40,000 in February 1894.
After the fair closed, the Jackson Park terminal was abandoned and
service was cut back to Stony Island.
- January 22, 1893 - South Side
Elevated structure is completed to 63rd Street, allowing service
as far south as 61st Street station.
- April 23, 1893 - Service is
extended to Madison (Dorchester) Avenue. Since the line was not
completed to Jackson Park when the fair opened on May 1st,
passengers use a temporary walkway on the elevated structure from
Madison station to reach the fair grounds until completion of the
- May 12, 1893 - The line completed
to Jackson Park, location of the Columbian Exposition of 1893. The
station is located above an annex to the famous Louis
Sullivan-designed Transportation Building. A direct platform
transfer is built to the exposition's own Columbian Intramural
Railway. At night, when the fair is closed, trains terminate one
station west at Stony Island Avenue.
- October 31, 1893 - Concurrent
with the closure of the Columbian Exposition, the Jackson Park
station is closed and service is cut back to Stony Island. The
Stony Island station is later renamed "Jackson Park".
- November 3, 1913 - Crosstown "L" service is first
initiated, with trains running from Linden Avenue in Wilmette to
the Stony Island Avenue terminal in Chicago's Jackson
Park. The South Side and Northwestern trains
operate on the outer track in a counterclockwise direction
(actually only running over two sides of the Loop on each
crosstown trip). Crosstown pairings include Evanston-Jackson Park,
Wilson-Englewood, and Wilson-South Park runs (the last being
believed to be very short-lived).
- November 4, 1913 - Additional crosstown runs are
instituted between Ravenswood and Kenwood. Some Ravenswood trips
continue to terminate in the Loop, while a few others find their
way down to 61st Street.
- February 15, 1922 - North Shore Line interurban service
extended south from Roosevelt to Dorchester.
- March 6, 1938 - North Shore Line interurban service
withdrawn from Dorchester back to Roosevelt.
- July 31, 1949 - The CTA institutes its massive
North-South service revision. Service is streamlined into the
following routes: Howard-Englewood, Howard-Jackson Park,
Ravenswood (Kimball-Loop), and Evanston (Linden-Howard during
non-rush hours, Linden-Loop during rush). A/B skip stop service is
instituted on the Howard, Englewood, Jackson Park and Ravenswood
- January 13, 1973 - Dorchester station closed.
- March 4, 1982 - Due to structural defects in bridge
over Illinois Central Railroad, service on the Jackson Park branch
is suspended south of 61st Street.
- December 12, 1982 - Service is restored on the Jackson
Park branch as far as the University Avenue stop after a $2
million renovation. The defective bridge was later demolished.
- January 9, 1994 - The Lake-Englewood-Jackson Park Green
Line closes for an extensive renovation project lasting more than
2 years. A great deal of controversy raged during the two year
rehab, including debates over station closings, retention of
nighttime "owl" service and the date of reopening.
- May 12, 1996 - The Green Line reopens after a
renovation project lasting more than 2 years. Owl service is
retained, but Racine/63 is closed. Jackson Park branch is
officially renamed the East 63rd branch.
- September 27, 1997 - The CTA reaches a decision on the
fate of the Cottage Grove-Dorchster segment of the Green Line:
with less then 24 hours of public notice, city workers move in and
dismantle the 105-year old "L" line.
- April 27, 1998 - The CTA institutes some of the largest
service cuts in its history. Under the Booz-Allen Hamilton Service
Plan. Owl Service is cut on the Green Line.
This Chicago-L.org article is a
stub. It will be expanded in the future as