.

Marker Lights

 

For passengers, the most typical method of identifying trains and their routes is a roller curtain or run board displaying the destination or route. But for towerman, supervisors, and other operating employees (not to mention savvy riders), there's another way: marker lights.

Markers are sets of lights on the front of "L" cars that indicate what route the train is running. There are two sets of lights (one on the right side of the car, one on the left), each having four colors: red, green, yellow (amber), and white. Different combinations of these colors indicate different routes.


Marker Light History/Operation | Marker Route Identification


Marker Light History/Operation

Northwestern Elevated car 9 (top) shows the typical marker-headlight arrangement for "railroad roof" cars while Metropolitan Elevated car 842 (above) shows how the markers and headlight were integrated into the squared end of the clerestory on "monitor roof" cars. For a larger view of NWERR car 9, click here. For a larger view of Met car 842, click here. (Photos courtesy of the Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The earliest of Chicago's "L" lines, the South Side Rapid Transit, seems not to have employed marker lights when they first began operation. Inspection of photos of the steam locomotives do not reveal any type of apparent marker lights or boards and the Chicago & South Side Rapid Transit R.R. "Rules and Regulations" employee handbook makes no mention of them, although it does discuss taillights hung from the chains of the rear passenger car. Likewise, the Lake Street Elevated's steam locomotives seem to have lacked markers as well. Then again, both of these routes originally had only one route, with no branches, and lacked express service, so there really weren't a variety of services that need to be differentiated yet.

The first company that seems to have used marker lights was the Metropolitan West Side Elevated, whose motor cars and controller trailers were equipped with them from the beginning. The Metropolitan had a myriad of different car designs, compounded by the free hand that shopmen apparently had in rebuilding damaged cars, but as far as roof design goes there were two main types. Nearly all of the Met's trailers and control trailers, as well as some motor cars had traditional "railroad" type roofs, a two-level roof with small windows in a clerestory that provided light and ventilation and whose ends curved down, tapering and blending into the lower part of the roof. Meanwhile, a good portion of the Met's motor cars (as well as the 2250-67 series trailers) had "monitor" roofs: a roof topped with a clerestory with square ends, looking perhaps like a coffin or box sitting on top of the roof. The railroad roof motors and control trailers had an elaborate set of hardware on the ends of the roofs that included marker lights and a headlight. The markers were four-sided lanterns, each side with a colored lens, that were mounted to the lower part of the roof, one on each side of the clerestory. A headlight was mounted in the front center of the roof on the sloping part of the clerestory. A horizontal bar ran between the tops of the two marker lights and connected to the headlight in between. The marker lanterns could spin on their mounting, allowing whichever colored lens needed to be used to be spun into the front position. The monitor roof cars, on the other hand, had their headlight and markers built into the squared end of the upper part of the roof. A single headlight was in the middle, while one marker lens was on either side. The color of the light behind the lens must have been changeable from inside the cars.

Following the electrification of the first two "L" lines -- the Lake Street in 1895-96 and the South Side in 1897-98 -- the converted motor cars were given marker lights. By this time, their lines had some varying types of runs and were mingling with the other companies' trains on the loop so this type of identification became necessary for towermen. Both companies' fleets consisted entirely of railroad roof cars and a setup similar to the Met's was installed on the Lake Street's motorcars. The South Side's motorcars got the marker lanterns on each side of the clerestory but lacked a headlight or horizontal connecting bar. The South Side's lanterns, which also seemed to be smaller and have fewer lenses than the other companies' cars, were mounted on an L-shaped pipe that went directly into the side of the sloping end of the roof clerestory. The Northwestern Elevated was the last company on the scene and had the same marker-headlight arrangement as the Lake Street and Met railroad-roof cars, though in a slightly different assembly. The Northwestern's roof equipment was further complicated by the later addition of destination sign boxes in front of the roof headlight.

These complex entanglements of roof equipment seem to have only lasted a few decades at most. In practice, they were probably overly complicated and a headache to maintain. The roof marker lanterns seem to have last only as late as the 1910s or 1920s. They were replaced by simple brackets on the corner posts of the cars on which colored rectangular marker paddles (for daytime use) or lanterns with colored lenses (for nighttime or poor weather use) could be mounted. This became the system standard and were also used on both the Baldie and Plushie 4000-series cars.

Top: The hatch on car 6101 to change the color of the marker light at the floor line of the car. This one's inside the control cab. There were identical hatches in the cab in the ceiling and outside the cab near the floor and ceiling on the left side of the front of the car. For a larger view, click here.
Above: The hatch opened up, showing how the marker light worked. The knob turned the colored roundels, which the light bulb showed through. For a larger view, click
here.
(Photos by Graham Garfield)

The first use of electric marker lights came with the experimental 5000-series cars, 5001-5004. Two of these electric marker lights (also referred to as "classification lights") were placed at the top of the front of the car above the end windows, while two more were on the front at the floor line. There was a single lens for each light, the colors changed by rotating colored glass roundels. The lights could be turned on from the cab, the light had to be rotated manually by accessing the lights from a hatch inside the car and turning the color wheel by hand. The lights could be set to RED, AMBER, GREEN, or LUNAR WHITE. Combinations of these indicated the train route.

The 6000-series and 1-50 series cars used the same type of markers. They were located in the same places in the car body and controlled identically to the 5000-series markers.

The motorman set up the cab at the beginning of each run, so he was responsible for turning the color knob to the correct combination for the lower marker lights, and switching off the two red upper marker lights which indicated the rear of a train. The motorman was also responsible for turning the headlight on. If the train entered a terminal where the crew had to "swap ends" (instead of running around a loop-track in the yard), the motorman would usually turn off the headlight, turn on the upper red marker lights, and operate the knob(s) so both lower marker lights displayed red, while closing up the cab.

Note, however, that it was officially the conductor's responsibility to insure the four marker lights at the rear of the train displayed red, and that the headlight was off. If a supervisor or "spotter" turned in a crew for improper lights at the rear of the train, the conductor had better not have said "But I thought my motorman had set them!" or he would have been in a lot of trouble! The opposite was true of the front of the train - that was the responsibility of the motorman.

The 4000-series cars did not originally have electric markers, but the CTA retrofitted the cars with marker light units in 1953. The markers were put in two vertical oblong boxes on either side of the front door, below the end windows. Each box had four lenses, one of each light color. This represented a change in design from the 5000-, 6000- and 1-50 series markers, which had a single lens for all four lights. At the same time, the 4000s were given a single sealed-beam headlight on the roof, above the front door.

To set the markers on the 4000s, there was a box mounted on the front wall of the cab, with two five-position rotating-switch knobs. (The fifth position was OFF.) On the 4000s, the same rules of responsibility for setting and checking lights at either end of the train held as on the 6000s.

The High-Performance Family of cars, starting with the 2000-series, continued the concept of separate lenses for each marker color, but now had the lights molded into the end cap of the car. The eight lights were set along the top of the front above the end windows, four on each side of the destination sign. They were, from left to right, RED, AMBER, GREEN, LUNAR WHITE, <the destination sign>, LUNAR WHITE, GREEN, AMBER, RED. This design has been maintained through to the current 3200-series cars. The only exception were the 2200-series cars. These units still had the lights in two four-light sets on either side of the destination sign, but because the end windows extended nearly to the roof line of the car, the lights were actually mounted inside the car, against the window glass. In the High-Performance cars, the knobs that controlled the markers also automatically set the destination sign to the corresponding reading.

Another innovation of the High-Performance Family was in the headlights. Starting here, the sealed-beam headlights and sealed-beam taillights became separate units, mounted next to each other on the front of each married-pair car. Previous to this, the taillights were formed by using the two red marker lights on the rear of the train.

 

Above Right: The control panel of a 2000-series car. The color of the marker lights were controlled by the dials pointed to by the white arrows. Each dial controlled one set of markers. These dials are used on all High-Performance cars. (CTA Photo)

Left: The cab switch panel in the early 6000-series cab. They changed very little from this builder's view. The white arrows at the top point to the four switches that turned the marker lights on and off. The color had to be changed manually. (Photo from the Krambles-Peterson Archive)


Marker Route Identification

As described above, the combination of two different colored lights indicates what route and/or class an "L" train is. The combinations have changed over time as new routes and stopping patterns have come and gone.

 

Pre-CTA Era Markers

Excerpt from the Metropolitan "L"'s 1898 public route map, showing the different marker combinations their trains carried. For a larger view of the whole map, click here.

Although the three original "L" companies -- the South Side, the Lake Street, and the Metropolitan West Side -- each had different patterns of service they operated on their own lines, it was less important for most to need to need to differentiate the trains clearly for towermen before they were all connected via the Loop elevated. The exception was the Metropolitan, which from the beginning had planned and operated a system that consisted of several branches, necessitating an easy way for the towermen to identify the trains from a distance and sort them efficiently. Interestingly, the Met even published their marker light system on their public maps (seen at right), allowing the passengers to take advantage of being able to identify the trains from a distance as well.

When the Loop was competed in 1897 and trains from different companies began intermingling, it became more important for each company to have a system of markers that would identify the trains for the towerman at each junction on and off the Loop. The Met continued to use their system, while the South Side and Lake Street companies initially just had one set of marker indications each. Red, white and green were the only colors used initially, and for many decades thereafter. The Union Elevated Railroad's 1898 Rule Book listed these as the marker combinations in use:

Lake Street

South Side

Metropolitan Garfield Park

Metropolitan Humboldt Park

Metropolitan Logan Square

Metropolitan Douglas Park

Sheet describing the marker lights of the South Side lines from Instructions for Trainmen in Connection with Through Routing, published in 1913 for employees. For a larger view, click here.(Graham Garfield Collection)

As the South Side Elevated began to built branches, served both the Loop and their old, original "stub terminal" outside the Loop, and added an express track along part of their line, the need for a more complex system of marker indications was needed for their trains. The South Side used green-green for Jackson Park-Loop express trains, red-green for Englewood-Loop express trains, white-green for Kenwood runs, and white-white for any trains going into the Old Congress stub terminal. Any of these markers combined with a white lantern indicated a local train except for those going to Old Congress: here, the white lantern indicated an Englewood-Old Congress train (as opposed to a Jackson Park-Old Congress train). Stock Yards shuttle trains may not have needed markers, since they rarely ventured beyond their own line and separate pocket at Indiana station, but the Stock Yards-Jackson Park trains run in the mornings and evenings until 1949 was well-known among railfans and towermen for carrying blue plate markers, the only known "L" service to use marker colors other than red, green, or white (and later yellow) to indicate routing.

The Rules and Regulations of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad Company employee manual of 1900, meanwhile, stated that two red markers and a headlight indicated an express train while local trains carried a white marker on the right and a green marker on the left. Additional marker readings were added after the North Water Terminal, Ravenswood branch, and Evanston extension entered service. For instance, southbound trains terminated at North Water carried two yellow markers in addition to signs reading "N. WATER ST." on the sides of the cars.

By the 1920s, with four major divisions (the four original companies) and most of those with several branches, stub terminals just outside downtown, and various operating patterns, a more complex system of marker indications had developed. According to a memo from the Chicago Rapid Transit Company (CRT) Office of Superintendent of Shops and Equipment, dated July 1, 1927, concerning getting more marker paddles fabricated and painted, this was the system of marker indications in use at that time:

Metropolitan Division

Logan Square

Humboldt Park

Garfield Park

Douglas Park

Wells Street

North Side Division

Evanston

Wilson Avenue

Ravenswood

North Water Street

South Side Division

Jackson Park

Englewood

Kenwood
Old Congress
Lake Street Division
Forest Park Express
Forest Park Local
Austin Ave Local
Hamlin Ave Local
Market Street

The CRT's Rules and Regulations book of 1942 stated, as rule #77, that "the required set of signal lights, markers and a destination sign will be supplied for each train. The Conductor will be held strictly responsible for this equipment and for its return to the place provided for it, when it is no longer needed..." Furthermore, rule #79 stated, "Motormen and Conductors must see that markers, destination sign and headlights, when needed, are displayed on the front end of trains before leaving yards or terminals. Under no circumstances will markers be changed while trains are in motion..."

 

Early CTA Era Markers

The CTA used marker light combinations for route identification from the beginning of their operation of the "L". Below is a chart, approximating a CTA document dated December 12, 1949 showing the marker combinations from that period. In addition to showing newly created lines like the North-South Route, it also shows the marker combinations for long gone routes like the Westchester, Humboldt Park, Kenwood, Normal Park, and Stock Yards lines. There's also information on CNS&M and CA&E trains. In those days, many trains were identified by hanging a kerosene lantern on the train door chains. The only cars with electric markers in 1949 were the four 5000-series units; the first of the 720 6000-series cars (also with electric markers) would be delivered next year and the retrofitting of the 4000s with electric markers was still several years away. (Thanks to Phil O'Keefe for supplying this document.)

RAPID TRANSIT DIVISION

ROUTE IDENTIFICATION MARKERS

NORTH-SOUTH TRAINS

EVANSTON
TO WILSON ONLY
EVANSTON SHUTTLE
ENGLEWOOD A, L
(Plus white marker plate by day)
JACKSON PK. B, L
RAVENSWOOD A, L
RAVENSWOOD B
RAVENSWOOD SHUTTLE
KENWOOD
NORMAL PK.
STOCK YARDS

WEST SIDE TRAINS

LAKE ST. A, L
LAKE ST. B
LOGAN SQUARE
HUMBOLDT PK. - WELLS
(Plus white hand lantern)
HUMBOLDT PK. SHUTTLE
GARFIELD PK.
GARFIELD PK. - WELLS

WESTCHESTER
(Headlight only)

W'CH'ST'R MIDNITE LOCALS

EAST OF DESPLAINES
WEST OF DESPLAINES
DOUGLAS PK.
DOUGLAS PK. - WELLS
(Plus white hand lantern)

NORTH SHORE, C.A.&E. TRAINS

LAST OR ONLY SECTIONS
(Headlight only)

ALL SECTIONS EXCEPT THE LAST
EXTRAS & LAYUPS
(OVER)
 

 

 

 

ALL A & B ROUTES:
.........First All Stop and first A and B will carry green hand lantern on guard's niche chain at front and of train in addition to markers shown.

 

 

MEANING OF SYMBOLS:
.......................A - A Train
.......................B - B Train
.......................L - All Stop Train
.......................R - Red Marker
.......................G - Green Marker
.......................W - White Marker

 

 

 

.SEO X-4692
12-12-49
GJM

One thing that is interesting to note about the above marker list is the absence of a yellow (amber) marker. Although the early roof-mounted marker lanterns of the wood cars and the 5000-series cars were equipped with an amber setting, it apparently was not incorporated into the "L"'s route identification system until April 18, 1954 when a new classification light system using amber color for first time came into use. By then, a larger number of cars (namely the 6000s and retrofitted 4000s) had the amber setting.

Below are the marker combinations for the CTA from the mid-/late-1950s. The chart is an approximate reproduction of a pamphlet issued by the CTA Training & Accident Prevention Department circa 1958 for motorman, towermen, and supervisors. (Thanks to retired CTA employee Peter Christy [Badge #23234] for supplying this document.)

RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM
ROUTE IDENTIFICATION MARKERS
NORTH & SOUTH SIDE TRAINS

EVANSTON EXPRESS

EVANSTON SHUTTLE

HOWARD - ENGLEWOOD "A" OR "ALL-STOP"

HOWARD - JACKSON PARK "B" OR "ALL-STOP"

RAVENSWOOD "A" OR "ALL-STOP"

RAVENSWOOD "B" OR "ALL-STOP"

RAVENSWOOD SHUTTLE

EXTRAS AND LAY-UPS

WEST SIDE TRAINS

LAKE "A" OR "ALL-STOP"

LAKE "B"

CONGRESS - MILWAUKEE "A" OR "ALL-STOP"

DOUGLAS - MILWAUKEE "B" OR "ALL-STOP"

EXTRAS AND LAY-UPS

NORTH SHORE TRAINS
Headlights Only

LAST OR ONLY SECTION

ALL SECTIONS EXCEPT THE LAST

EXTRAS AND LAY-UPS

.

NOTE: On series 6000 trains, use the lower
set of marker lights to display the above
indicated Route Identification Markers.

REAR MARKER LIGHTS

Series 4000 - Two (2) Red lights
Series 6000 - Four (4) Red lights

Chicago Transit Authority
T. & A.P. C3 8/58 2M

A few questions might immediately arise from looking at this document. It appears that there might be room for confusion because certain combinations are used more than once (e.g., both the Howard-Jackson Park "B" and Douglas-Milwaukee "B" use the Green-Green combination.) Although there are theoretically enough possible combinations to prevent the need for duplication, those routes with duplicate light combinations from the North-South and West Side Divisions never used the same tracks, and never pass the same towers, so there would be no chance for confusion.

Note that the card refers to settings for North Shore Line interurban trains. Not only did the North Shore Line use the CTA "L" tracks to reach the Loop and Roosevelt Road until it closed in 1963, but starting in 1942, "L" crewmen operated the North Shore trains between Howard or Linden and the Loop. (This resulted because because on January 31st, North Shore trainmen ceased to be members of the Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees and thus CRT employees [who were still members] refused to handle the trains. Starting February 18th, an agreement was struck that "L" crews would operate the trains south of Linden for Shore Line trains and Howard for Skokie Valley trains. This arrangement ended July 1, 1953 for the Shore Line and February 1, 1954 for Skokie Valley trains.) Thus, not only did towermen and supervisors need to know NSL marker combinations until 1963, but for a time, so did motormen!

It might also seem confusing that some trains used the red-red marker combination for route identification, the same combination used for the tail lights at the rear of the train. Might a towerman be unsure whether such a train was coming or going? Not so! First of all, the headlight would be illuminated on the front of the train, identifying the front from the rear. Additionally, on the rear of the train, there would be four Red markers (2 lower and 2 up higher) and of course, no headlight showing. (On the 5000-, 6000- and 1-50 series cars, the four reds were made up of the four marker lights at each corner of the car's front. On later cars, two of the four red lights were the markers along the top; the bottom two were the separate, sealed-beam taillights.)

(A quick note on headlights: It was considered a serious no-no to leave a headlight burning at the rear of a train. Although it seems unlikely that anyone got time off without pay for that infraction, if you were turned in several times for doing so you might have to take a "retraining" ride with a Supervisor, and it would be on you permanent record.)

In 1969, the Lake Line was through-routed to the new Dan Ryan Line. It seems likely that the same markers shown above for Lake Street trains were retained for the Lake-Dan Ryan trains.

 

CTA Era Markers: 1993-2007

As time went on, routes were added, dropped, and realigned and stopping patterns were altered. The realignment of the Red and Green Lines in 1993, the end of A/B skip-stop service in 1995, and other alterations brought enough changes that it was eventually required to rework the Route Identification Markers. Beginning in 1993, the marker combinations were reconfigured as seen below. The chart is an approximate reproduction of a pamphlet issued by the CTA Training & Instruction Department:

......
.....
FRONT MARKER LIGHTS

.

Extras and Lay-Ups (All Routes)

.

Red Line

Howard-Dan Ryan "All-Stop"

.

Brown Line

Ravenswood-"All-Stop"

Kimball-Belmont Shuttle

.

Purple Line

Evanston Express

Linden-Howard Shuttle

.

Yellow Line

Skokie Swift - 3200 Series

.

Green Line

Englewood - Lake

Jackson Park - Lake

.

Blue Line

Congress-O'Hare "All Stop"

Douglas-O'Hare "All Stop"

Morgan Middle

.

Orange Line

Midway

Ford City

.

Tail Lights (All Routes)

All Routes

.......cta 183.20 (07/93) Training & Instruction

 

When the CTA introduced terminal-specific destination signs in 1996-97, the marker lights generally stayed the same, and were associated with generally the same routes and destinations as in 1993. The main difference was that on the Green and Blue lines, which had branches, the terminal shared by trains serving both branches (Harlem and O'Hare, respectively) and the (what would have formerly been) the "A" terminal (Ashland/63rd and Forest Park) shared the same marker lights, with only trains going to the "B" terminal (Cottage Grove and 54th/Cermak, respectively) having different markers. Previously, the "B" trains (or, post A/B skip-stop service, any train serving those branches) displayed the alternate markers in both directions. The change was due to the marker light setting being associated with specific destination sign readings, not a service pattern per se, and since trains departing either branch heading, say, to O'Hare would use the same destination sign setting they would display the same markers, regardless of which terminal the train was actually departing from. Additional short-turn destination sign readings were also added at this time, and most of these also had their own unique marker lights aspects, adding some additional combinations to the mix.

These are the marker light indications used between approximately 1996 and 2008, and the destination sign readings they were associated with:

Red Line

..

Yellow Line

Howard, 95/Dan Ryan

Skokie, Howard

Wilson, Roosevelt

..

Purple Line

Green Line

Loop, Linden

Harlem/Lake, Ashland/63

Howard

East 63rd

Loop

Blue Line

..

O'Hare, Forest Park

Brown Line

54/Cermak

Kimball, Loop

UIC-Halsted, Rosemont, Belmont*, Jefferson Park*

. .

Belmont

..

..

Extra Readings

Orange Line

Express, Not in service

Midway, Loop

CTA logo reading

Ford City

* There were no destination signs for Jefferson Park or Belmont Blue Line short-turns at this time, but trains that ended their trips at these stations used white-white markers according to some sources. What signs were displayed is not clear.

In mid-2002, to help customers with hearing impairments identify trains that are given mid-line express runs, the marker lights for the "Express" reading were modified to be flashing white-white, rather than a steady white-white. This, along with the flashing red light inside the car next to the destination sign, helped differentiate these trains from Purple Line and out of service trains. This modification is also designed to help towermen differentiate these trains. When the white-white marker lights are flashing there is a noticeable clicking noise coming from the motorman's control panel, much like the sound of a turn signal on a car. The marker light modification to display flashing white-white markers began the weekend of May 18-19, 2002 on the Purple Line-assigned 2400-series cars at Linden and Howard Shops.

In spring 2006, Blue Line cars were equipped with new roller curtains with additional readings for the Pink Line, which began service on June 25, 2006. The first generation of roller curtains containing the Pink Link readings were only installed on cars assigns to O'Hare, Forest Park, and 54th terminals. For the Pink Line, white-red was chosen for the markers for two reasons: First, white and red pigments combine to make pink. Second, back in the days of the Metropolitan West Side "L", the markers for Douglas branch trips was white-red, the use of the markers for trips on that branch had historical precedent.

The curtains also had an additional interesting reading: a Green Line "58th" reading, in green text on a white background, apparently for a possible short-turn operation at the then-abandoned 58th station. Because this reading was never used in revenue service, it is not clear what the marker combination for it was, although green-white or white-green seems likely.

All of the other readings remained the same for the time being. The "54/Cermak" Blue Line reading was retained because initialled there were still O'Hare-54th trips during the weekday morning and evening rush periods.

Pink Line

54/Cermak, Loop

The Green Line "58th" reading was short-lived, as the following year all cars received new roller curtains, and the "58th" reading disappeared.

 

CTA Era Markers: 2007-present

In late April 2007, railcars began to be equipped with the new roller curtains. There were three versions of the roller curtain, with several readings appearing on more than one curtain type. The Red Line's primary readings -- "Howard" and "95th" (shortened from the previous "95/Dan Ryan" verbiage) -- were on all three. The idea was to equip some cars on each line with two or even three of the curtains so provide a level of flexibility if cars needed to be transferred between lines.

In addition to the changes intended to promote flexibility of car assignments, the curtains' graphics were updated to accommodate new train routings and short-turns. They were also designed to include readings for projected future services, like the proposed Airport Express service. At the same time, some marker lights were changed. Transition to the new roller curtains and marker lights was completed by fall 2008.

These are the marker light indications used beginning in 2007 through the present, and the destination sign readings they were associated with:

Red Line

..

Yellow Line

Howard, 95th

Skokie, Howard

Roosevelt

..

Purple Line

Green Line

Loop, Linden

Harlem, Ashland/63

Howard

Cottage Grove

   

Blue Line

.Brown Line

O'Hare, Forest Park

Kimball, Loop

54/Cermak*

. .

Belmont

Rosemont, Jefferson Park, UIC

   

..

Orange Line

Pink Line

Midway, Loop

54/Cermak, Loop

   

   

Airport Express*

 

Extra Readings

O'Hare, Downtown, Midway

 

(flashing)

Express

     

Out of Service

* These readings are not used in regular revenue service.

At 2am on Sunday, May 19, 2013, the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line was closed for renovation as part of the Red Line South Reconstruction Project. During that time, Red Line trains shared the South Side elevated with the Green Line trains. Red Line trains were routed to and from the South Side elevated via the old 13th Street subway incline located between 13th Interlocking in the subway and 17th Junction on the elevated. Red Line trains ran between Howard and Ashland/63rd, while Green Line trains continued running between Harlem and Cottage Grove (but discontinued service to Ashland/63rd). Some Green Line trains from Harlem were also short-turned at Roosevelt in the morning rush and around the Outer Loop in the evening rush due to limited capacity on the South Side elevated for both Red and Green line trains. This continued until the work was completed and the Dan Ryan branch was reopened on October 20, 2014.

New roller curtains were only made up for the Red Line, which placed a new red "Ashland/63" reading were the red "Roosevelt" reading had been. The red 'Roosevelt" reading was changed to the yellow-yellow marker combination (although it was also left as the "95th" markers, since during the project both destination signs would not be used at the same time). The red "95th" and green "Ashland/63" readings stayed on the curtains but were not used. The new green "Roosevelt" and "Loop" (the latter returning after a six year absence) only existed as digital readings on the new 5000-series cars, while the Red Line trains short-turned at Roosevelt in the morning rush period also had to use 5000-series equipment to use the digital reading on those cars since that slot on the mylar roller curtains was now taken up by the red "Ashland/63" reading.

These marker light readings were added to all 5000-series cars, while the yellow-green "Ashland/63rd" reading was added only to those older cars (mostly just 2600-series cars) that received the roller curtains to operate that service:

Red Line

..

Green Line

Howard, 95th, Roosevelt

Harlem, Ashland/63, Roosevelt

Ashland/63

Cottage Grove

   

Loop

 

Thanks to retired CTA employee Peter Christy [Badge #23234], Phil O'Keefe, and Roy Benedict for supplying additional information for this page.