Template:Infobox rail line The Green Line is part of the CTA rapid transit system known as the Chicago 'L'. It is the only completely elevated route in the 'L' system.[1] It utilizes the system's oldest segments (dating back to 1892), extending Template:Convert with 30 stops between Forest Park and Oak Park (Harlem/Lake), through Chicago's Loop, to the South Side and Englewood (Ashland/63rd) and Woodlawn (Cottage Grove/63rd). Average weekday ridership on the Green Line is 63,995 as of February 2012.[2]


Lake StreetEdit


Beginning at the yard and inspection facilities in Forest Park, the Green Line runs east through Oak Park towards the city on an embankment parallel to Metra's Union Pacific/West Line tracks from the Harlem Avenue terminal (7200 W. - 400 N.), on the border of Oak Park and River Forest, to a point just west of Laramie Avenue. Here the Green Line tracks leaves the railroad embankment and continues east on a steel elevated structure directly above Lake Street, a major east-west thoroughfare. The 'L' bridges a couple of railroad tracks before entering downtown Chicago at Clinton Street. East of Clinton Street, the route bridges Metra's Union Pacific railroad tracks (which terminate just south of here at Ogilvie Transportation Center) and the Chicago River before joining the Union Loop 'L' tracks at Wells Street.

The LoopEdit

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In downtown Chicago, the Green Line operates over the famous Union Loop 'L' structure along with Brown Line (Ravenswood), Orange Line (Midway), Pink Line (Douglas), and Purple Line (Evanston Express during Weekday rush hours only) trains. However, Green Line trains operate both ways over the Lake Street and Wabash Avenue sides only, and does not use the Wells Street and Van Buren Street legs of the Loop.

The Green Line is the only line in the 'L' system that has multiple entry/exit points to the elevated Loop. Its route takes it over only the north and east portions of the Loop, which are used bidirectionally, as opposed to the Orange, Pink, Purple, and Brown Lines, which operate unidirectionally over the Loop and then return to their originating depots.

South Side Main LineEdit

Leaving the Loop, the route heads south along Wabash Avenue and follows an "S" curve (which was realigned in 2002) to the west and south now following the alley between Wabash Avenue and State Street to 40th Street. This 3.8 mile section is the oldest part of Chicago's 'L' system. On this segment, the Green Line shares tracks with the Orange Line between the Loop and 17th Street. Passengers can transfer between the two lines at Roosevelt/Wabash station. The only other station on this section is at 35th–Bronzeville–IIT (which is 2.5 miles south of Roosevelt/Wabash) adjacent the Illinois Institute of Technology campus and the Chicago Police Department Headquarters. At 40th Street, the route turns east to Indiana station, then turns south between Calumet and Prairie Avenues to the Garfield station and continues south to 59th Street where the route splits into two branches—the Englewood (Ashland/63rd) Branch and the Jackson Park (East 63rd) Branch.

Englewood BranchEdit

The Englewood Branch continues south and west following 59th Street, Princeton Avenue and 63rd Street to the Ashland Avenue terminal (1600 W. - 6300 S.) in West Englewood. The yard and inspection shop lie to the south between the old Racine Avenue station and the Ashland/63rd terminal. The 'L' tracks continues west to a stub end at Hermitage Avenue, a provision for a future extension of the route westward, however, those plans were cancelled in the late 1970s. Prior to 1992, the Englewood Branch had two additional stops at Wentworth and Harvard, but have been since closed due to service curtailments by the CTA. Halsted/63rd is the only remaining intermediate stop on the Template:Convert route.

Jackson Park BranchEdit

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The Jackson Park Branch continues south from the mainline between Calumet and Prairie Avenues, passing the old yard and inspection facilities at 61st Street in Washington Park. South of here, the route curves east over 63rd Street and follows it to the current terminal at Cottage Grove/63rd (800 E. - 6300 S.). Prior to 1994, the Jackson Park Branch of the Green Line once terminated at University/63rd, and before that, at Stony Island/63rd from 1893 to 1982. In addition to losing the University/63rd station, the Jackson Park Branch also lost the 61st Street station and the 58th Street station in 1994.

Operating fleet Edit

Currently, the Green Line is operated only with Boeing-Vertol-built 2400-series rail cars which were delivered between 1976 and 1978. These cars are scheduled for retirement when enough Bombardier-built 5000-series cars are delivered to replace them. Occasionally, Morrison-Knudsen-built 3200-series rail cars run on the Green Line, though these are loaned from the Brown and Orange Lines, and only appear when the Green Line is short on cars. 2600-series cars (borrowed from the Blue and Pink Lines) can also be found occasionally on the Green line and operated for a reason very similar to the 3200-series cars. Trains generally operate at 10 to 12 minute headways during much of the day (about 20 to 25 minutes on the Englewood and Jackson Park branches), with 4 to 6 car trains. There is no overnight service along the Green Line.


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The Green Line operates over the two oldest sections of the Chicago 'L'. The South Side section started operation in 1892 when Chicago was preparing for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Jackson Park. The initial section was built to provide service between downtown Chicago and the exposition site. This first section of the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad between Wabash Avenue and State Street went into service on June 6, 1892.[3] It extended from Congress Street only as far south as 39th Street (Pershing Road). At that time a large part of the south side was little more than prairie, but by May 1, 1893, when the pioneer 'L' line was completed to Jackson Park, construction of homes, apartment buildings and commercial properties was booming in the area.

Continued expansion of the area development was reflected in construction of the Englewood, Normal Park, Kenwood and Stock Yard branches of the South Side 'L' between 1905 and 1908. Of these, only the Englewood and Jackson Park branches remain: because of insufficient patronage, the Normal Park, Stock Yards and Kenwood branches were closed in the 1950s.

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The Lake Street Elevated was Chicago's second rapid transit line. It began operation from a terminal at Madison and Market streets to Lake Street and California Avenue on November 6, 1893.[4] The line was gradually extended westward to Laramie Avenue on April 29, 1894; to Austin Avenue on April 15, 1899;[5] to Wisconsin Avenue, Oak Park using street railway trackage on May 15, 1899 (closed in 1902), and to Marengo Avenue, Forest Park, on May 14, 1910.

The construction of the Lake Street Elevated led to a political quarrel in suburban Cicero Township, which at the time included Oak Park and Austin. In 1898, Austinites, having a majority on Cicero's town council, used political influence to allow the extension of the Lake Street line from the city border at Laramie Avenue (then called 52nd Avenue) into their community. This infuriated other Cicero Township residents, who retaliated the following year by holding a joint election to force Austin's annexation to the City of Chicago. Much to the dismay of local residents, this effort succeeded, and Austin became part of Chicago in 1899. A century later, Oak Park commuters, who had come to depend on the service, were among the most vocal critics of the Green Line's closure for rehabilitation.

Between 1913 and 1993, the Englewood/Jackson Park branches were part of the North-South Route in various service configurations operating from the north side through the Loop, and to the south side. On October 17, 1943, the Englewood and Jackson Park services were rerouted into the State Street Subway to provide improved crosstown access through the heart of city and to alleviate congestion on the over-crowded Union Loop Elevated. On July 31, 1949, during the North-South rapid transit service revision by the CTA, the Howard-Englewood/Jackson Park route was created, operating via the State Street Subway.

On May 6, 1969, the Englewood branch was extended to the present South terminal at Ashland/63rd. In 1982, the Jackson Park branch was shortened to University Avenue because of structural deterioration at the Dorchester Bridge which carried the route across the Illinois Central Railroad and the former Stony Island/63rd terminal was closed March 4, 1982.

The Lake Street 'L' would remain largely unchanged until 1948, when a number of its historic passenger stations were closed and subsequently demolished in an attempt to promote the "A" and "B" skip-stop express train service (discontinued in 1994). On October 28, 1962, the western two and one-half mile section of the line which operated at street level was elevated along the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad right-of-way opening new above-ground stops at Central, Austin, Ridgeland, Oak Park and Harlem/Lake, Forest Park. On September 28, 1969, the Lake Street line was combined with the new Dan Ryan Line to form the West-South Route, operating from Forest Park through downtown via the Union Loop 'L' to 95th/Dan Ryan. The Lake-Dan Ryan routing was to fulfill the service implementation outlined in the 1968 Chicago Central Area Transit Plan. However, when that controversial subway project was cancelled in 1979, Lake-Dan Ryan service remained, and lasted for nearly 24 years.

On February 21, 1993, the south side sections of the North-South and West-South routes were "switched" south of Roosevelt Road, creating the present Red Line (Howard-Dan Ryan) and the Green Line (Lake-Englewood/Jackson Park)

On January 9, 1994 the Green Line was closed for more than two years for the largest transit rehabilitation project in the city's history. It was reopened May 12, 1996 with much of the renewal work completed with the exception of a few stations. Several stations were closed indefinitely following the rehabilitation which angered many commuters who depend on the Green Line. In September 1997, after political pressure brought on by community organizations, the Jackson Park branch was shortened again from University Avenue to Cottage Grove/63rd (East 63rd) after previous attempts by the City, CTA and other agencies to extend the route eastward to Dorchester Avenue, immediately west of the Illinois Central Railroad.

On April 26, 1998, the Green Line, like the Purple Line and the Douglas branch of the Blue Line lost its 24 hour service due to budget shortfalls and operates only between the hours of 4 a.m. and 1 a.m weekdays. The Green Line runs 6 a.m. Saturdays and 6:30 a.m. on Sundays


On May 28, 2008, a derailment was reported, with approximately 24 injuries. Two train cars on the four-car train appeared to be derailed, with the leading car abutting the one behind it at an angle of approximately 150 degrees. The train cars were separated at a switching point near 59th Street.[6]

Points of interest Edit

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The Green Line provides access to, among other destinations, the Garfield Park Conservatory (Conservatory-Central Park Drive), United Center (Ashland) James R. Thompson Center, Richard J. Daley Center and City Hall-Cook County Building (Clark/Lake), Millennium Park (Randolph/Wabash and Madison/Wabash), the Art Institute of Chicago (Adams/Wabash), the Auditorium Building of Roosevelt University, Museum Campus and Soldier Field (Roosevelt/Wabash), the Illinois Institute of Technology and U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox Park) (35th–Bronzeville–IIT), the University of Chicago (Garfield) and Kennedy-King College (Halsted/63rd). The Clinton/Lake and Randolph/Wabash stops are useful for reaching Metra and South Shore Line trains at the Ogilvie Transportation Center and Millennium Station.

Station ListingEdit


Green Line (Lake Street Elevated)
Station Location Points of interest and notes
Forest Park Marengo Avenue and Circle Avenue, Forest Park Closed 1962
Harlem Template:Access icon 15px 1 S. Harlem Avenue, Forest Park Downtown Oak Park, transfer to Oak Park (Metra), Forest Preserve District of Cook County Headquarters
Marion Marion Avenue and South Boulevard, Oak Park Closed October 28, 1962
Oak Park 100 S. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park Oak Park, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Unity Temple, Ernest Hemingway Museum & Brithplace
Ridgeland 100 N. Ridgeland Avenue, Oak Park Oak Park and River Forest High School, Oak Park,
Lombard Lombard Avenue and South Boulevard, Oak Park Closed 1948
Austin 351 N. Austin Boulevard
Menard Menard Avenue and Lake Street Closed 1948
Central Template:Access icon 350 N. Central Avenue Columbus Park, Walser House, Austin Town Hall, Loretto Hospital
Laramie Template:Access icon 5148 W. Lake Street
Cicero Template:Access icon 4800 W. Lake Street Former Brach's Candy Factory
Kostner Kostner Avenue and Lake Street Closed 1948
Pulaski Template:Access icon 4000 W. Lake Street Chicago Public Library Legler Branch
Hamlin 3800 W. Lake St. Closed March 18, 1956
Conservatory-Central Park Drive Template:Access icon 3630 W. Lake Street Garfield Park Conservatory, Garfield Park Field house
Homan 3400 W. Lake Street Closed January 9, 1994; replaced by Conservatory-Central Park Drive
Kedzie Template:Access icon 15px 3200 W. Lake Street Transfer to Kedzie (Metra)
Sacramento Sacramento Boulevard and Lake Street Closed 1948
California Template:Access icon 2800 W. Lake Street Chicago Center for Green Technology
Campbell Campbell Avenue and Lake Street Closed 1948
Oakley Oakley Boulevard and Lake Street Closed 1948
Damen Damen Avenue and Lake Street Closed 1948
Wood Wood Street and Lake Street Closed 1913
Lake Street Transfer Lake Street and Paulina Street Closed February 25, 1951
Ashland Template:Access icon 1601 W. Lake Street Transfer to Pink Line trains. United Center- Home of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks, Union Park
Loomis Loomis Street and Lake Street Closed April 4, 1954
Racine Racine Street and Lake Street Closed 1948
Morgan Template:Access icon 958 W. Lake Street Fulton Market District
Halsted 800 W. Lake Street Closed January 9, 1994
Clinton Template:Access icon 15px 540 W. Lake Street Ogilvie Transportation Center and Chicago Transit Authority Headquarters
Canal 500 W. Lake Street Closed 1909
Green Line (loop)
Station Location Points of interest and notes
Fifth/Lake Wells Street and Lake Street Closed December 17, 1899
Clark/Lake Template:Access icon 100/124 W. Lake Street Transfer to Orange, Blue, Purple, Brown, and Pink Line trains
State/Lake 200 N. State Street Transfer to Red Line trains
Randolph/Wabash 15px 151 N. Wabash Avenue Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park

Transfer station for Millennium Station (Metra Electric and South Shore Line trains)

Washington/Wabash TBD Consolidation of Madison/Wabash and Randolph/Wabash scheduled to open September 2014
Madison/Wabash 2 N. Wabash Avenue Jewelers Row
Adams/Wabash 201/223 S. Wabash Ave. Grant Park, Petrillo Music Shell, Buckingham Fountain, Art Institute of Chicago, Orchestra Hall DePaul University

Transfer to Orange, Purple, Brown, and Pink Line trains

Green Line (South Side Elevated)
Station Location Points of interest and notes
Congress/Wabash 500 S. Wabash Avenue Closed August 1, 1949
Roosevelt Template:Access icon 15px 22 E. Roosevelt Road Transfer to Red and Orange Line trains, Museum Campus/11th Street (Metra station), Museum Campus, Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field
18th 18th Street and Wabash Avenue Closed August 1, 1949
Cermak Cermak Road and Wabash Avenue Closed September 9, 1977; scheduled to reopen July 2014
26th 26th Street and Wabash Avenue Closed August 1, 1949
29th 29th Street and Wabash Avenue Closed August 1, 1949
31st 31st Street near State Street Closed August 1, 1949
33rd 33rd Street and Wabash Avenue Closed September 25, 1961
35th–Bronzeville–IIT Template:Access icon 15px 16 E. 35th Street Illinois Institute of Technology, De La Salle Institute, Chicago Police Headquarters, Douglas Tomb State Memorial, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Victory Sculpture, Chicago Defender Building, Eighth Regiment Armory (Chicago), Black Metropolis-Bronzeville District, Bronzeville
Pershing Pershing Road and State Street Closed August 1, 1949
Indiana Template:Access icon 4003 S. Indiana Avenue Wendell Phillips Academy High School, South Side Community Art Center, Former terminal for Stock Yards and Kenwood Lines
43rd Template:Access icon 314 E. 43rd Street
47th Template:Access icon 314 E. 47th Street Harold Washington Cultural Center, Robert S. Abbott House
51st Template:Access icon 319 E. 51st Street Provident Hospital of Cook County, KAM Isaiah Israel, Kenwood Academy, Barack Obama House
Garfield Template:Access icon 20px 320 E. Garfield Boulevard Museum of Science and Industry, Washington Park, University of Chicago, DuSable Museum of African American History, Historic Garfield Station Entrance, Transfer between Ashland and Cottage Grove bound trains
58th 320/324 E. 58th Street Closed January 9, 1994
Green Line (Ashland "Englewood" Branch)
Station Location Points of interest and notes
State State Street and 59th Street Closed September 2, 1973
Wentworth 5913 S. Wentworth Avenue Closed February 9, 1992
Princeton Princeton Avenue and 61st Street Closed August 1, 1949
Harvard 303 W. 63rd Street Closed February 9, 1992
Parnell Parnell Avenue near 63rd Street Closed July 31, 1949
Halsted Template:Access icon 6321 S. Halsted Street Kennedy-King College, Englewood
Racine 6314-16 S. Racine Avenue Closed January 9, 1994
Loomis Loomis Street and 63rd Street Closed 1969, replaced by Ashland/63rd
Ashland/63rd Template:Access icon 20px 6315 S. Ashland Avenue West Englewood, Giant CTA Monument
Green Line (East 63rd "Jackson Park" Branch)
Station Location Points of interest and notes
61st 316 E. 61st St. Closed January 9, 1994
King Drive Template:Access icon 400 E. 63rd St. Woodlawn, Inbound boarding only
Cottage Grove Template:Access icon 800 E. 63rd St. University of Chicago, University of Chicago Medical Center, Jackson Park, Oak Woods Cemetery, Woodlawn
University 1200 E. 63rd St. Closed January 9, 1994
Dorchester 1400 E. 63rd St. Closed January 13, 1973
Jackson Park (Stony Island) 1600 E. 63rd St. Closed March 4, 1982
Jackson Park Hayes Drive and Cornell Drive World's Columbian Exposition Fair Grounds, Closed October 31, 1893

Hours of operationEdit

Between Harlem/Lake and Cottage Grove or Ashland/63rd

  • Weekdays- Harlem to Cottage Grove 4:00a-12:45a
  • Weekdays- Cottage Grove to Harlem 4:10a-1:00a
  • Weekdays- Harlem to Ashland/63rd 4:15a-1:00a
  • Weekdays- Ashland/63rd to Harlem 3:50a-12:35a
  • Saturday- Harlem to Cottage Grove 6:00a-12:45a
  • Saturday- Cottage Grove to Harlem 6:05a-1:00a
  • Saturday- Harlem to Ashland/63rd 6:10a-1:00a
  • Saturday- Ashland/63rd to Harlem 5:50a-12:35a
  • Sunday/Holiday- Harlem to Cottage Grove 6:30a-12:45a
  • Sunday/Holiday- Cottage Grove to Harlem 6:40a-1:00a
  • Sunday/Holiday- Harlem to Ashland/63rd 6:45a-1:00a
  • Sunday/Holiday- Ashland/63rd to Harlem 6:20a-12:35a


External linksEdit

Template:Chicago Les:Línea Verde (Metro de Chicago) fr:Ligne verte (Chicago Transit Authority) nl:Groene lijn (metro van Chicago) pt:Linha Verde (Metro de Chicago) sr:Zelena linija (CTA)