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Chicago Transit Authority Loop Renewal

RailWorks rehabilitated part of The Loop in downtown Chicago.
Project Highlights 
  • Replaced more than 2-miles of tangent track
  • Replaced a double crossover
  • Replaced 1,000 track feet of full-restrained curve track
  • Replaced the grand union at Tower 18
Transit & Systems
Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Transit Authority
Business Unit 
RailWorks Track Services
Project Description 

RailWorks completed multiple track upgrades for the Chicago Transit Authority Loop Renewal Project on a stretch of the rapid transit system in Chicago's downtown Financial District.

Project Scope 

RailWroks rehabilitated part of The Loop bounded by Wells (on the west) and Van Buren (on the south) streets.

The contract for the Chicago Transit Authority Loop Renewal Project called for replacement of all track, turnouts and grand union switches for track items, replacement of all signals and communication as well as third rail on the entire structure along Wells Street and Van Buren Street.  Workers replaced more than 2-miles of tangent track, a double crossover, 1,000 track feet of full-restrained curve track and the Grand Union at Tower 18.

Crews started in the spring of 2012 and completed the work over weekends.  They utilized 52-hour outages opposite festivals, professional sporting events and other heavy-transit weekends. 

Unique Features 

Prior to starting work, RailWorks built a 20-foot model to give key personnel, who often work on elevated track, a simulated view of their work area. It allowed them the chance to see how the entire process would work during scheduled outages, analyzing the movements on the structure and the sequence of the work, along with the load-in and load-out operations for materials handling.

Working 30 feet above ground adds an extra layer of safety awareness and precaution that the model helped facilitate. It allowed personnel to see that they could minimize the size of areas required to be open on the structure at any given time.  By minimizing work areas’ sizes, RailWorks minimized the number of people exposed to the open areas.

Other participants 
Ragnar Benson and Meade Inc.