Belmont (CTA North Side Main Line station)
|Address||945 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60657
Purple Line weekday rush hours only
|Platforms||2 island platforms|
|Opened||May 31, 1900|
|Rebuilt||2006–09 (station reconstruction)|
|Owned by||Chicago Transit Authority|
|Passengers (2012)||4,469,904 6.2%|
Belmont is an 'L' station serving the Chicago Transit Authority's Red and Brown lines, and the Purple Line Express during weekday rush hours. It is located at 945 West Belmont Avenue in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago (directional coordinates 3200 north, 1000 west). It is an elevated station with two island platforms serving four tracks; Brown and Purple Line trains share the outer tracks while Red Line trains run on the inner tracks. Along with residential areas, the neighborhood surrounding Belmont contains many eclectic shops, bars, and restaurants and active nightlife. The station is one of the more heavily utilized on the system serving as a busy transfer point, and also as a terminal when the Brown Line operates as a shuttle service to and from Kimball late at night and early in the morning.
Belmont is situated on W. Belmont Avenue, close to its intersection with N. Sheffield Avenue. The station is located in the Lakeview community area of Chicago; the area surrounding the station consists of a mixture of business and residential areas.
Belmont station was constructed between 1896 and 1900 as part of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad, opening on May 31, 1900. The station had two island platforms elevated on a steel structure with tracks on either side. Following construction of the Ravenswood branch in 1907 (now part of today's Brown Line), a bridge was constructed connecting the two platforms to allow transfers from southbound services to northbound trains on the branch. The station house was located on the south side of Belmont and contained several turnstiles as well as a customer assistant booth. Beyond the turnstiles was a small caged area leading to stairs; the west staircase led to the southbound platform and the east staircase to the northbound platform. Prior to 1963 there was also a side platform on the west side of Track 1 (the westernmost track), which was used exclusively by the southbound trains of the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad.
During 2006–2009, Belmont station underwent major reconstruction as part of the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project. The original station house was renovated and relocated to the north side of Belmont Avenue, the rest of the structure was demolished and a new station house and new wider platforms and canopies constructed. Elevators were installed to make the station accessible to those with disabilities. Because of its importance, the station remained open throughout the entire project unlike other stations which were temporarily closed for periods lasting from a few weekends to several months. During reconstruction the station was accessed from a temporary structure to the east of the original entry. The staging area and job offices for the project are located just north of the Belmont station.
Construction of support systems for the project and demolition of adjacent structures started in 2006, although this was not without controversy. Several businesses in the area were forcefully evicted so their property could be used for construction, leading to some ill-will towards the CTA amongst area residents.
Part of the staging for the reconstruction of the Belmont station required the temporary use of three tracks instead of the usual four. The Three-track operation concluded at Belmont on the morning of December 20, 2008. The project's Full Funding Grant Agreement with the federal government require that the CTA complete the project by the end of 2009. Elevators were placed into service on December 29, 2009 for customers with disabilities.
Belmont is part of the CTA's Red, Brown and Purple lines. Red line trains serve Belmont 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Brown line trains serve Belmont between 4:00 a.m. and 2:25 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and between 5:00 a.m. and 12:55 a.m. on Sundays. Purple line trains serve Belmont between 5:20 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. during the weekday morning rush hour, and between 2:30 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. during the weekday evening rush hour. Trains operate roughly every 3 to 10 minutes during rush hour, with longer headways of up to 15 minutes at night. The #77 CTA bus route stops at the station, and the #22 stops close to the station on Clark Street. 4,209,947 passengers boarded trains at Belmont in 2011.
- Chicago Department of Zoning (2012). City of Chicago Zoning Map (Map).
- Borzo, Greg (2007). "Fourth "L"—Northwestern". The Chicago "L". Arcadia Publishing. pp. 61–70. ISBN 978-0-7385-5100-5.
- "Room For All To Ride.". Chicago Daily Tribune. May 30, 1900.
- Belmont. CTABrownLine.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-05.
- "CTA President Ron Huberman Announces Resumption of Four-Track Operation and Reopening of Damen Brown Line Station" (Press release). Chicago Transit Authority. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "Customer Alert: Elevators at Belmont and Fullerton Stations Placed in Service". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
- "Belmont Station Red line timetable". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
- "Belmont Station Brown and Purple lines timetable". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
- "Belmont". CTA website. Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
- "Annual Ridership Report: Calendar Year 2011" (PDF). Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
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