South Side main line (CTA)

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South Side main line
McCormick Tribune 060304.jpg
Type Rapid transit
System Chicago 'L'
Status Operational
Locale Chicago, Illinois, USA
Termini Roosevelt
Stations 7
(11 counting branch divisions)
Daily ridership 12,509
(average weekday Feb. 2013)
Opening June 6, 1892
Operator(s) Chicago Transit Authority (1947–present)
Chicago Rapid Transit Company (1924–1947)
South Side Elevated Railroad (1892–1924)
Character Elevated
Rolling stock 5000-series
Line length 6.5 mi (10.5 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification Third rail, 600 V DC
Route map
Congress | Congress
State Street Subway
to North Side Main Line
13th Street Incline
State Street Subway
to Dan Ryan branch
St. Charles Air Line
17th Junction
to Midway branch
and Dan Ryan branch
Cermak–McCormick Place
MTCC tube
Chicago Junction Railway
Stock Yards branch
to Union Stock Yards
Kenwood branch
to 42nd Place
Garfield Park and ride
59th Junction
Englewood branch
to Ashland/63rd
Jackson Park branch
to Cottage Grove

The South Side main line, also known as the South Side Elevated, is a branch in Chicago, run by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) as part of the Chicago 'L' system. It is an active branch that is only served by the Green Line, with the exception of Roosevelt, which is also served by the Orange Line. It has on average 12,509 passengers, counting branch divisions, boarding each weekday as of February 2013, according to the CTA.[1] The branch is 6.5 miles (10.5 km)[2] long with a total of 7 stations (11 counting the Englewood–Jackson Park branches), and runs from the Loop (Van Buren Street) to the Washington Park neighborhood of Chicago. The branch runs from 4am-1am on weekdays, 5:15am-1am on Saturdays and 5:50am-1am on Sundays/Holidays.


The South Side Elevated serves the Near South Side, Douglas Bronzeville, Grand Boulevard, and Washington Park neighborhoods of Chicago and has stops near the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago.

The South Side Elevated continues to the Englewood branch (Ashland/63rd) and the Jackson Park branch (Cottage Grove).


The South Side elevated started passenger service on June 6, 1892, with service as far south as 39th Street (Pershing Road), making the branch the oldest section of the Chicago 'L'. On January 22, 1893, service on the line was extended as far south as 61st Street. The Jackson Park branch was added later in 1893 to serve the site of the 1893 World's Fair. Several other lines were grafted in over time to serve parts of the city, though most have since been demolished. The Englewood branch was opened in 1905, followed by the Kenwood and Normal Park branches in 1907, and the Stock Yards branch in 1908. Today, only the Englewood and Jackson Park branches remain.

In 1993, the Green Line was created when the CTA color-coded the lines. In 1994, the 58th Street station was closed while remaining stations were renovated or rebuilt entirely depending on their condition. In February 2012, the platform of the 58th street station was completely demolished.

Future stop at Cermak[edit]

On January 17, 2012, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced at a press conference that the Cermak station will be rebuilt in order to serve McCormick Place. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, with completion in July 2014.[3][4]

Station listing[edit]

South Side Elevated
Station Location Points of interest and notes
Congress Terminal 550 S. Holden Court Closed October 18, 1897, reopened March 10, 1902. Closed August 1, 1949.
Congress/Wabash 500 S. Wabash Avenue Closed August 1, 1949
Roosevelt Handicapped/disabled access Metra or South Shore connection 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

Originally called 12th Street

18th 18th Street and Wabash Avenue Closed August 1, 1949
Cermak–McCormick Place Handicapped/disabled access 12 E. Cermak Road McCormick Place, Motor Row District

Originally called 22nd Street

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 Handicapped/disabled access Metra or South Shore connection 16 E. 35th Street Illinois Institute of Technology, Shimer College, 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

Originally called 39th street

Indiana Handicapped/disabled access 4003 S. Indiana Avenue Wendell Phillips Academy High School, South Side Community Art Center, Former terminal for Stock Yards and Kenwood Lines
43rd Handicapped/disabled access 314 E. 43rd Street
47th Handicapped/disabled access 314 E. 47th Street Harold Washington Cultural Center, Robert S. Abbott House
51st Handicapped/disabled access 319 E. 51st Street Provident Hospital of Cook County, KAM Isaiah Israel, Kenwood Academy, Barack Obama House
Garfield Handicapped/disabled access Aiga parking inv.svg 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

Originally called 55th Street

58th 320/324 E. 58th Street Closed January 9, 1994

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Ridership Report: February 2013" (PDF). Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ Garfield, Graham. "South Side Elevated". Chicago 'L'. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Mayor Emanuel Opens Newly-Renovated Grand Avenue Red Line Station" (Press release). City of Chicago. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Emanuel to announce two new CTA stations". January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.