Wilson (CTA station)

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Station statistics
Address 4620 North Broadway
Chicago, Illinois 60640
Coordinates 41°57′55″N 87°39′29″W / 41.965285°N 87.657965°W / 41.965285; -87.657965
Structure type Elevated
Platforms 1 island platform
1 auxiliary side platform
Tracks 4
Other information
Opened May 31, 1900
Rebuilt 1907 (Lower Wilson added), 1923, 2014–17 (station reconstruction)
Owned by Chicago Transit Authority
Passengers (2012) 2,102,616 Increase 4.6%
Preceding station   Chicago 'L'   Following station
toward Howard
Red Line
Route map
Purple Line Express
north to Linden
Red Line
north to Howard
Wilson Ave.
Purple Line Express
south to Loop
Red Line
south to 95th/Dan Ryan

Wilson is a station on the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line, part of the Chicago 'L' metro system and is located at 4620 North Broadway in Chicago, Illinois (directional coordinates 4600 north, 1100 west).


The station in 1968

The station opened on May 31, 1900, as the northern terminus of the Northwestern Elevated Railroad.[1] It was converted to a two level station in 1907, with a loop track to aid turning trains. Wilson became a through station in 1908 when the Northwestern Elevated Railroad was extended to Evanston (using tracks belonging to the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway). The current station building was built in 1923, shortly after the tracks to the north were elevated. Over the years the station has been extensively reconfigured: the lower level was closed on August 1, 1949;[2] the platforms were reconfigured in 1960; and the North Shore Line—which also used the station—ceased operation in 1963, enabling the station layout to be simplified. The CTA's 2004–2008 Capital Improvement Plan includes plans to reconstruct the station starting in 2008.

Looking southwest at the auxiliary platform, October 2007

A yard and shops were built adjacent to the station in 1901, these continued in use until the Howard Yard was expanded in 1993. The shop building was badly damaged in a fire on October 26, 1996, and the site was cleared soon after. This site remained empty for several years with plans for development in place. As of 2011, an Aldi store, a Target store, and residences now occupy this area.

Stub track[edit]

An elevated stub line from the station is a remnant of a connection into the former Buena Interchange Yard, where freight was exchanged with the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway. The CTA stopped carrying freight in the early 1970s and the stub was demolished south of Montrose Avenue. The Lakewood Avenue branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway is now operated by the Soo Line Railroad, but no longer exists north of Diversey Avenue. In 2010, further demolition split the remaining stub into two sections to allow for new Truman College construction.

Wilson Station Reconstruction Project[edit]

As of 2012, The CTA currently plans to start reconstructing the station for a major transfer point between Red and Purple Line trains (the only one since express service was discontinued in 1976).[3] The station will have a rebuilt stationhouse with two island platforms to provide access between the two lines, two auxiliary entrances: one at Sunnyside Avenue and one on the north side of Wilson. The project began on December 8, 2014 and will continue through late 2017.[4][5] the station will remain open during construction, but will probably be bypassed during major construction. The complete set of renderings and boards on display during the open house meeting are now available.[6]


The station has a large island platform serving the two tracks of the Red Line. There are also platforms on the outside tracks that once served Evanston Express trains (as well as local trains before a middle platform was created), but these are no longer used as Purple Line Express trains pass through the station during weekday rush hours without stopping. Despite not being in revenue use, the southbound auxiliary platform is kept in operational condition and is used during reroutes, charters, and other unusual operations.


The station is located in the Uptown neighborhood at 4620 North Broadway in Chicago, Illinois (directional coordinates 4600 north, 1100 west). It is the closest station to Harry S Truman College.

Bus connections[edit]


  • #36 Broadway
  • #78 Montrose


  1. ^ "New "L" Road is Opened". Chicago Daily Tribune. June 1, 1900. p. 2. 
  2. ^ "Begin Skip-Stop Runs Monday on North, South 'L'". Chicago Daily Tribune. July 29, 1949. p. A9. 
  3. ^ "Red Ahead - Wilson Station Reconstruction". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ http://chicagoist.com/2014/12/08/emanuel_breaks_ground_on_wilson_red.php#photo-1
  5. ^ http://www.transitchicago.com/news/default.aspx?Month=&Year=&Category=2&ArticleId=3372
  6. ^ "Wilson Reconstruction Project Display Boards". Chicago Transit Authority. transitchicago.com. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]