Cottage Grove station
|Location||800 East 63rd Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
|Owned by||Chicago Transit Authority|
|Platforms||2 Side platforms|
|Opened||April 23, 1893|
|Previous names||East 63rd-Cottage Grove|
|Passengers (2015)||415,343 5.4%|
|Rank||120 out of 143[a]|
Cottage Grove (formerly East 63rd-Cottage Grove) is a station on the Chicago Transit Authority's 'L' system, serving the Green Line's East 63rd branch and the Woodlawn neighborhood. The station is situated at 800 E 63rd Street. The station opened on April 23, 1893. This station is the current terminal of the East 63rd branch of the Green Line, and the easternmost station on the entire 'L' system.
Cottage Grove officially opened in 1893 when the South Side Rapid Transit company extended its line from 39th Street to Jackson Park, just in time for the World's Columbian Exposition. The line was shortened to Stony Island and 63rd after the fair concluded. Stony Island remained the terminus of the East 63rd branch for nearly 100 years. However, on March 4, 1982, service east of 61st was suspended due to a defective bridge over the Illinois Central (now Metra Electric) trackage. Service on the East 63rd branch was restored on December 12, 1982, but only as far as the University station. In 1989, Cottage Grove was demolished and replaced with an entirely new station, which opened in 1991. The new station was open for only two years before the entire Green Line closed for a massive renovation in 1994.
Cottage Grove becomes a terminal
When the Green Line closed in 1994, the CTA was planning to re-extend the line from University to a new station at Dorchester. The new station would have offered connections to Metra Electric and South Shore Line trains, as well as CTA buses through a brand-new bus terminal. However, opposition from Woodlawn residents forced a tough decision for the CTA: to cut the line back to Cottage Grove. The East 63rd branch was partially demolished from Cottage Grove Avenue to Drexel Avenue to prevent in-service trains from traveling on the unrehabbed trackage east of Cottage Grove. When the line reopened in 1996, Cottage Grove became the terminal of the East 63rd branch. The rest of the line east of Cottage Grove, including the abandoned University station and the partially-built Dorchester station, was completely demolished.
The Cottage Grove station was never intended to be a terminus. Although the station has two platforms, the northern platform is the only one that is really ever used. This is because no fare controls exist on the southern platform, since the station originally only allowed inbound (Harlem/Lake-bound) boarding (a configuration still used by King Drive). For this reason, the southern platforms can only be used by trains that continue to the 61st or Lower 63rd Yards. The southern platform is also used by rush-hour trains that run empty to Garfield and back to Cottage Grove or to Ashland/63rd (this is done to allow a quick and easy transfer to another branch at Garfield). The one-track setup works for Cottage Grove because the station only sees trains arrive/depart every 20–25 minutes. Since the East 63rd branch was torn down all the way to Cottage Grove, no turnaround track exists east of the station. Trains needing to switch to the northern platform must utilize a crossover track just west of the station.
- 4 Cottage Grove (Owl Service)
- 63 63rd (Owl Service)
Notes and references
- Due to possible double-counting of physically-connected stations, the CTA's official 2015 tally of stations was 146, but for ridership purposes reported having only 143 stations.
- "Monthly Ridership Report – December 2015" (PDF). Chicago Transit Authority Ridership Analysis and Reporting. January 11, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2016.