Northwest Branch (CTA)

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Northwest branch
TypeRapid transit
SystemChicago 'L'
LocaleChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Services     Blue Line
     Pink Line
OpenedMay 6, 1895
ClosedFebruary 25, 1951
Operator(s)Chicago Transit Authority (1947-1951)
Chicago Rapid Transit Company (1924-1947)
Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad (1895-1924)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
ElectrificationThird rail, 600 V DC
Route map

O'Hare branch
Humboldt Park branch
Evergreen Junction
Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway
Lake Street Elevated
Paulina Junction
Lake Street Transfer
Washington Junction
Metropolitan Main Line
Douglas Branch

The Northwest branch was a rapid transit line which was part of the Chicago 'L' system from 1895 to 1951. The Northwest branch fed the Humboldt Park and Logan Square branches. It opened on May 6, 1895 and closed on February 25, 1951, when it was replaced by the Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway.[1]


The Northwest branch separated from the Metropolitan Main Line at the Marshfield Junction, just west of the Marshfield station. The Northwest branch divided into the Humboldt Park and Logan Square branches just northwest of the Damen station (originally called Robey).[2]


Service began on the Northwest branch on May 6, 1895, with service as far as Robey Street (Damen Avenue).[1] On May 25, 1895, service began on the Logan Square branch[3] and on July 29, 1895, service began on the Humboldt Park branch.[4] On February 25, 1951, the Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway began service, and service ended on the Northwest elevated branch south of the Damen Avenue station. The Logan Square branch was then replaced by the Milwaukee Avenue Route, which utilized the Milwaukee Avenue elevated of the Logan Square branch and the Milwaukee-Dearborn Subway.[5] Service on the Humboldt Park branch ended on May 4, 1952.[4]

Besides the section which was re-used for the Pink Line on the Paulina Connector, and the section used by the Blue Line) between Evergreen Junction and Logan Square, one other extant section remains a few blocks north at Paulina and Kinzie Streets, where the old overpass trestle has been re-used as a signaling assembly for the Milwaukee Road/Union Pacific Metra rail lines. All other traces of the former line were demolished in the 1960s

Station listing[edit]

Northwest branch[edit]

Northwest branch stations[2][6][7]
Station Location Points of interest and notes
Damen Damen Avenue, North Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue Opened as "Robey"
Division Division Street and Paulina Street
Chicago Chicago Avenue and Paulina Street
Grand Grand Avenue and Paulina Street
Lake Street Transfer Lake Street and Paulina Street Opened as "Lake." Transfer to Lake Street.
Madison 1720 W. Madison Street Closed February 25, 1951

Logan Square branch[edit]

Logan Square branch stations[2][6]
Station Location
Logan Square Kedzie Boulevard and Linden Place
California California Avenue and Lyndale Street
Western Western Avenue, Cortland Street and Milwaukee Avenue

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Paulina Connector". Chicago "L".org. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c 'L' Map of Chicago (Map). Chicago Rapid Transit Company. 1934. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  3. ^ "Logan Square". Chicago "L".org. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Humboldt Park branch". Chicago "L".org. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  5. ^ Chicago Transit Map (Map). Chicago Transit Authority. 1954. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  6. ^ a b Chicago Rapid Transit Map (Map). Chicago Rapid Transit Company. 1946. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
  7. ^ The Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad (Map). Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad. 1898. Retrieved 2013-08-18.