CTA speed limit on 90 degree curves.

5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • 653 posts
CTA speed limit on 90 degree curves.
Posted by NP Eddie on Friday, January 12, 2018 3:22 PM


What is the speed limit on the various 90 degree curves at Sheridan and at Tower 18? Does CTA publish employee timetables for the various lines available to the railfan community? Is the Central Electric Railfans Associations the group to contact about CTA and Metra Electric operations.

Ed Burns

Happily retired NP-BN-BNSF Clerk from Northtown

763-234-9306 cell

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Burbank IL (near Clearing)
  • 10,410 posts
Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, January 13, 2018 6:44 AM

I don't believe that CTA issues employee timetables as such for the Rapid Transit Division.  The tight-radius curves such as on the Loop L and other locations are posted to 15 MPH by trackside signs.  Other curves and other restricted areas are posted as appropriate.  There are also trackside signs after the restricted area, such as "4 Clear" and "8 Clear" to indicate when a train of that length has cleared the restriction.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,555 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, January 14, 2018 12:43 AM

I once new the answer to my question.   Does the CTA signal system enforce such speed restrictions?  The old NYCTA system does.  The operator or engineer sees a yellow over white indication ahead at about the same time as seing the speed restriction sign.  If he slows down he will seen that indicaion change to green just as he passes it.  Subsequent signals will behave similary (might only be one if the speed restriction applies to a short length of track) unitl the green resume speed sign is passed.   If he fails to reduce speed, instead of changing to green, the signal will change to red a trip-hammer arm will rise to put the train into emergency braking.

Does Chicago have a similar system.  It is 100-year-old technology. 

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • 13,555 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 15, 2018 10:52 PM

"new" should be "knew."    Stil lack the edit button.

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 1,178 posts
Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:49 PM

Does the CTA signal system enforce such speed restrictions? 

Simple answer. YES. The CTA signal system which is a cab signal type drops to a 15 mph speed indication, beeps and will enforce that speed if action is not taken. Whether some curves can be taken at 15 is another question. The last major accident was in 1977 when one train Northbound on Wabash crawled around the curve at Lake and didn't stop and hit a stopped train. Motorman ( thought to be on Marijuana)  did not shut off controller and the power pushed the trains cars (opposite of stringlining) off the track with one car dropping off the structure. Eleven passengers Died. 

Detials: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Chicago_Loop_derailment

  • Member since
    December, 2017
  • 290 posts
Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:55 PM

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy