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Saturday's rolling art gallery: Chicago Art on Track

An Orange Line train circling the Loop Saturday will cost you $5 to ride -- but you get to view some great art during Salvo's debut event Art on Track. According to the Positive Space blog, Art on Track is produced by Salvo, a group of young Chicago artist and designers, dedicated to the empowerment of the visual arts.

You can board the eight-car train from 6 till 10 pm at Adams and Wabash, Randolph and Wabash, Quincy and Wells, and Washington and Wells. Check it out. (Hat tip to Gapers Block.)

Red Line over the top again. Yes folks, if we want that subway slow zone fixed, we have to endure weekend subway shutdowns. And so it is this weekend, from 9 pm Friday till 7 pm Sunday.  Also, a note to Red Line motormen/women -- the average tourist and occasional weekend El rider really doesn't know what "going over the top" means. So please explain a little better what exactly is going on.

Have a great holiday weekend.


"...note to Red Line motormen/women ..."

Why don't you just call them "operators"??? That's been their job title for at least 15 years.

(About "over the top" - good point. You never see that phrase used in press releases or signs.)

Over the last 2-3 days, the Northbound slow zone in the tunnel seems to be almost completely lifted. The train sailed along between the curve under Division/Clybourn to the North/Clybourn station. Very smooth and fast! There is still a small slow zone right out of the Clark/Division station and another on the incline out of the tunnel. I can't speak for Southbound, since I've been taking the bus in the morning lately. We are finally seeing some of the results of the work.

Now CTA tackle the slow zones around the Sheridan station, around Wilson/Lawrence area and then up around Granville/Loyola and then we'll be talking! Those areas are very small in comparison to the complete rebuild in the subway, so I think it would be reasonable to set a goal to fix all of those by this time next year.

I know the idea of restoring A/B skip-stop service on the North Red line during rush hours is a very controversial topic, but if the CTA was serious about really improving travel times further, I think that it is about the only other thing they could do other than making the Red line slow-zone free. I would be all for it even if they did it for only 90 minutes each rush hour, only when trains were running at 3-4 min interval, meaning at a A or B station one would wait 6-8 minutes, which I think is reasonable.

Does anyone have any updated travel times for the red line? I'd love to hear how much of an improvement on time these reduced slow zones have created. I'm sure everything will be improved when 3-tracking is done as well.

Northbound Red from Jackson to Berwyn took almost exactly 30 minutes yesterday, leaving Jackson at 5:20pm. This was also with the usual Cubs night game overcrowding too...some door-holding at a couple stations, etc. Had there been no Cubs game it would have maybe been down to 26-27 minutes. Also, we lucked out and didn't have to wait for any Brown/Purple line connections at Fullerton and Belmont, which helped. I'll be thrilled if they can get it under 25 minutes.

The Art on Track thing sounds neat. Too bad they kept it a virtual secret - never heard about it until reading this blog this morning (a day too late, of course).

I agree, irk. I was irked about the lack of advance notice. Gaper's Block had it listed on Thursday. Chicagoist and the Tattler mentioned it on Friday. For someone with an undergrad minor in Art History and an obsession with public transportation, this event represents a harmonic convergence. In fact, several friends were afraid I'd attend, plotz and have to be taken away on a stretcher. Alas, I was unable to attend due to previous plans I'd made only on Monday. If only I'd known. I suggest to the Art on the Track folks that they work with CTA to publicize this event better next time around, as it were. It could enter the annals of quirky CTA happenings (the intentional kind) right up there with the Holiday Train.

I rode by the art train when I was riding the green line back to a friend's house. It was labeled 'not in service' and I was wondering what it was. I figured that it was a private party or something. Thanks for the info.


I'm sorry you did not hear about art on track! Believe me we (Salvo) tried every means we could to get the news out there. Unfortunately this whole project had zero funding and was mostly word of mouth/ media sponsorship. Next year (yes we hope this is annual) We plan on raising money to buy advertisement/work with the CTA on some more publicity. We had to prove to the CTA we could pull this off before they would work with us. Other then that they were actually quite wonderful and supportive, especially the guy we were working directly with. I hope to see you there next year, I have never seen people have so much fun with art before.

Best regards,
Tristan Hummel, founder/director-Art on Track, Salvo

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