This section looks at the lines north of downtown
that go through the busy Belmont station on what was once the Northwestern "L"; and
also at the Purple Line when it runs as a local short line north of
Howard, and the Yellow Line, the "Skokie Swift."
Two trains heading south are at Belmont in
this view. The Red Line, on the inner track, will skip the next
two local stops, then will have a second cross-platform transfer at
Fullerton before it heads into its downtown subway, and on to the South
The Brown Line, on the left outer track, will run local and onto the Loop
after some twisting over the near North Side.
Our own Purple Line train heading north has been running local for
several stations, and is slowing for its Belmont stop. After that it continues on the outside track, but it will
be run express, passing the next
twelve stations (which are served by the Red Line on the inner tracks)
before reaching Howard. Few cities in the country have express and
local service on their urban rail systems. Here on the North Side,
Chicago is one that does, at least at peak times.
are in sight crossing the venerable pedestrian overpass between the northbound and southbound platforms -- a
connection indeed ancient enough to be seen in old photos featuring the
Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad, which once used this route and stopped at
Belmont on its way to and from Milwaukee and intermediate points.
Work began in 2007 on the modernization of this station
which, when completed, will greatly alter this scene. In the
meantime, only three tracks are in use, with all northbound lines
using the inner set of rails.