While viewing a favorite old spot in Chicago I noticed extra rails. Within the running rails are two more rails. They are in sections. The ends are ramped as if for sliding electrical shoes. There is no wear on the rail so havnt been used in quite a while. The righthand rail is connected by heavy duty stranded cable. The left hand rail has no visible electrical connections. Neither rail is resting on insulators. Does anyone have ideas as to the purpose?
Replies sorted oldest to newest
The LIRR photos do show guard rails. But the CTA rails are not placed properly for that function. Other areas of the CTA do have proper guard rails. But guard rails dont have the ride up ends and heavy electrical cables.
Back in the day the CTA used to haul standard size hopper cars of coal to a generating plant using a couple of steeple cab engines. In order to get the standard full size cars past the passenger platforms the CTA installed gauntlet track to the generating plant. I used to have photos of those old steeple cabs. I think they closed the generating plant and took out the gauntlet track some years ago. If you count the rails you would have four running rails and one third rail. Odd-d
The gauntlet tracks were on the northern part of the system, some of them on embankment, some on the elevated structure.
This is the entrance to the subway tunnel. Also construction is not for running.
Still looking. Maybe some kind of induction signal system?
Got a reply from the CTA historical webmaster about the extra rails.