Platforms and Tracks

In some countries trains are designated by “platform”. But, as you can see, in Chicago several different trains can leave from the same “platform” and directions to trains are given by “track” number. In this short video (0:32), you can hear an announcement of an arriving train that says in part, ” “arriving track number one please stay behind the yellow line ’til the train comes to a complete stop… Indiana, the South Shore… now arriving track four…”

In the underground “pedway” that has been gradually expanding under the city, directions are marked to various “tracks”:

Underground-the ramp to track 1

Underground tunnel to track 1

Underground- Access to tracks

At Millenneum Station, Tracks 8 and 9 are accessible from the same platform.  The area between tracks 9 and 10 (Sign: “This Platform Closed”) is referred to as a “platform” even though it isn’t elevated. Tracks 10 and 11 are also accessed from the same platform; here a train is waiting on Track 11.

Millineum Station at Randolph-Track 8 and 9

Millenneum Station at Randolph-this platform closed

Millenneum Station at Randolph-Track 10 and 11

At the Van Buren Street Station, again two tracks are accessible from the same platform. The first picture is Platform 2 taken from Platform 1, with Tracks 1 and 2 in between. The second photo looks towards the Loop. From left to right, Platform 1, Track 1, Track 2, Platform 2, Track 3. The third photo is looking outbound. From left to right you can see Track 3, Platform 2, Track 2, Track 1, and Platform 1.
Van Buren Street Station-Platform 2
Van Buren Street Station-four tracks two platforms northbound

Van Buren Street Station-four tracks and two platforms

Finally, a remote station with only inbound and outbound commuter tracks, and freight tracks on the side. The first picture is looking inbound, the second is of the same two platforms and two commuter tracks looking outbound.

Hegewisch inbound-track one and two1

Hegewisch oubound-Track one and two


One Response to “Platforms and Tracks”

  1. helenk Says:

    Part of the reason for using track number instead of platform number is the train dispatcher brings the train in and out on track number. Example at platform number 1 track 2 a train to one place, platform number 1 track 3 a train to another place.
    If you are waiting on the platform you need to know what track your train is on.



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