Central station (CTA Purple Line)

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Purple Line Central Station.jpg
Location 1024 Central Street
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Coordinates 42°03′50″N 87°41′09″W / 42.063950°N 87.685742°W / 42.063950; -87.685742
Owned by Chicago Transit Authority
Platforms 1 Island platform
Tracks 2
Connections CTA bus
Structure type Elevated
Opened May 16, 1908
Rebuilt 1931
Passengers (2017) 251,394[1]Decrease 4.2%
Rank 139 out of 143
Preceding station   Chicago "L"   Following station
Evanston Branch
Purple Line
toward Howard
Purple Line
  Former services  
Evanston Line
toward Howard
One-way operation
Evanston Line
One-way operation
Route map

Purple Line
north to Linden
Central St.
North Shore Line
removed 1970
Purple Line
south to Howard or Loop

Central is a Purple Line station of the Chicago Transit Authority 'L' system. Located at 1024 Central Street in Evanston, Illinois (directional coordinates 2600 north, 1000 west), the elevated platform sits above Central Street, half a block west of Ridge Avenue. The station itself, a Beaux-Arts structure designed by noted transit architect Arthur Gerber,[citation needed] is on the south side of Central Street and is entered at street level, with an auxiliary exit on the north side of the street.[2]



The station was built close by to landmarks that include the Evanston Hospital and offices of NorthShore University HealthSystem, an Evanston fire station, Canal Shores Golf Course, and Chandler Newburger Recreation Center. Ryan Field, home of the Northwestern University Wildcats football team, and Welsh-Ryan Arena, home of Northwestern's basketball team, are a few blocks west of the station. Just west of Ryan Field on the north side of the street is the locally famous hot dog stand, Mustard's Last Stand. A few blocks further west is the Central Street station on Metra's Union Pacific/North Line. Less than a mile separate the two rail stations.

Former service[edit]

Footings for the former North Shore Line platform

Central was served by trains of the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad on the Shore Line Route. Like Foster and Noyes, Central had an additional side platform to the west of the southbound track for exclusive use of the North Shore Line, to prevent disembarking customers from transferring to 'L' trains for free. The platform was removed sometime after the North Shore Line ceased operations over this section of the rapid transit system in 1955, but its concrete footings can still be seen opposite the current platform south of Central Street.

Bus connections[edit]


  • 201 Central/Ridge

Notes and references[edit]



  1. ^ "Annual Ridership Report – Calendar Year 2017" (PDF). Chicago Transit Authority, Ridership Analysis and Reporting. January 31, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Chicago "L".org: Stations - Central". Retrieved 2008-12-23. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Central (CTA Purple Line) at Wikimedia Commons