The Yellow Line, formerly known as the Skokie Swift, is part of the Chicago Transit Authoritys L system in Chicago, Illinois. At Howard, Yellow Line passengers can transfer to the Purple or Red Lines of the CTA, the Yellow Line is the only CTA line that does not go to The Loop and is the only Chicago L train route that is fully ADA accessible. It is also unique in that it runs in a trench for part of its length, even though it has no subway components. It also includes grade segments and crossings at the portion of the line. It was built using the tracks of the former Chicago North Shore, extending the line to Old Orchard Mall in Skokie has been discussed. At one time, the line had intermediate stops in Evanston and Skokie. In June 2010, however, construction began on a new station at Oakton, trains operate using the Bombardier-built 5000-series railcars, each train consists of two cars, with 10 to 12 minutes of headway between trains. Average weekday boardings of 7,063 were reported in September 2012, until late 2009, the Yellow Line was operated with Morrison-Knudsen-built 3200-Series cars that were specially equipped with roof boards that until late 2004 held pantographs. Occasionally, the Yellow Line borrows cars from the Red Line when short on cars, the Yellow Line begins at the Dempster-Skokie terminal located at 5005 W Dempster St. in Skokie. A stub track extends north of the station to allow trains to switch ends, the line runs south from Dempster-Skokie at street level. After crossing Oakton Street, the Yellow Line turns east and crosses over Skokie Boulevard, after the East Prairie Road grade crossing, the tracks rise to become an elevated route. At this point, the passes the Skokie Shops CTA maintenance facility. After passing over Dodge Avenue, the tracks descend into a trench, the line remains in the trench for about 1 mile, then passes under the Metra Union Pacific/North Line and Purple Line tracks to enter Howard Yard. The line then rises to serve the elevated Howard station, a stub extends south of the station to allow Yellow and Purple Line trains to switch ends. The Yellow Line originally started as the Niles Center Branch of the old Chicago Rapid Transit Company and it was placed in operation on March 28,1925. The route included several intermediate stops through Evanston and Skokie at Ridge, Asbury, Dodge, Crawford/ East Prairie, Kostner, Oakton, on March 27,1948, the Chicago Transit Authority discontinued service over the Niles Center Branch and replaced it with the 97 Skokie bus route. The stations were closed and remained abandoned for the next 15 years, on January 21,1963, the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad ceased all of its operations and later that year,5 miles of trackage between Howard and Dempster was purchased by the CTA. The intermediate stations were not reopened, some of the vacant station houses were used by other businesses, including a convenience store and an electrical supplier, before finally being demolished in the 1980s
A Yellow Line train of 5000-series cars.
Prior to 2004, the section of the line west of the East Prairie Road grade crossing was electrified with overhead catenary instead of third rail.