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Cicero
54/Cermak
4400W
2100S
Home<Chicago CTA<Pink Line<54/Cermak

54/Cermak is the terminus of the Douglas Branch (now operated exclusively by the Pink Line), is located at street level and the present station has an extremely unique platform design of basically one long continuous side platform with a diamond crossover in the middle along only the southern of two station tracks. Both tracks continue west of the station to reach the 54th Avenue Yard. Terminating trains enter the station along the northern track, passing any trains waiting to leave the station for the Loop and then use the diamond crossover switch to discharge their passengers on the exit platform (western) portion of the extra long platform. If trains are simply relaying in the station they simply pull up along the same track to reenter service to run back to the loop at the entrance, eastern end of the platform.

The platform isn't exactly fully continuous. In the middle of it (by the diamond crossover) it is split into two by the station house, a long modern and narrow building is where the main turnstiles are. This building has a simple grey brick exterior and is quite large with non-public rooms for crew quarters and cleaners since the station is the terminus of an 'L' Line. The platforms are directly alongside the station's bus loop (serving one regular and one owl CTA Bus route and three Suburban PACE bus routes). There two staircases down to High Exit Turnstiles along the exit platform to provide additional access to the bus loops, there is even a staircase down to one from the entrance platform. There are additional entrances to the station at the grade crossings trains cross as they enter and leave the station (and to access the yard) at both ends of the platform. These have two high entrance farecard-only turnstiles inside their own little head houses with doors at each end. The entrance directly to the exit, alighting platform (that you must walk the length of to board a train to the Loop) is from the namesake 54th Avenue just north of Cermak Road. The entrance directly to the boarding platform is from Laramie Avenue (which should be 52nd Avenue in the grid of the town of Cicero the station is in). The platform is fully canopied with an extra wide one that also covers the sidewalk along the bus loop. The platform has a high, silver fence along it (except where there is the building in the way) that serves to keep farebeaters out.

Laramie Station

The present station opened on Monday August 18, 2003 and has a complicated history. Today's station is basically a combination of the original Cicero-Berwyn Terminal that was open until February 22, 2002 and was located one block west and the Laramie Station which was closed on February 9, 1992 and declared historic so its little wood framed station house above a few steps remains across Laramie (included in this photo set, I can't be bothered to write it its own page). The Laramie Station was reopened from February 25, 2002 to August 16, 2003 and served as the temporary terminus of the Blue Line under the 54/Cermak name to avoid confusion while today's modern station was being built. (History on Chicago-L.org for 54/Cermak and Laramie).
All photos taken on 3 August, 2011

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The from City do Not board signs on that platform
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Fences separate the exit platform from the bus loop beyond
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Signs across the platform and the second track that leads to the yard
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A 4 car train terminates on the exit platform
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A staircase to a high exit turnstile down to the bus loop
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The view from the station platforms is the new Unity Junior High School West Campus
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The High Exit Turnstiles to the 54th Avenue exit
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The 54/Cermak compass
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Outside the 54th Avenue entrance that also leads to the bus loop
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The yard lead tracks beyond the station
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Looking into the station from the grade crossing
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The bus stops for boarding buses along the exit platform and the high turnstiles to reach them
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A ramp into the main station entrance from the bus entrance loop
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High Exit Turnstiles just before the doors into the main station
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The main station is long and narrow
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Ramp down to the drop-off loop along the inbound platform
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A High Exit Turnstile from the inbound platform
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Looking down the bus loop
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The Laramie Grade Crossing
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Last Updated: 23 September, 2012
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