U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) joined more than 20 local officials yesterday to urge CN to allow Metra to expand service with at least two additional daily trains on the Heritage Corridor Line.
Adding the trains would increase commuter-rail service to four roundtrips per day in a growing area that is underserved by public transportation, Lipinski and the other regional officials said in a letter to the Class I, according to a statement issued by the congressman's office.
The group asked CN officials to work with Metra to accommodate the added service in order to help improve job opportunities and economic development in the area. Lipinski's letter follows one that newly appointed Metra Chairman Brad O'Halloran sent to CN requesting more service on the line.
Metra operates service in the corridor on tracks owned and managed by CN. The line runs between Joliet and Chicago's Union Station, stopping in Lockport, Lemont, Willow Springs and Summit, Ill. A new station is planned in Romeoville.
Since 1999, the line has offered six trains per day — three in the morning rush hour and three in the evening rush. Metra's other 10 commuter routes offer 22 to 170 trains per day.
"The level of service on the Heritage Corridor Line lags far behind what is offered on other commuter routes on the Metra system," Lipinski said. "We understand that service is constrained by CN freight traffic and infrastructure limitations, but we believe that modest adjustments in freight schedules would make it possible to add at least one additional train in the morning and one in the evening."
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