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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

STB to prepare environmental statement for proposed Great Lakes Basin rail line

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board's (STB) Office of Environmental Analysis late last week issued a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and initiate the scoping process for the Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc.'s (GLBT) proposal to build and operate a 278-mile freight-rail line in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

The STB also announced the dates for public scoping meetings that will be held next month in each of the three states.

GLBT is proposing to construct a new rail line around the Chicago area to speed up freight transportation and provide additional capacity for growing rail traffic, according to the organization's website.

Specifically, the line would extend from LaPorte, Ind., through Illinois to Milton, Wis., and would connect with Class Is.

The proposed rail line would alleviate shipping congestion by creating a bypass for traffic not destined for or originating in the Chicago area.

The scoping meetings will be held April 11 in Manteno, Ill.; April 12 in Lowell, Ind.; April 13 in Wanatah, Ind.; April 14 in LaPorte, Ind.; April 18 in Janesville, Wis., April 19 in Rockford, Ill.; April 20 in Rochelle, Ill.; and April 21 in Seneca, Ill.

The meetings will include an open house format for the first hour, followed by a presentation by the STB's Office of Environmental Analysis and an opportunity for public comments and questions, STB officials said.

Below is the GLBT's December 2015 video presentation on the proposed project.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/21/2016