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Metra next month will replace 17,000 ties over a 17-mile single-track span along the Milwaukee District North Line.The Chicago commuter railroad also will replace five switches, perform brush clearing and continue to upgrade the signal system in preparation for a positive train control (PTC) system. The project will take place between Metra's stations in Libertyville and Fox Lake, Illinois. Work will begin April 5 and continue through April 27."Track projects like this are absolutely essential to maintaining safe and high quality rail service," said Metra Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Jim Derwinski in a press release.