CN forges EJ&E-related mitigation pacts with two Illinois towns (4/25/2011)


CN recently reached agreements with the city of Joilet and village of Wayne in Illinois concerning mitigation measures associated with the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Co. (EJ&E) integration.

The Class I will fund the construction of a $2.5 million grade crossing bypass to improve vehicular traffic flows and enhance safety in the Forest Park area of Joliet, the largest community along the EJ&E’s arc, according to CN. The bypass will enable the city to close a crossing on Woodruff Road near Joliet Yard.

“Delays to motorists due to stopped and slow-moving trains needing to enter and exit the yard have long been a problem at this crossing, and it has consistently experienced the highest number of crossing blockages since CN's acquisition of the EJ&E on Jan. 31, 2009,” CN officials said in a prepared statement.

The railroad has been working closely with the city the past three years to determine ways to lessen the integration’s impact on the community, said Jim Vena, CN’s senior vice president-Southern Region.

Meanwhile, CN’s voluntary mitigation agreement (VMA) with Wayne calls for funding for the creation of a quiet zone, noise and safety mitigation measures, and communications and emergency response training.

The Class I now has reached mitigation agreements with 27 of the 33 communities on the EJ&E’s lines — “a clear corporate commitment to work cooperatively with our line-side neighbors toward mutually acceptable mitigation outcomes,” said Vena. CN continues to work with communities that do not have VMAs to ensure compliance with the safety and environmental conditions required by the Surface Transportation Board, he said.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News