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Chicago's CREATE program lands $322 million from state of Illinois

Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program representatives recently hailed the Illinois state legislature’s effort to appropriate $322 million for the more than $1.5 billion program, according to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

The state funding will improve the CREATE’s chances of gaining federal stimulus funding, the representatives believe. The program will need at least another $1 billion to complete all 78 planned projects.

Funded through a public/private partnership, CREATE calls for developing one passenger-rail and four freight-rail corridors to reduce train delays, relieve rail and highway congestion, shorten commuters' travel times, and improve Chicago’s environment and public safety. CREATE partners plan to build roadway underpasses or overpasses to separate vehicle/pedestrian and rail traffic; overpasses to separate freight- and passenger-rail tracks; and upgrade track, switches, signal systems and other infrastructure.

CREATE partners include Amtrak, BNSF Railway Co., the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, CN, Canadian Pacific, CSX Transportation, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., Metra, Norfolk Southern Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Chicago, Illinois and U.S. Departments of Transportation.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/3/2009