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11/18/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CREATE partners modify Central Corridor portion of Chicago program


The Federal Highway Administration, Illinois and Chicago departments of transportation, and Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently agreed to modify a portion of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program “in response to changing needs,” according to a statement released by program partners.

Most of the Central Corridor, as defined in the original CREATE feasibility plan and preliminary screening, no longer is required. However, major portions of the corridor’s southern half will be retained to provide freight trains an alternate route and free up capacity over the existing “NS Chicago Line” for Amtrak trains moving from New Orleans and Carbondale, Ill., into Chicago’s Union Station. The change will minimize impacts to Amtrak and freight trains already using the line, CREATE partners said.

In addition to the Illinois and Chicago DOTs and AAR, the program’s 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 and Union Pacific Railroad. The nearly $3 billion CREATE program calls for building grade separations and upgrading track, switches, signal systems and grade crossings in and around Chicago to reduce train delays, relieve rail and highway congestion, and improve public safety.


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