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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg late last week visited the Chicago area to learn how the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program partners are implementing 70 public-private infrastructure projects to improve railroad operations.
Buttigieg joined Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other state, federal and local officials for a tour of CSX's Bedford Park Intermodal Facility to witness the scale and complexity of rail operations within the overall Chicago railroad terminal.
Combined, the region’s rail network handles 29% of all freight-rail traffic and 47% of all intermodal container traffic in the United States, in addition to nearly 800 commuter and passenger trains each day.
Thirty-one of CREATE’s projects are now complete, while 20 more are in planning, design or construction, according to a CREATE press release.
Buttigieg’s visit included a tour of both the CSX and Belt Railway Co. of Chicago yards, which are among the largest and busiest freight-rail facilities in the Chicago region.
"As former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Secretary Buttigieg knows firsthand how vital keeping trains moving through Chicago is to communities and local economies across the Midwest and beyond," said Association of American Railroads President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Jefferies. "Public and private partners are at the table with skin in the game to advance the infrastructure solutions necessary to help railroads deliver and communities thrive long into the future."