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CREATE Update: Belt Railway, NS line upgrades under way


Another major component of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program is scheduled to wrap up next month.

CREATE partners are upgrading infrastructure to speed up trains moving from the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago's (BRC) line to Norfolk Southern Railway's mainline running along 95th Street and the Chicago Skyway/Interstate 90.

The project, which began in late March, calls for upgrading and modernizing tracks and signals on a half-mile stretch between 101st Street and Commercial Ave. After the work is completed on or about May 1, train speed will increase from 6 mph to 20 mph.
"This is the latest CREATE project that will not only help ease congestion and benefit air quality, but will help businesses receive their supplies and goods in a more timely manner," said Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Thomas Byrne in the spring 2008 edition of the CREATE newsletter.

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 the environment and public safety in Chicago. CREATE partners plan to build 25 roadway underpasses or overpasses to separate vehicle/pedestrian and rail traffic; six overpasses to separate freight- and passenger-rail tracks; and upgrade track, switches and signal systems.

In addition to NS, BRC and CDOT, CREATE partners include Amtrak, BNSF Railway Co., Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co., Metra, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Illinois and U.S. DOTs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/15/2008