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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CREATE partners complete Corwith interlocking project


Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program partners announced they completed the Corwith Interlocking Project.

The CREATE Project WA5 called for upgrading and reconfiguring the interlocking, and installing a new signal bridge. Now functional, the bridge provides significant benefits to trains moving in and out of BNSF Rail Co.'s Corwith Yard, one of the nation’s busiest intermodal yards, CREATE partners said in a winter 2009 newsletter.

The easternmost point for BNSF’s Transcon route between Los Angeles and Chicago, the yard handles about 800,000 domestic and international containers annually. The number of trains the yard can handle daily now has increased from 122 to 134.

In addition, train speeds through the interlocking have been increased, the speed of interchanges between BNSF and other railroads has improved, and train lengths at BNSF’s connection with Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation has increased in length from 5,400 to 8,000 feet.

Plus, the flow of freight traffic into and out of BNSF’s Willow Springs intermodal facility — which serves a major UPS distribution facility in Hodgkins — has improved, CREATE partners said.

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, the Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, Canadian National Railway Co., Canadian Pacific Railway, 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 2/26/2009