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Public-private partners mark completion of CREATE's seventh project


Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program partners recently capped off another project. They completed the $13.1 million “McCook Connection” project in McCook, Ill., which will provide “additional connectivity” between BNSF Railway Co., CSX Transportation and Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co. (IHB) lines. The project, which began a year ago, is the seventh of 71 planned CREATE projects to reach the completion stage.

Trains previously had to wait or travel at a maximum speed of 10 mph on the lines; now, they can move through the area at 25 mph. The project provides additional capacity and congestion relief in northeastern Illinois, CREATE partners said in a project bulletin, adding that potential conflicts will be reduced between 15 to 20 freight trains and several Metra and Amtrak trains that move through the connection each day.
Six other projects currently are under construction. 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. The 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.

In addition to BNSF, CSXT, IHB, Amtrak and Metra, CREATE partners include the Association of American Railroads, Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, CN, Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Transportation.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/30/2009