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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Six CREATE projects under way in Chicago


On Friday, organizers of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program issued an update, which shows six of the program’s 78 projects are under construction and 43 projects have entered the Phase I engineering stage.

The following projects are under way:
• B-3 (UP) — Melrose Park, Bellwood. In the Proviso north Departure Yard, west of 25th Avenue between Lake Street and St. Charles Rd., a second rail connection will be added between the yard and the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co.
• B-6 (CSX) — McCook. East of East Avenue between I-55 and 55th Street, the length of the existing rail connection between BNSF Railway Co. and the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad will be extended. In addition, a second southwest rail connection is being constructed between the two lines.
• B-8 (CSX) — Bridgeview, Bedford Park, Summit. West of Harlem Ave., North of 71st Street to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a computerized signal system will be installed.
• GS-7 (Metra) — Downers Grove. At BNSF’s tracks near the Belmont station at Belmont Rd., a highway underpass will be built to route Belmont Road under the three-track BNSF mainline. In addition, two new parking lots, a pedestrian tunnel, an underwater retention system, two passenger boarding platforms and two seven-foot walkways will be constructed.
• WA-3 (NS) — Chicago. Between "Ogden Junction" (Ogden Ave. and Western Ave.) and Union Street near Pershing, a computerized signaling system will be installed and an additional mainline track along Ashland Avenue Yard will be built. Viaducts will be rebuilt at Halsted, Emerald and Union streets near Pershing.
• WA-5 (BNSF) — Chicago. South of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, east and west of Pulaski Road, track and signals will be upgraded. Corwith interlocking and remote-controlled Corwith tower also will be upgraded with modern signal technology.

The $1.5 billion public/private CREATE program is designed to reduce train delays and congestion throughout the Chicago area. Focusing on five rail corridors, the program calls for creating 25 new roadway overpasses or underpasses and six new rail overpasses or underpasses to separate passenger and freight trains; improving viaducts; enhancing grade crossing safety; and completing extensive upgrades to tracks, switches and signal systems.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/27/2008