NS Won’t Support Chicago Bypass Project

Norfolk Southern will not support an effort by a group seeking to construct a railroad bypass around Chicago.

In a letter to the U.S. Surface Board of Transportation, NS said it would not work with Great Lakes Basin Transportation, which has proposed building a 278-mile route linking Indiana and Wisconsin that would run south and west of Chicago.

NS logo 1Great Lakes Basin contends that the line would help alleviate freight congestion in Chicago.

Earlier, Union Pacific had said it, too, is not interested in working with Great Lakes Basin to create the $8 billion rail line.

In its letter to the STB, NS said it would focus on improving its own tracks.

The STB is currently taking public comments as part of an environmental impact statement regarding the project.

“Norfolk Southern has a robust route network, with multiple routes into and out of the Chicago area and also owns its own bypass route that runs directly to Kansas City,” NS wrote. “For this reason, we are not inclined to think that the proposed Great Lakes Basin route would work well with our system or that we would be a user of the route.”

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