South Shore to Lease Metra Cars

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District plans to lease 26 bi-level gallery cars from Chicago commuter rail operator Metra to handle increased South Shore Line commuter service.

NICTD said the increased service will occur as a result of the double tracking of the mainline between Gary and Michigan City, Indiana, and the West Lake Corridor expansion from Hammond to Dyer.

The lease will cost $3.5 million annually over 15 years. The leased cars were built between 2004 and 2006 and are similar in design to bi-level galley cars the South Shore currently operates.

Metra will refurbish the cars before South Shore takes delivery of them.

In a related development, the NICTD board  has approved a $17.1 million contract for engineering firm WSP to manage construction of the double track project.

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