Posts Tagged ‘Chicago bypass rail proposal’

GLBT Misses Deadline to Appeal STB Ruling

November 9, 2017

A proposed Chicago freight railroad bypass proposal is officially defunct after its backers failed to meet a 60-day deadline to appeal an adverse decision of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

The STB last August ruled against the bid by Great Lakes Basin Transportation to build a 261-mile rail line between northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin.

GLBT had 60 days to appeal that decision, but failed to do so.

In its Aug. 31 decision, the STB said the financial information provided by GLBT was inadequate to show that the company had the ability to conduct the project.

Had GLBT appealed the STB decision, it would have been required to show that it was financially capable of constructing the bypass.

STB Rejects Bid to Build Chicago Bypass

September 1, 2017

The proposed Chicago freight bypass has been stopped dead in its tracks.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board unanimously rejected the proposal of Great Lakes Basin Transportation Company to build the bypass railroad between northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin.
The STB said it acted due to the lack of information about GLBT’s finances and operations.

“[Great Lakes’] current assets of $151 are so clearly deficient for purposes of constructing a 261-mile rail line that the Board will not proceed with this application given the impacts on stakeholders and the demands upon Board resources,” the STB said in its decision.

The Board’s action halts the environmental review process of the project as well as disallows GLBT from purchasing property and starting construction.

News reports indicated that the dismissal was without prejudice, meaning GLBT could seek STB approval later for the same or a similar project.

Opponents Want STB to Reject Chicago Bypass

July 18, 2017

Opponents are rallying their forces to oppose a proposed rail bypass route being built around Chicago.

The groups have asked the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to reject a plan by Great Lakes Basin Transportation to build a proposed 261-mile freight railroad route that would extend from northwest Indiana to southern Wisconsin and run through Illinois to the west of Chicago.

Lack of funding for development of the line and lack of commitment from Class 1 railroads to using it were among the arguments cited by such groups as Residents Against the Invasion of Land by Eminent Domain.

Opponents have also talked about loss of farmland and environmental issues.

The STB is currently reviewing the application for authorization to build the rail line, which is estimated to cost as much as $2.8 billion.

In filing made last month, GLBT reported it had a net worth of $151 in 2016 and spend heavily on fees that year to lawyers and consultants.

GLBT Founder Owns Most of the Company

June 14, 2017

It turns out that the founder of a company seeking to build a railroad bypass around Chicago owns most of the company.

A recent filing with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board disclosed that Frank Patton, the founder and chairman of Great Lakes Basin Transportation, owns 87.2 percent of the company.

Shareholder Jim Wilson owns 5 percent of the company with 22 other shareholders having smaller ownership shares.

GLBT had sought to shield its ownership structure from public view, but the STB rejected that earlier this year and ordered it to show who owns the company.

The proposed rail bypass would extend from northwest Indiana to southern Wisconsin.

The STB is not expected to approve or reject GLBT’s application for authority to build the line until later this year.

Chicago Bypass Route Review Suspended

December 16, 2016

An office of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board has suspended its environmental review of a proposed new Chicago bypass rail route.

STBThe Office of Environmental Analysis said that it ceased its review of the proposed rail line at the request of Great Lakes Basin Transportation.

GLBT had proposed building a 278-mile rail line between northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin.

A letter sent to the STB  from GLBT said that it is working on a “more complete overview of the project’s business and operating impacts.”

The STB’s environmental assessment office said it will issue a final scope of study for the preparation of the draft environmental impact statement, taking into consideration all comments received during the public comment period.

Once alternative routes for the rail line are described, the STB will solicit additional public comment.

STB Gives GLBT More Time to File Route Info

September 7, 2016

Great Lakes Basin Transportation has received an extension of time to file with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board a document showing alternative routes for its proposed Chicago freight bypass line.

STBGLBT will now have until Sept. 20 to file the documents with the STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis.

The original deadline had been Aug. 29. The STB had told GLBT that it must provide a listing of alternative alignments or explain why it can’t provide those.

The STB said it needs that information before it can issue a final scope of study for an environmental impact statement.

GLBT has proposed building a freight-only route between southern Wisconsin and northwestern Indiana that it said would relive rail traffic congestion in Chicago.

STB Wants More Info on Chicago Bypass Project

July 12, 2016

A company seeking to build a railroad bypass around Chicago has been instructed by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to provide more information about alternate routes.

STBGreat Lakes Basin Transportation was given until Aug. 29 to provide the information. The STB had extended until July 15 a public comment period regarding the proposed 278-mile freight route

If Great Lakes is unable to provide information on alternative routes, it must explain why it can’t do that.

The directive came from the STB’s Office of Environmental Analysis which is reviewing materials submitted thus far for an environmental impact study.

“In addition to the route initially proposed by an applicant when the EIS process begins, the board’s EISs typically evaluate a number of proposed potential alternative alignments and more minor route various, as well as the no-action (no-build) alternative,” wrote OEA Director Victoria Rutson.

Great Lakes has indicated that it will provided the requested information.

Public hearings have been held in three states and the STB has received more than 3,500 comments about the proposed route that would begin in Northwest Indiana and end in Southern Wisconsin.

The bypass is being proposed as a means to alleviate rail congestion in Chicago.

STB Extends Chicago Bypass Comment Period

June 17, 2016

The public comment period for a draft environmental study for a proposed Chicago bypass rail line has been extended to July 15.

STBThe study is being undertaken by the Office of Environmental Analysis of the Surface Transportation Board in regards to a proposal by Great Lake Basin Transportation to construct a 278-mile belt line around Chicago.

The line would extend from LaPorte in Northwest Indiana to Milton in Southern Wisconsin. Great Lakes Basin has said the belt line could ease rail congestion in Chicago by moving traffic that did not originate or terminate in that city.