Posts Tagged ‘Chicago freight congestion’

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.

NS Won’t Support Chicago Bypass Project

June 1, 2016

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.”