Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

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.

South Shore Derailment Snarls Service

June 7, 2017

A derailment in Chicago forced the South Shore Line to temporary suspend service on Tuesday afternoon.

The accident occurred at low speed when Train No. 18 derailed as it was entering Millennium Station.

With westbound trains unable to enter the station, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which operates the South Shore, cancelled service. Metra Electric District trains were honoring South Shore tickets.

NICTD said it was “mobilizing as many trains as possible to minimize this disruption,” but expected long delays for the Tuesday evening commute.

STB Wants More Information Chicago Bypass

June 6, 2017

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board is seeking additional information from Great Lakes Basin Transportation pertaining to the proposed Chicago bypass route that it wants to build.

The Board ruled that GLBT’s application is incomplete and rejected the company’s effort to designate its list of its 10 principal stockholders and their respective holdings as confidential.

GLBT was given until June 22 to provide additional information including a more complete list of the counties and cities in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin that the rail line would serve.

The proposed freight-only route would extend for 261 miles between Northwest Indiana to southern Wisconsin.

GLBT had argued that its list of shareholders contained proprietary and commercially sensitive information, and confidential personal information. If that information was disclosed, GLBT said, it could have an adverse impact on GLBT and its principals.

In its filing with the STB, GLBT has said that the rail line, if built, will be grade separated from intersecting railroad lines and major highways, but would interchange with the six Class 1 railroads serving Chicago along with six regional railroads at 26 interchange points.

NKP 765 Trip Tickets Nearly Sold Out

June 2, 2017

Tickets for the June 17 and 18 excursions in Chicago behind Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 are almost sold out.

The restored Berkshire steam engine will pull trips from Joliet, Illinois, to Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station over tracks owned by Metra and once used by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, which owns the locomotive, said that half of the trips are sold out.

These include both Saturday trips. Earlier this week there were about 100 tickets left for the Sunday trips.

CSX, CP May Launch Run-Through Trains

May 29, 2017

CSX and Canadian Pacific are reportedly discussing ways to eliminate traffic congestion in Chicago, including creating run-through trains.

 “We’ve had some discussions with CSX operationally as well as commercially,” CP CEO Keith Creel said last week at an investor conference.
Noting that the talks are in the early stages, Creel said that the goal is to reduce transit time and improve service reliability.

CP currently relies on Norfolk Southern to move CP trains between Chicago and Detroit because CP does not have its own route from the east.

Stack trains cannot use the Windsor Tunnel beneath the Detroit River and CP has used CSX in recent years to move double stacked container between Chicago and Buffalo.

This puts CP at  competitive disadvantage against its chief rival Canadian National, which reaches Chicago over the former Grand Trunk Western and when can get through Chicago on the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern, which CN acquired in 2009.

CSX and CP interchange about 400 cars per day in Chicago, making CSX CP’s largest interchange partner railroad there.

Creel told the investor conference that 100 of those cars could be sent deep into CSX territory as a run-through train to avoid handling in Chicago. CSX could build trains destined for points on CP.

Chicago Bypass Bid Filed with STB

May 3, 2017

The proposal to build a freight railroad bypass around Chicago is now before the Surface Transportation Board.

Great Lake Basin Transportation filed an application on Monday, one day after the April 30 deadline set by the STB.

The application describes the bypass as a 244-mile line from Rock County, Wisconsin, to Porter County, Indiana, with 17 miles of branch line, a toll highway running parallel to the rail route, and a new international airport south of downtown Chicago.

Cost of the project was put at $2.8 billion with a 2021 completion date. Funding would come from private sources.

Great Lakes said the route will have 26 interchange points with Class I and regional railroads.

In its application, Great Lakes said the bypass “would help alleviate endemic rail traffic delays and congestion in the Chicago area by providing a new railroad linking every major rail line that enters the city.”

It claims that transit times through Chicago could be reduced from 30 hours to eight hours, with an estimated 45 to 72 trains a day. The bypass would be able to accommodate 80 percent to 90 percent growth in traffic by 2040.

Little support for the bypass has been expressed thus far from Class 1 railroads serving Chicago. NIMBY opposition has also been strong along the proposed route.

Hickory Creek to run on NKP 765 Excursions

April 29, 2017

Former New York Central observation car Hickory Creek will be part of the consist of the Joliet Rocket, the excursion train to be pulled by Nickel Plate Road No. 765  on June 17 and 18 between Joliet and Chicago.

Tickets to ride in the Hickory Creek are limited and are priced at $219.

The Hickory Creek once operated on the Chicago-New York 20th Century Limited.

The car is being made available through a special charter by Headwaters Junction, Inc.

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society said some tickets remain in economy coach, deluxe coach and first class on select dates and times for the excursions.

NS Opens New Chicago Locomotive Shop

February 15, 2017

Norfolk Southern has opened a new locomotive shop in Chicago adjacent to its 47th Street intermodal facility.

NS logo 2The $9.5 million facility has 16,300 square feet and comes with a 125-ton drop table to inspect, repair, or replace traction motors; a mobile, 7.5–ton overhead gantry crane, and a 77-foot-long inspection pit.

It can handle four locomotives indoors at once and will employ 25 craft workers around the clock.

“The new facility is strategically located on Norfolk Southern’s primary rail line serving Chicago, and it will allow NS to rapidly make repairs to locomotives moving freight to our major terminals,” said NS vice president mechanical Don Graab in a statement. “The investment is part of NS’s commitment to provide timely and reliable service and will enable us to move goods even more efficiently across the Chicago gateway and benefit intermodal customers shipping freight to East Coast markets.”

With the opening of the shop NS will no longer have to move locomotives requiring extensive maintenance to other shops on its system.

NS also operates a minor repairs shop in Chicago at Calumet Yard. NS has six yards in the Chicago region that handle more than 100 trains a day.

CSX Eyes Building Chicago Intermodal Terminal

February 1, 2017

CSX is planning an intermodal facility near Chicago along the joint line that it uses with Union Pacific.

CSX logo 1The site is on the former Chicago & Eastern Illinois route in Crete, Illinois, 33 miles south of Chicago.

Although CSX has not announced plans for the 1,100 acre site, speculation on public forums has already triggered NIMBY opposition amid support from public officials.

Some residents have objected to the likelihood of CSX building an overpass for Crete-Monee Road.

Opponents appeared at a public hearing last month and signs opposing the intermodal site have sprung up along roads in the largely rural area.

The intermodal site, though, would be within the village of Crete.

“There is substantial support among local, state, and regional officials for the (Crete) concept,” said CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle. “Locating a facility there would enhance the region’s ability to manage the growing volume of intermodal freight moving to and from the Chicago region.”

The area where the intermodal site would be built has seen growth in warehouses and distribution businesses in recent years.

The village has rezoned the property for intermodal terminal use. CSX purchased the land in June 2016.

If CSX develops the intermodal facility it would part of its Southeastern Corridor and become the first Chicago area intermodal facility tied directly to the port of Miami, which is a gateway to Latin American.

CUS Gets Emerging Projects Agreement

January 14, 2017

The City of Chicago is joining with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Amtrak, Metra and the Regional Transportation Authority to create an emerging projects agreement that they hope will be able to land $1 billion in federal funding to modernize Chicago Union Station.

Chicago Union StationBy creating the EmPA, the DOT will be able to provide technical assistance for obtaining federal credit through the Build America Bureau’s innovative programs.

The redevelopment of Union Station is a public-private partnership that is seeking to rehabilitate the depot for passengers as well as foster commercial developments surrounding the station.