Posts Tagged ‘South Bend Indiana’

New South Bend South Shore Station on Hold

March 24, 2021

Efforts to build a new South Shore Line station in South Bend, Indiana, have stalled.

Michael Nolan, president of South Shore parent organization Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District said the railroad’s current top priority is completing the double tracking project between Michigan City and Gary, Indiana.

NITCD also is overseeing construction of a line to Dyer, Indiana, which will link with the mainline between Chicago and South Bend.

Nolan said he hopes that in time one of two competing ideas for a new South Bend station will gain widespread support.

One proposal is to establish a station in downtown South Bend.

That concept has the city’s support but would cost between $112 million to $200 million and involve significant property acquisitions for a new right-of-way, relocation of the city’s Amtrak stop, and demolition of buildings at a public housing complex.

St. Joseph County favors a plan for a new station near the South Bend airport.

That proposal would cost at least $50 million and require the demolition of 40 homes.

It would also need approval of the Federal Aviation Administration because it would require construction of tracks and overhead catenary through a clear zone off one of the airport’s runways.

The advantage of that plan, though, is that it would eliminate a long, indirect looping route to reach the current airport station.

Buses Replace Trains on South Shore Due to Weather

February 7, 2021

Severe winter weather has prompted the South Shore Line to substitute buses for trains between South Bend, Indiana, and the Michigan City Carroll Avenue station.

The bus substitution began Saturday night and was to last through at least Sunday and Monday due to forecasts of freezing rain, snow, and extreme low temperatures.

Service to the Hudson Lake station east of Michigan City is suspended while the bus substitution is in effect.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which oversees the South Shore, said it will evaluate weather conditions on Monday before determining if the bus substitution will continue into Tuesday.

FTA Awards Pandemic Relief Grants

January 20, 2021

The Federal Transit Administration has released $15.8 million to 37 transit projects through its new Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program.

The program, which began last October, was created following transit agency requests that FTA support research addressing COVID-19-related operational challenges.

FTA officials said in a news release the 37 project grants will implement new cleaning and disinfecting protocols; contactless payment systems; data collection and reporting on ridership, vehicle capacity and other factors; and other solutions to improve agency decision-making and transparency and to increase rider confidence.

Among the recipients is the Central Ohio Transit Authority of Columbus, which will receive $600,000 to develop a comprehensive data model, including incorporating cell phone data to understand travel patterns, to drive decision-making based on travel changes pre- and post-COVID-19.

The analysis will help improve operational efficiencies and demonstrate how communities with multimodal transit networks can provide more efficient and reliable service with data-driven decision-making, especially during and after emergencies.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in partnership with Drexel University, will receive $584,618 to evaluate air ventilation and surface cleaning in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

The project seeks to improve passenger safety and strengthen public confidence to return to mass transit during the pandemic of the Philadelphia-based agency.

South Bend Public Transportation Corporation in Indiana will receive $122,638 to implement a new, contactless payment option for riders, streamlining the boarding process and operational efficiency of each route and reducing contact between operators, riders and fare boxes, improving safety during the pandemic.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will receive $450,000 for automated wheelchair securement systems on buses at five transit agencies in rural and urban service environments throughout the state.

MDOT also will deploy a smart phone app that integrates dispatching, scheduling and fare payment to lessen exposure to the COVID-19 virus and improve efficiency.

Buttigieg Had Experience With Transportation Issues as Mayor

December 17, 2020

Although U.S Secretary of Transportation nominee Pete Buttigieg has never worked in the transportation field, he has experience with transportation issues from his time as a mid-size city mayor.

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend, Indiana, between 2012 and 2019, The city of 100,000, is served by major freight rail lines of Canadian National and Norfolk Southern, and is a stop for Amtrak’s Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited.

South Bend is the eastern terminus of the South Shore commuter line to and from Chicago and has an airport served by several airlines.

A report on the Trains magazine website said Buttigieg as mayor supported a project to add 16.9 miles of double track to the South Shore Line between Gary and Michigan City in Indiana.

That work is part of a $460 million project that includes four new bridges, nine new station platforms and the addition of more than 1,300 parking spaces at four stations.

The South Shore has been awarded a $50.6 million Capital Investment Grant from the Federal Transit Administration for the project.

During his time as mayor, Buttigieg also sought federal funding to extend the South Shore Line from South Bend International Airport to the city’s downtown.

The Trains article said the most controversial rail issue Buttigieg faced as a mayor was the revocation by the Federal Railroad Administration in 2017 of the city’s “quiet zone” on CN and NS because it failed to install median barriers at 11 grade crossings.

Various railroad trade organizations on Wednesday issued statements on Wednesday that were generally supportive of Buttigieg’s nomination, which required U.S. Senate approval.

His resume include having served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. In the Navy Buttigieg rose to the rank of lieutenant.

He is a South Bend native who graduated from Harvard University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

Buttigieg also has severed as a a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Chicago.

Options Laid Out for South Shore Station in South Bend

April 23, 2018

Five options have been presented to the South Shore Line for a new station in South Bend, Indiana.

The costs of the stations were pegged by a consultant at between $23.9 million to $102 million for a facility that could help cut up to a half-hour off travel times to Chicago.Among the options are:

  • The former Honeywell site south of the airport on North Bendix Drive, $23.9 million.
  • The South Bend Amtrak station, $31 million.
  • The former South Bend Chocolate Factory site on U.S. Route 20, $44 million.
  • The former downtown Union Station site, $102 million.

South Shore trains currently use a slow, circuitous route to reach its station at the South Bend airport, requiring 10 minutes for the final two miles.

Building an airport station via a more direct route would cost an estimated $29.5 million.

South Shore Begins Limited Stop Trains

March 17, 2015

The South Shore Line began its South Bend-Chicago express service on Monday.

Train No. 6, dubbed the “Sunrise Express,” has intermediate stops at Dune Park and East Chicago. It departs South Bend at 6 a.m. EDT and arrives at Chicago Millennium Station at 6:55 a.m. (CDT).

Train No. 11 departs Millennium Station at 3:57 p.m. (CDT) with intermediate stops at Van Buren Street, Museum Campus/11th St., 57th Street, East Chicago and Dune Park before arriving in South Bend at 6:55 p.m. (EDT).

The South Shore has characterized the limited stop express trains as experimental. The eastbound trip is scheduled at three minutes longer than the westbound journey.

The full updated South Shore schedule is available online at www.nictd.com.

South Shore Starts South Bend Express Trains

March 6, 2015

The South Shore commuter railroad this month launched an express train from South Bend, Ind., to Chicago that will cover the distance in just under two hours.

The departs from South Bend at 6 a.m. (Eastern time) and arrive at the Millennium Station in Chicago just before 7 a.m. (Central time)

The current running time from South Bend to Chicago is 2 hours, 36 minutes.

The return express train in the afternoon will take slightly longer to cover the distance.

“This certainly is the wave of the future for this railroad,” said South Shore general manager Michael Noland. “It’s what people want and it’s what the strategic plan can deliver.”

The express train will make only two stops in Indiana, at the Dune Park stop in Chesterton and East Chicago.

Three other rush-hour trains will also have their travel time cut due to now having fewer stops.