Wednesday, March 12, 2014

IDOT Proposes Changes to Improve Train Speeds; One Option Includes Using St. Charles Air Line

Map of proposed changes (via Streetsblog Chicago)
Train enthusiasts and Sloop residents that live near the St. Charles Air Line - you may want to read this.  Apparently IDOT has proposed some new plans to improve train speeds (via Streetsblog Chicago):
Amtrak trains would run faster between Chicago and Joliet in the Illinois Department of Transportation’s proposal to switch St. Louis-bound trains to less crowded tracks. But IDOT’s project could be even better with a few key changes. By folding the track upgrade known as CrossRail into the Amtrak project, IDOT could improve intercity trains and regional Metra service in one fell swoop.
While it doesn't sound like this is a foregone conclusion, they are looking at utilizing the St. Charles Air Line (the train tracks the cut through the South Loop just north of 16th street) in some of their plans:
IDOT has presented two options for getting Amtrak trains from the Rock Island line — which terminates at LaSalle Street station — into Union Station. Trains could cross the Chicago River at 16th Street on the elevated St. Charles Air Line, turn around and reverse into Union Station, or cross the Dan Ryan at 40th Street over a semi-abandoned bridge to run north-south along Canal Street, straight into Union Station.
While the article isn't super clear (or maybe we're not very literate with train lingo) we would imagine this would mean more traffic for the tracks in our neighborhood.  Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, doesn't sound like our dream of a elevated pedestrian park/biking trail will be coming to the train tracks in our hood.  For some an open thread we did on the St. Charles Air Line click here.

(Hat tip:  DK!)

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