Five aldermen well-versed in Chicago's transportation issues on Wednesday called for yet another study to examine the feasibility and cost of launching high-quality airport express train service for O'Hare International Airport, Union Station and McCormick Place.
The proposal for the speedy, upscale service to be operated by Metra or Amtrak — or possibly under a public-private partnership — follows yearslong studies by the CTA and the city's transportation and aviation departments, as well as a separate state analysis that called on the expertise of the University of Illinois.
One of the benefits, the resolution said, would be direct South Side Metra service to O'Hare, using an elevated freight line along 16th Street from the lakefront to Halsted Street and connecting ramps.
The Department of Aviation, meanwhile, should conduct a new round of solicitations requesting information from train operators around the world, as well as financiers, on the feasibility of establishing the express train service to McCormick Place, running along tracks owned by Metra and the Canadian National Railway, the resolution said.That's an interesting thought. While we've heard various articles talk about the tracks at 16th (aka St. Charles Airline) this is the first we've heard about it being discussed as a route to O'Hare.
While this probably isn't going anywhere fast (the trains on this track...cue sarcastic drum run), it's still something worth keeping our eye on.