Wednesday, October 18, 2017

34th CREATE project under construction

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Site of Project B1 at Metra's Franklin Park Station, looking northwest. Site of Project B1 at Metra's Franklin Park Station, looking northwest.

Ground has been broken on Phase III (construction phase) of the CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) Program’s 34th initiative, Project B1, “Canadian Pacific Crossover Upgrades.” Metra and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) will upgrade signals and add several crossover tracks, principally within the Metra Milwaukee District West right-of-way.

Currently, freight trains pass through CP’s Bensenville Yard in Franklin Park to access Indiana Harbor Belt (IHB) main line tracks. Project B1 will enable 12 daily CP freight trains to bypass Bensenville Yard on existing Metra tracks, reducing the potential for freight train-related delays to 58 daily Metra trains, and improving Metra flexibility at the Franklin Park Station. In addition, the project is expected reduce delays and congestion and increase safety for pedestrians and motorists at nearby grade crossings as trains move through the region.

Metra and CP will install five crossovers and associated signaling on the Metra tracks serving the Metra Milwaukee District West Line. In addition, another crossover will be installed to connect parallel IHB and CN tracks between Chestnut Avenue and Grand Avenue.

“Metra, as a CREATE partner, is excited to lead this project to improve movement for our passengers,” noted Don Orseno, Executive Director and CEO, Metra. “We have always been committed to working with our freight partners to improve the movement of trains in our region.”

Project B1’s schedule calls for completion in 2019.

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