For the past three years, Railway Age has been reporting the progress of our railroads, including regional/commuter, as the emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus worsened and, more recently, has begun to subside. While ridership on the nation’s regional/commuter railroads still lags far behind pre-COVID numbers, including during traditional peak commuting hours, it is now picking up, and managers are thinking about what the future will be like as we enter a new era.
NICTD/South Shore Line
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on Dec. 22 announced that its Build America Bureau (Bureau) has provided a $27.5 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan for a portion of the $649 million Double Track Project along a 26.6-mile segment of the South Shore Line between Gary and Michigan City, Ind.
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s (NICTD) Board of Directors has approved the lease of 26 bi-level EMUs from Metra to boost capacity on the South Shore Line as it advances two expansion projects that, once online, will add 26 trains per day to the schedule.