The Blue Island-Riverdale-Dolton Signal Modernization Project (CREATE Project B15) allows for increased train speed in the project area from 15 mph to 30 mph. With the improvements, trains are expected to pass through in as little as six minutes. Trains use to experience 15 to 30 minutes of delay for every hand-operated switch they navigated, as well as when waiting for other trains to navigate the project limits with manual switches. Most trains spent up to one hour to traverse the limits of this project. Increased freight speeds and improved fluidity on the IHB will allow trains to clear Dolton Interlocking more quickly, reducing the potential for freight conflict with Amtrak trains to and from Indianapolis and improving passenger and freight travel time, speed and reliability.
The project included a new bi-directional computerized Traffic Control System (TCS), which was installed on a three-mile segment of Indiana Harbor Belt mainline track along the northside of Blue Island Yard. This project provides two new control points, which included installation of a series of crossovers at CP School Street and a turnout at CP Ashland. Additional crossovers were added to CP Harvey. The project also includes the installation of electric lock switches and the replacement of approximately five hand-thrown switches with power operated switches.
The $14.4 million project was funded with federal funds from the Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) program, state funds, along with railroad contributions for project design. This is the second TIGER I CREATE project to be completed.