Friday, October 16, 2009

South Shore sets final 2009 weekend construction outage

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The South Shore railroad is alerting passengers to the last in a series of planned temporary weekend construction outages. The fifth and final 2009 weekend outages is scheduled for October 31-November 2. South Shore trains will not operate in either direction between South Bend and Gary Metro Center beginning 2:30 a.m. October 31 thru 3:00 a.m. November 2.

The South Shore will operate regular weekend train service between Gary Metro Center and Chicago. There is no shuttle bus service between South Bend and Gary Metro Center during this final weekend outage because of the high number of weekend passengers and variability of demand.

Stations affected by this outage include South Bend, Hudson Lake, Carroll Ave. and 11th St. in Michigan City, Beverly Shores, Dune Park, Portage/Ogden Dunes, and Miller.

NICTD is beginning Phase 2 of overhead wire modernization program, which is between Michigan City and Gary. The overhead wire, or catenary, supplies electricity for train propulsion. This $18-million, three-year project will replace more than 100 miles of electrical conductor, some of which dates back to the 1920s. This wire is old and brittle and subject to failure. These failures are the single leading cause of significant service disruptions and lengthy train delays.

The construction plan calls for the contractor to upgrade many of the components under traffic. However, the contractor must have uninterrupted weekend access to the track in order to remove old wire and suspend new wire. Nearly all of Phase 2 work is being performed in single-track territory requiring temporary weekend service outages.

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