Completion of Franklin Park CREATE B1 project will reduce delays to Metra and freight trains

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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BNSF will be working on the Metra BNSF line this weekend.
David C. Lester

Metra and Canadian Pacific, along with the CREATE partners, are pleased to announce the completion of the Canadian Pacific Crossover Upgrades project (B1). This project eliminates commuter and freight train delays by installing five crossovers and associated signaling on the Metra tracks serving the Milwaukee District West Line and Canadian Pacific, principally between the grade crossings of Scott Street and Ruby Street. This project also installs a crossover between the Indiana Harbor Belt and CN tracks, located between Chestnut Street and Grand Avenue. A crossover is a pair of switches that connects two parallel rail tracks, enabling a train on one track to cross over to the other.

“The completion of CREATE’s B1 project is a great milestone in Metra’s work to reduce potential commuter delays throughout the region,” said Bruce Marcheschi, Metra’s Chief Operating Officer. “The switching and signaling improvements here will save considerable time for both commuters and freight trains, and we are happy to continue our work with the CREATE Program.”

This project reduces the potential for delays to the numerous Metra trains that traverse this portion of the Milwaukee District West Line each day. Before the completion of this project, freight trains needed to pass through the Bensenville Yard to access the Indiana Harbor Belt main line track. With this improvement, the 12 daily freight trains that pass through the area can bypass the Bensenville Yard on existing Metra tracks. This project also automates freight train access points through digitized switching controls that improve freight train speed throughout the yard. Finally, this project reduces delays to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists at nearby at-grade crossings due to increased train speeds and reduced gate down times.

“Canadian Pacific is pleased to complete a project that will expedite the movement of people and goods in the Chicago region,” said Jason M. Ross, Canadian Pacific Vice-President Operations, Southern Region. “We are committed to delivering for our customers and communities, and efficiencies gained in greater Chicago help to keep shipments moving through this important and interconnected terminal area.”

With the completion of this project, 31 of CREATE’s 70 projects are now in service.

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