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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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