CHESTERTON, Ind. – For the past two years, the South Shore Commuter Line, formally known as the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, or NICTD has been working on double-tracking its line between Michigan City and Gary, Ind.
The Chicago Tribute reported last week that South Shore president Michael Noland reported to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation Board that the double track should be about ready in November, and service should start in May 2024.
The double track work has necessitated substituting buses for trains since construction began in 2022 on the 26-mile line.
NICTD also received a report that the West Lake Project, a new rail line that will run the nine miles between Dyer and Hammond, is about 35% complete. This line will feature four new stations. This service is set to begin sometime after May 2025, and Nolan said that he believes the deadline can be met, but is “cautiously optimistic.”
From a ridership persepective, the Shore Line is running at about 54% of pre-pandemic levels, but has increased 14% during the last year.