Metra leads 34th CREATE improvement project

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor
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Proposed site of Project B1 at Metra’s Franklin Park Station, looking northwest.

Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program began construction on Project B1, its 34th project aimed at improving safety and keeping Metra and freight trains moving through the region more efficiently.

Metra and Canadian Pacific Railway will upgrade signals and add several crossover tracks near CP’s Bensenville Yard in Franklin Park, Ill. Currently freight trains pass through the Bensenville Yard to access Indiana Harbor Belt (IHB) mainline tracks. With this improvement, 12 daily freight trains will bypass the yard on existing Metra tracks. CREATE officials say this reduces the potential for freight train delay to 58 daily Metra trains and improves Metra flexibility at the Franklin Park Station. In addition, the project will reduce delays and congestion and increase safety for pedestrians and motorists at nearby grade crossings as trains move through the region.

The project requires the installation of five crossovers and associated signaling on the Metra tracks serving the Metra Milwaukee District West Line. In addition, another crossover will be installed between the IHB and Canadian National tracks between Chestnut Avenue and Grand Avenue.

“Metra, as a CREATE partner, is excited to lead this project to improve movement for our passengers,” noted Don Orseno, Executive Director/CEO, Metra. “We have always been committed to working with our freight partners to improve the movement of trains in our region.”

The schedule calls for completing construction of the project in 2019.

Categories: Ballast, Ties, Rail, Class 1, Commuter/Regional, ON Track Maintenance, Safety/Training, Shortline/Regional