Our History

The CREATE Program was formally announced on June 16, 2003. It began as a task force convened by the federal Surface Transportation Board in the early 2000s in recognition of the growing urgency of the Chicago region’s rail capacity needs. That task force included representatives from the railroad industry, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago.

Today, the CREATE Program is a unique collaborative whose members include railroads and municipal leaders working together to increase the efficiency of Chicago’s unique rail network. Six of the seven Class 1 railroads operating in North America serve Chicago. All six are partners in the CREATE Program, along with Amtrak, Metra, the State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago.

The CREATE Program is supported by public and private funding and enjoys widespread support from community, civic and elected leaders. Its work and operations are governed by a Joint Statement of Understandings (linked below) that the partners developed, approved and regularly affirm.

Joint Statement of Understandings (2003)

Amendment 1 (2004)

Amendment 2 (2005)

Amendment 3 (2008)

Amendment 4 (2018)