November 2008 – Newsletter

In This Issue

  • New CREATE Materials Released
  • Three CREATE Projects Completed
  • Six CREATE Projects Under Construction

New CREATE Materials Released

CREATE has developed new fact sheets summarizing key benefits of the program, including:

  • Program overview
  • Environmental benefits
  • Safety benefits
  • Benefits of completed projects
  • Passenger benefits
  • Employment benefits

Three CREATE Projects Completed

As of October 2008, three CREATE projects have been completed:

  • EW-4 (NS) – Chicago. From 95th and Commercial to the Calumet River, the signalization on the connection from the BRC to the NS main line has been improved.   This will relieve the bottleneck by allowing freight train speeds and volumes to increase. EW-4
  • GS-5a (IHB/CN) – Franklin Park. Prior to project construction, two rail lines crossed Grand Avenue, which handles 25,000 vehicles per day. More than 5,000 cars per day were delayed at the rail crossings, which made this one of the ten crossings with most motorist delay in northeastern Illinois. This grade crossing separation project combined the two rail lines into one rail bridge over Grand Avenue so that the rail lines are now fully separated from auto traffic. Franklin Park Grade Crossing Separation
  • Deval Interlocking (UP) – Des Plaines.  Up to 135 trains per day pass through this interlocking.  The circa 1915 interlocking machine was obsolete, and repair/replacement parts had to be hand made when required.  The old interlocking machine was replaced with modern technology, and the interlocking is now operated by a software program located in a central dispatching location.

Six CREATE Projects Under Construction

As of October 2008, six CREATE projects are under construction:

  • B-3 (UP) – Melrose Park, Bellwood. In the Proviso north Departure Yard, west of 25th Avenue between Lake Street and St. Charles Rd., a second rail connection is being added between the yard and the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad.
  • B-6 (CSX) – McCook.  East of East Avenue between I-55 and 55th Street, the length of the existing rail connection between BNSF and the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad is being extended.  A second southwest rail connection is being constructed between these two lines.
  • B-8 (CSX) – Bridgeview, Bedford Park, Summit. West of Harlem Ave, North of 71st Street to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a computerized signal system is being installed.  
  • GS-7 (Metra) – Downers Grove.  At the BNSF tracks, near the Belmont station at Belmont Rd., a highway underpass is being built to route Belmont Road under the three-track BNSF mainline. In addition, the project will include two new parking lots, a pedestrian tunnel, an underwater retention system, two passenger boarding platforms, and two 7-foot walkways.
  • WA-3 (NS) – Chicago.  Between “Ogden Junction” (Ogden Avenue and Western Avenue) and Union Street near Pershing, a computerized signaling system and an additional mainline track along Ashland Avenue Yard are being installed.  Additionally, viaducts are being rebuilt at Halsted, Emerald, and Union Streets near Pershing.
  • WA-5 (BNSF) – Chicago. South of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, east and west of Pulaski Road, track and signals are being upgraded.  Corwith interlocking and remote-controlled Corwith tower are being upgraded with modern signal technology.

To see a summary of the status of all projects in the CREATE program, visit Project Status Summary.

CREATE Timeline

CREATE has made significant progress on a large number of the 78 projects in the Program. As of October 2008, 43 projects have entered Phase I engineering. To see a timeline documenting major CREATE milestones, visit: CREATE Timeline

Doing Business with CREATE

Bid awards are now being posted to the CREATE website.

To receive notification when a new bid solicitation is posted, send an email to with “Procurement Notification” in the subject line.   For more information, go to Doing Business with CREATE.

Did You Know?

Each day, 37,500 railcars travel through the Chicago hub. By 2020, the number is expected to increase to 67,000 per day. Map of Forecasted Railcar Volume 2005-2035

CREATE Partners

  • Amtrak
  • BNSF
  • Belt Railway Company of Chicago
  • Canadian Pacific
  • CN
  • Chicago Department of Transportation
  • CSX
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Indiana Harbor Belt
  • Metra
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Union Pacific