Our Projects

Western Avenue Corridor
WA1

Ogden Junction

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Location

North Limit W Carroll Ave.
South Limit W 19th St.
East Limit Western Ave.
West Limit S Troy St.
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Daily Trains Affected

39 freight trains

59 Metra UP-West

Communities Benefited:

  • Communities along the Metra UP-West line

  • Cook, DuPage, and Kane Counties

Benefits

These enhancements improve visibility and provide for electronic switch and signal requests that will enable trains to be managed by a single UP dispatcher who would be in charge of all operations within the project limits. Verbal hand-offs of trains between railroads will thus be eliminated. The new signalization and alignment of track will allow speeds to be increased from restricted speed to 25 mph.

The area between Kedzie Interlocking (north end of project) and Ogden Junction (south end of project) currently is not signalized. Train hand-offs, or switching a train from one railroad to another, are currently made verbally between the various railroad yardmasters and dispatchers, resulting in slow train movements. Actual train speed is often much less than the maximum authorized timetable speed of 15 mph, because without a signal system the train speed is limited to being able to stop within half the range of vision (restricted speed).

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In many locations along this section, when a train occupies the adjacent track, this range of vision is very limited. The slow speed results in poor train flow, delay, congestion, and limited capacity. The proposed project will address existing congestion and delays, slow speeds, and limited capacity resulting from the current layout of Ogden Junction and the lack of signaling between Kedzie Interlocking and Ogden Junction.

Additionally, the freight trains operating daily in the WA1 Project area use radio control and navigate seven hand-thrown switches. A train experiences 15 to 30 minutes of delay for every switch the conductor is required to hand operate. Trains experience delays not only to operating their own switches but also waiting for other trains to navigate the project limits with manual switches. Currently, most trains spend up to one hour to traverse the limits of this project. With the completion of this project trains are expected to pass through this segment in as little as 10 minutes.

Upon completion, Metra Union Pacific-West Line trains, which operate through a portion of the project corridor, will also experience fewer delays. At this location, Metra experiences 4,812 passenger hours of delay annually that would be mitigated by this project. The project improvements allow freight trains to enter and exit the tracks shared with Metra operations faster, reducing potential freight conflicts with Metra service and improving passenger service reliability.

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Scope of Work

This project will install a new bi-directional computerized Traffic Control System (TCS) on a 2-mile segment of the Union Pacific rail line along the CREATE Western Avenue Corridor. Approximately 7 hand-thrown switches will be upgraded to power switches as part of the project.

The project will install control points at Taylor St., Ogden Avenue, and 16th Street. These control points along with main line realignment will enable simultaneous movements between the UP, CSX, and Norfolk Southern main lines. The project will also include structural improvements to multiple bridges. This combination of improvements will enable operating speeds of up to 25 mph. All of this work will be within the existing railroad right-of-way.

Project Status

Phase I Completed
Phase II Underway
Phase III Not Started
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Project Location Map

Project outlines and locations shown above are approximations and do not necessarily represent final design and construction limits.