Rock Island Connection (75th Street Corridor Improvement Project)
|North Limit||69th St|
|South Limit||100th St.|
|East Limit||Dan Ryan Expressway I-90/94|
|West Limit||Central Park Ave.|
90 freight trains (CSX, NS, UP, BRC, CN, CP)
30 Metra trains (SouthWest Service)
2 Amtrak trains (Cardinal Service)
This project will eliminate the most congested rail chokepoint in the Chicago Terminal, Belt Junction, where 30 Metra and 90 freight trains per day cross each other’s paths. The rail-rail flyover at 75th Street will eliminate conflict between 30 SouthWest Service Metra trains and 35 freight trains operating on the Western Avenue Corridor (CSX). The construction of an additional main line for Metra operation and the rail-rail flyover connection will reduce congestion and freight conflicts and will connect Metra’s SouthWest Service with the existing Rock Island District tracks, increasing capacity and improving reliability.
This project will allow SouthWest Service trains access to LaSalle Street Station instead of Union Station, which increases capacity for the SouthWest Service while also freeing capacity at Union Station for increased Amtrak service and proposed high-speed rail. This project also is expected to improve Amtrak Cardinal service performance by eliminating freight conflicts in the vicinity of 80th Street. The road-rail grade crossing separation at 71st Street will reduce neighborhood traffic delay and improve safety.
Scope of Work
Alternatives are being developed to address conflicts between CSX, BRC, UP, NS and Metra. The approach will consider reconfiguring the Belt Railway of Chicago (BRC) main tracks between the Dan Ryan Expressway and Belt Junction, where four freight railroads conflict with each other and Metra’s SouthWest Service operations (EW2). The project will consider constructing a second main track for Metra’s SouthWest Service operations from near Wrightwood Station to Western Avenue (P2). The project will consider reconfiguring and building a third BRC main track, and constructing a flyover to connect the Metra SouthWest Service to the Rock Island Line in the vicinity of 74th and Normal and 75th and Parnell (EW2 and P2). This project will consider constructing a bridge that significantly reduces conflicts between CSX and BRC, Metra and NS (P3). The project will also consider constructing a road-rail grade separation of 71st St. and the CSX freight line (GS19). Associated signals, tracks, crossovers, and bridge work are included in the project. See the project website for more information at: https://www.75thcip.org/
|Phase III||Not Started|