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Western Avenue Corridor


Signalization – Ogden Junction to CP 518

Topline Community Benefits

Modernized infrastructure that better serves freight operators and Metra and Amtrak riders.

Improved operations, including speed improvements, additional capacity, and flexibility.

Project Funding Needs

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Fully funded and complete

Project Location Map

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Project Area

North Limit Metro Ln.
South Limit W 41st St.
East Limit I-90/I-94
West Limit S Kedzie Ave.

Project Overview & Impact

This completed project, Signalization – Ogden Junction to CP 518, increased train speeds and added capacity along the Norfolk Southern (NS) main lines in the project area. Previously, most trains spent up to one hour to traverse the limits of this project given the hand-thrown switches. With the completion of this project, trains pass through this 5.2-mile segment in as little as 10 minutes. Improved signalization relieves chronic congestion of Metra, Amtrak, and freight trains at Control Point 518 south of Union Station.

This project replaced/installed power operated switches and a Traffic Control System (TCS) along the Norfolk Southern main tracks. WA3 signalized and allowed bi-directional movements along the main tracks through Ashland Avenue Yard from 22nd Street to Control Point 518. The project added a passing track alongside the Ashland Avenue Yard.


Project Benefits

The Signalization – Ogden Junction to CP 518 will modernize manual infrastructure and add speed, capacity, and efficiency to this segment. This will mitigate current operational snares, including between passenger and freight rail.

Chicago, IL Community Areas: Armour Square, Bridgeport and McKinley Park

Communities along the Amtrak Michigan Services, Amtrak Capitol Limited, and Lakeshore Limited

Communities along the Metra’s Heritage Corridor and SouthWest Service 

The signal system upgrades increased capacity and overall throughput of the corridor, supporting regional goods movement and commuter access to and from Chicago.

Trains experience fewer deleays and improved travel times (previously one hour to less than 10 minutes). This will alleviate locomotive idling, resulting in improved air quality.

More than 60 Amtrak and Metra lines benefit from these improvements, with riders experiencing more reliable and seamless service.

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Project Status

Phase I Completed
Phase II Completed
Phase III Completed

Project Status Definitions:
– Phase I: Environmental & Preliminary Engineering
– Phase II: Final Design (Plans, Specifications & Estimates)
– Phase III: Construction

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