IDOT slows down Amtrak Hiawatha project over community concerns

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The Illinois Department of Transportation has pledged to weigh freight and passenger rail needs as part of an overall resolution to the Amtrak Hiawatha line expansion.

[Below is a summary of the full Pioneer Press article here]

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Sept. 7 that it will not allow a federal decision on the proposed Amtrak Hiawatha project to move forward until community concerns “have been adequately considered and addressed,” according to a news release.

IDOT has formally pledged to weigh freight and passenger rail needs and impacts on regular vehicle and pedestrian traffic as part of an overall resolution, according to the release.

The Illinois and Wisconsin departments of transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration have proposed increasing service on the Amtrak Hiawatha line, which runs from Chicago and Milwaukee and stops in Glenview, from seven to 10 daily round trips, according to the project’s draft environmental assessment.

Officials and North Shore residents have expressed concern about the proposal to build either a 10,000-foot freight train holding track on the east side of the two existing Metra train tracks or an 11,000-foot freight train holding track on the west side of the existing tracks from Glenview to Northbrook.

Read the full article here.

Gary Ricke