Will Great Lakes Basin Transportation Be The “CHICAGO BYPASS”?


For quite a while we have advocated a “CHICAGO BYPASS.

Now there is a contender out there who wants to do just we talked about

Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc. (GLBT) states that the principal purpose of the proposed rail line is to provide Class I railroads and a regional railroad utilizing the Chicago metropolitan terminal area with more efficient options to route trains around the city. The Class I railroads include: BNSF Railway Company, Union Pacific Railroad Company, Canadian National Railway Company, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and CSX Transportation, Inc. The regional railroad is the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad LLC. GLBT anticipates that the proposed rail line would (1) provide an alternative route for freight traffic not destined for or originating in Chicago to bypass the existing congested Chicago terminal area, and (2) add capacity to accommodate existing and anticipated future growth while avoiding major population centers.

GLBT anticipates that the proposed rail line would be utilized by unit commodity trains and mixed carload and intermodal trains that do not require transport to the Chicago terminal area for sorting or delivery. GLBT would construct a terminal (railport) for its proposed rail operations near Manteno, Illinois to provide switching, servicing, and car and locomotive repair to its railroad customers. According to GLBT, transit times through the Chicago area, which currently can take up to 30 hours to complete, would be reduced to under 8 hours depending on the specific interchange points and applicable speed restrictions on the rail line. The expected congestion relief would allow the railroads to better handle their Chicago proper and suburban traffic and make room for potential future growth within the existing terminal network.

GLBT is seeking authority from the Board to construct and operate an approximately 261-mile rail line that would extend generally from a point near Pinola, Indiana through Illinois to a point near Milton, Wisconsin. The proposed rail line would consist mostly of double track. The tracks would use modern signaling and automated controls (e.g., Centralized Traffic Control signals and Positive Train Control) to allow for movements of up to 110 trains per day. As proposed by GLBT, other major elements of the proposed project would include a 200-foot-wide right-of-way, flyovers at crossings of other railroads, four major river crossings in the State of Illinois (the Illinois, Kankakee, Fox, and Rock rivers), and grade-separated crossings of interstate highways and many roadways.

Read more about their proposal

Read more about our ideas on a Chicago Bypass

Read more about railroad mergers

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