31.7.07

EXPANDING THAT OUTER SUBURBAN SERVICE. I asked for it, is there a possibility I will get it?
The major rail improvements being proposed for the region include signal system upgrades, additional track and restructuring the line in Chicago where it intersects the Milwaukee West line, Milwaukee North line and North Central line. The crossing is the busiest in northeastern Illinois, Metra officials said, reported the Tribune.
The Tribune article offers background.

Kane County transportation officials are lining up behind an effort by Metra to secure the federal funding needed to greatly improve capacity and speed on its Union Pacific West line between Chicago and Elburn.

The 44-mile commuter rail line, which serves 62 communities in Cook, DuPage and Kane Counties, handles about 29,000 passenger trips a day on 59 trains. The aim of the proposed $441 million upgrade is to allow service to expand to as many as 80 trains a day and to increase the number of express trains from 20 to 30 daily.

Elsewhere in Destination: Freedom is a useful visual comparing gasoline taxes in the U.S. with those used (sometimes) to fund passenger railroads elsewhere.

Public details are sketchy. I'm intrigued by the plans to improve Western Avenue interlocking, a busy crossing where the former Chicago and North Western from (DeKalb) Elburn and Geneva has to get to the north of the former Milwaukee Road tracks with trains from Seattle, Milwaukee, Fox Lake, Antioch, and Elgin.

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