Chicago-Joliet, IL: Higher speeds may bring level crossing woe

26 Feb

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s plans for higher speed passenger train operation are, because there are at no answers, raising concerns of the impact on road users of level crossings as greater use of the rail corridor between Chicago and Joliet could at multiple level crossings significantly reduce the open-to-road time in each hour.

Adding 16 trains travelling at 110 mph rather than 79mph as at present on a corridor infested with level crossings is driving consideration of grade-separation and level crossing upgrades. Adding to the mix of issues is the possibility that the higher-speed passenger train services will be switched from a right-of way largely owned by Canadian National to one owned mainly by Metra as there are 35 level crossings on the Metra corridor compared with about 20 on the route taken today.

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