Urban Fold

Chicago: America's Freight Rail Speed Bump

John Schwartz looks at Chicago's rail mess, which seems entirely inadequate a word to describe the "sprawling traffic jam" that keeps some rail traffic crawling through the city at an average speed of 1.13 miles per hour.

With a quarter of all rail traffic in the nation rolling through Chicago, and freight volume in the United States expected to grow by more than 80 percent in the next 20 years, the city's abominable rail tangle isn't just a local embarrassment, it's a national economic threat.

"Now, federal, state, local and industry officials are completing the early stages of a $3.2 billion project to untangle Chicago's rail system - not just for its residents, who suffer commuter train delays and long waits in their cars at grade crossings, but for the rest of the nation as well," reports Schwartz.

"The program, called Create (an acronym for Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program), is intended to replace 25 rail intersections with overpasses and underpasses that will smooth the flow of traffic for the 1,300 freight and passenger trains that muscle through the city each day, and to separate tracks now shared by freight and passenger trains at critical spots. Fifty miles of new track will link yards and create a second east-west route across the city, building redundancy into the overburdened system."

Full Story: Freight Train Late? Blame Chicago

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00