Agreement to Increase Freight Train Traffic Roils Suburbs

A new agreement has been made that would divert more freight train traffic through Chicago area suburbs. Local communities upset about the increased traffic are expected to challenge the decision.
January 4, 2009, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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"Federal regulators have given a green light to Canadian National Railway's plan to divert freight traffic through Chicago's suburbs, a possible boon for the economy but potentially bad news for many suburban motorists likely to encounter delays at blocked crossings."

"The U.S. Surface Transportation Board unanimously approved on Wednesday CN's $300 million purchase of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway. But in response to critics, the board imposed an unprecedented condition: CN must pay tens of millions of dollars to build two overpasses in Aurora and Lynwood."

"Approval means the Montreal-based railroad can turn the lightly used EJ&E into a rail superhighway, tripling or quadrupling the number of trains now running through suburbs from Mundelein to Joliet to Gary."

"The decision, which doesn't become official until Jan. 23, is expected to face a legal challenge from suburban opponents."

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Published on Friday, January 2, 2009 in Chicago Tribune
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