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July 15th, 2009
BLUEPRINT AMERICA
America in Gridlock
[REPORT] Choke Point: Freight rail improvements in Chicago get the green signal

Rick Karr, Blueprint America correspondent

Back in April, Blueprint America reported on serious congestion on freight rail lines in Chicago, which happens to handle about a third of all freight that moves across the country. We also looked at a billion-dollar-plus plan to ease that bottleneck — and that local, state and Federal officials were missing only one thing to get it done: money.

Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that the plan — known as CREATE — has just scored about a third of a billion dollars in federal subsidies.

Alongside investments by the railroads themselves, that’ll move the plan forward quite a bit. And freight railroads won’t be the only winners. As we reported, one of the most expensive elements in the plan will untangle commuter and freight lines near several busy junctions. That will help speed along commuter trains, and will ultimately allow Chicago-to-St. Louis regional trains to scoot along a little faster.

No word on whether any of the money will help suburban communities pay for the grade separations they want as more freight trains are routed around the city.

Inside This Report

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