Blue Island rail project to smooth freight traffic

Sep 24, 2013 Full story: The Southtown Star 27

Freight trains and motorists will be able to move more efficiently now that a $9.7 million project has been completed at the rail yard in Blue Island.

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Blue Island Rail Project

Chicago, IL

#1 Sep 25, 2013
http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/226974...

Blue Island rail project to smooth freight traffic

By Susan DeMar Lafferty slafferty@southtownstar.com September 24, 2013 9:20PM

Updated: September 25, 2013 2:19AM

Freight trains and motorists will be able to move more efficiently now that a $9.7 million project has been completed at the rail yard in Blue Island.

The project involved installing crossovers, tracks that allow trains to switch lanes, near Vermont Street from the CSX-Indiana Harbor Belt line that runs from Summit to Blue Island and connecting them for the first time with the CSX line that runs from Blue Island north to BNSF’s Corwith Yard in Chicago near the Stevenson Expressway, CSX communications director Carla Groleau said.

This will allow freight trains to reduce idling time, clear a crossing quicker and reduce congestion for trains and the driving public in the Chicago area, she said.

The project is part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program that will add rail capacity for the Chicago area, which is projected to see a 50 percent increase in rail freight over the next 10 years, Groleau said.

The federal government provided $6.4 million, CSX Transportation $3.2 million and the state $92,000 to complete the project.

In addition to new crossovers, the work included bi-directional switching and signal modernization. Currently, up to 33 daily trains are directly impacted by the project.

“Congestion is always
an issue, with trains stopping to get into the yards,” Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas said.“I applaud
any reduction in stoppage, and anything that moves them quicker in a safe manner.”

Blue Island always has been a railroad town, and tracks cross major intersections at 119th and 127th streets, Vargas said.

“We will continue to work with the federal government and the railroads to minimize the disruption from trains,” the mayor said, adding that he hopes to upgrade crossings to make them quiet zones and eliminate the need for train horns.

“This is an important project that will have a significant impact in Blue Island, the south suburbs and Chicagoland area as a whole, Gov. Pat Quinn said in a news release.

The CREATE program is a partnership of the state of Illinois, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chicago, Amtrak, Metra and freight railroads.

To date, 18 CREATE projects have been completed, reducing passenger and freight train delays by 33 percent and 28 percent, respectively, where the projects have been completed. Another 11 are in construction now, with 19 more in planning or final design stages.

More information on CREATE is at www.cre
ateprogram.org .

Trains

Chicago, IL

#2 Sep 25, 2013
Mayor Vargas never mentioned this huge project at the 9/24/2013 Blue Island City Council meeting. Trains have been a major concern for residents, motorists, and commuters.
Long time BI Resident

United States

#3 Sep 25, 2013
I don't buy it.... we are still going to have train issues...
probably

Orland Park, IL

#4 Sep 25, 2013
Trains wrote:
Mayor Vargas never mentioned this huge project at the 9/24/2013 Blue Island City Council meeting. Trains have been a major concern for residents, motorists, and commuters.
Probably because he didn't know anything about it. Do you think, for one minute, that he wouldn't have tried to take credit for it if he did know? Tooting his own horn is what he' best at!
PreOccupied

Chicago, IL

#5 Sep 25, 2013
probably wrote:
<quoted text>
Probably because he didn't know anything about it. Do you think, for one minute, that he wouldn't have tried to take credit for it if he did know? Tooting his own horn is what he' best at!
Article Quote:

“Congestion is always
an issue, with trains stopping to get into the yards,” Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas said.“I applaud
any reduction in stoppage, and anything that moves them quicker in a safe manner.”

*Blue Island always has been a railroad town, and tracks cross major intersections at 119th and 127th streets, Vargas said.*
Toot Toot

Chicago, IL

#6 Sep 25, 2013
probably wrote:
<quoted text>
Probably because he didn't know anything about it. Do you think, for one minute, that he wouldn't have tried to take credit for it if he did know? Tooting his own horn is what he' best at!
Probably thinking about missing money, what is going on that we all know about, what is going on that has not been disclosed to the public yet, his law license, and how this can all end very badly.
listen

Chicago, IL

#7 Sep 25, 2013
9.7million and chicago streets at rail crossings are no longer blocked .
It now takes 25 minutes to drive from Broadway to Wireton due to blocked crossings in B.I. It takes then another 10 minutes to go from Wireton to maple from all the congestion, and that is trying to avoid tracks to utilize Vermont . Its a bigger mess than ever.
Runaway Train

Chicago, IL

#8 Sep 26, 2013
Toot Toot wrote:
<quoted text>
Probably thinking about missing money, what is going on that we all know about, what is going on that has not been disclosed to the public yet, his law license, and how this can all end very badly.
Mayor Vargas is thinking about the annual report, grant money, where all of the municipality's money went, where the money is going, all of the law suits, litigation, depositions, what he can and can not share with the public, public health and safety hazards, appointments, his no bid contracts, his conflicts of interest, the campaign donations he accepted, the direction Blue Island is heading in, the closed bridges, the Jawa, the 7th ward he lives in, the Cal Sag Trail grant money he just accepted, the under funded pensions, the 300 vacant homes, numerous vacant businesses, and lots, along with how he has been a full participant on the council for more than 20 years in several roles.
not the 7th

Orland Park, IL

#9 Sep 26, 2013
Runaway Train wrote:
<quoted text>
Mayor Vargas is thinking about the annual report, grant money, where all of the municipality's money went, where the money is going, all of the law suits, litigation, depositions, what he can and can not share with the public, public health and safety hazards, appointments, his no bid contracts, his conflicts of interest, the campaign donations he accepted, the direction Blue Island is heading in, the closed bridges, the Jawa, the 7th ward he lives in, the Cal Sag Trail grant money he just accepted, the under funded pensions, the 300 vacant homes, numerous vacant businesses, and lots, along with how he has been a full participant on the council for more than 20 years in several roles.
He has NEVER thought much about the 7th ward. And the rest tells you how much he ever really thought about BI.
He sits in Silence

Blue Island, IL

#10 Sep 26, 2013
Runaway Train wrote:
<quoted text>
Mayor Vargas is thinking about the annual report, grant money, where all of the municipality's money went, where the money is going, all of the law suits, litigation, depositions, what he can and can not share with the public, public health and safety hazards, appointments, his no bid contracts, his conflicts of interest, the campaign donations he accepted, the direction Blue Island is heading in, the closed bridges, the Jawa, the 7th ward he lives in, the Cal Sag Trail grant money he just accepted, the under funded pensions, the 300 vacant homes, numerous vacant businesses, and lots, along with how he has been a full participant on the council for more than 20 years in several roles.
He is also concerned about protecting his Law License.
He has a duty

Blue Island, IL

#11 Sep 26, 2013
He sits in Silence wrote:
<quoted text>
He is also concerned about protecting his Law License.
Your getting warmer
probably

Orland Park, IL

#12 Sep 28, 2013
PreOccupied wrote:
<quoted text>
Article Quote:
“Congestion is always
an issue, with trains stopping to get into the yards,” Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas said.“I applaud
any reduction in stoppage, and anything that moves them quicker in a safe manner.”
*Blue Island always has been a railroad town, and tracks cross major intersections at 119th and 127th streets, Vargas said.*
Yeah. PROBABLY found out about it DURING the interview. See the brilliant generic response that could be made by ANYONE after driving though Blue Island? Wow, tracks cross 119th and 127th! What deep, Mayoral insight. My grandkids knew that by kindergarten.
BOB in Blue Island

Alsip, IL

#13 Oct 4, 2013
What was yesterday 10-4-13 3pm to 6pm? A bad dream.
confused

United States

#14 Oct 4, 2013
BOB in Blue Island wrote:
What was yesterday 10-4-13 3pm to 6pm? A bad dream.
I do not understand this post
BOB in Blue Island

Alsip, IL

#15 Oct 5, 2013
confused wrote:
<quoted text>I do not understand this post
Train was blocking traffic for 3 hours.
confused

Chicago, IL

#16 Oct 5, 2013
Did bipd issue tickets are those reserved just for hard working taxpayers
Create Program

Chicago, IL

#17 Oct 5, 2013
September 11, 2013

BLUE ISLAND CREATE MODERNIZATION PROJECT COMPLETED
ADDS CAPACITY AND EFFICIENCY TO SERVE CUSTOMERS AND THE TRAVELING PUBLIC

Blue Island, IL – A $9.7 million project to add freight railroad mobility and relieve congestion for the commuting public in the Chicago region has been completed in Blue Island, Illinois. The project (WA10) is part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program and led by CSX Transportation engineering and operations employees. The scope of the project included installing new crossovers, new bi-directional switching, and signal modernization. There were approximately 130 railroad crew members and contractors who worked on the project which will reduce idling in Chicago neighborhoods, balance freight movements between freight railroads, and add capacity for projected growing global freight demand. Presently, up to 33 daily trains are directly impacted by the project.

"The CREATE program continues to be a strategic investment in our state and nation's future as a transportation leader", said U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush [IL-01]. "My initial support for the CREATE program came as a result of the issues raised in communities in my district experiencing idling trains awaiting clearance through the congested Blue Island Yard, so I am pleased to see the various upgrades to the yard, including this WA10 project, come to completion."

The federal government provided $6.4 million, CSX Transportation provided $3.2 million, and the state provided $92,000 to complete the project.

"This is an important project that will have a significant impact in Blue Island, South Suburbs and Chicagoland area as a whole, said Governor Pat Quinn. "The commuting public will not only see a reduction in idling in Chicago neighborhoods but a balance in freight movements between freight railroads, while also adding capacity for projected growing global freight demand."

"Both the motoring public and freight railroads are already seeing benefits from CREATE projects like this. We now can deploy trains in a measurably more efficient way through the Chicago area as the result of this project. CSX and our partners are grateful to the Illinois Congressional Delegation, Governor Quinn, and Blue Island Mayor Domingo F. Vargas for their support and cooperation," said John Bradley, CSX Transportation's Chicago Division Manager.

The CREATE program is a unique partnership of the State of Illinois, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the City of Chicago, Amtrak, Metra, and the Class I railroads. To date, 18 CREATE projects have been completed, reducing passenger and freight train delays by 33% and 28%, respectively, in the areas in which the projects have been completed. Another 11 are in construction now, with 19 more in planning or final design. For more information on CREATE, please visit www.createprogram.org .
Flip Flop

Alsip, IL

#18 Oct 11, 2013
Train traffic has increased on every set of tracks in B.I. The residents have been bamboozled, again.
Bob

Girard, OH

#19 Oct 31, 2013
Have not worked on 123rd street tracks for 3 days and sign on kedzie no longer has date of completion. Why doesn't Tom Hawley inform the people on his list of this?
Jurisdiction

Chicago, IL

#20 Oct 31, 2013
confused wrote:
Did bipd issue tickets are those reserved just for hard working taxpayers
Railroads fall under federal jurisdiction. Local municipal law enforcement have no jurisdiction to issue citations or any other action against them.

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