Grant to Fund Rail Study
Finding ways to ease congestion and improve the efficiency of passenger rail service on Metra lines in the suburbs will be the aim of a new study that is getting a boost from a federal grant.
Congressmen Dan Lipinski, D-3rd, and Mike Quigley, D-5th, announced Friday the $3 million grant that will fund the study by the Illinois Department of Transportation. IDOT also will contribute $2 million and Metra $1 million to match the federal grant, Lipinski said.
The combined $6 million won't pay for any physical improvements along lines that carry Metra, Amtrak and freight trains, but will fund "a comprehensive study of what can be done to make trains flow better," Lipinski said.
The study is expected to take 36 months to complete, according to IDOT.
Lipinski said the study will include an examination of Metra lines such as the Heritage Corridor, Rock Island and SouthWest Service. Because passenger trains are also sharing rails used by freight trains, the study will also look at whether changes can be made in scheduling to improve service, he said.
"How can things be done better with the infrastructure we have now?" Lipinski said.
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