CREATE's next project tackles Bensenville Yard

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Canadian Pacific's Bensenville Yard in Chicago.
Chris Guss
CHICAGO — The Chicago-area program intended to untangle the knots in the nation’s busiest rail hub has embarked on its 34th project.

Officials with the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program — CREATE — announced the start of work to upgrade signals and add several crossover tracks around Canadian Pacific’s Bensenville Yard.

The work will be done by CP and Metra crews. Officials with the Chicago commuter railroad say they anticipate a reduction of freight-train-caused delays to 58 daily trains on the railroad's Milwaukee District West Line and improved flexibility for its nearby Franklin Park Station.

In addition, CREATE officials say the project will reduce delays and congestion and improve safety for pedestrians and motorists at nearby grade crossings.

Presently, freight trains pass through the Bensenville Yard in Franklin Park to access Indiana Harbor Belt mainline tracks. The project will reduce the number of freight trains in the yard and allow 12 daily freight trains to bypass the yard on existing Metra tracks. This will reduce the potential for Metra delays by cutting conflicts with slow-moving trains entering the yard, officials said.

Metra and CP will install five crossovers and signals on Metra's tracks. Another crossover will be installed between Indiana Harbor Belt and Canadian National Railway tracks.

“We have always been committed to working with our freight partners to improve the movement of trains in our region,” Metra Executive Director and CEO Don Orseno says in a statement.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2019.

CREATE is a partnership of state, federal and local officials, six Class I railroads, Metra and Amtrak.
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