Glenview, Ill., budgets more money to fight expansion of Hiawatha service

RELATED TOPICS: PASSENGER | AMTRAK | CHICAGO
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A southbound Amtrak Hiawatha pauses in Glenview, Ill., on Christmas Eve in 2018. Glenview has budgeted additional money in its fight against increased Hiawatha service.
TRAINS: David Lassen

GLENVIEW, Ill. — The Glenview Village Board has voted to budget another $36,000 for its fight against efforts to increase Amtrak Hiawatha service between Chicago and Milwaukee, running the community’s total tab for the effort to more than $541,000.

The Chicago Tribune reports that of the newly budgeted funds, $30,000 will go to a state lobbying effort, and $6,000 will go to lobbying at the federal level.

The city has objected to a new siding that would be built between Glenview and Northbrook to facilitate an increase in Hiawatha service from seven to 10 round trips daily, citing concerns about noise, pollution, and a possible increase in rail traffic that would result. The state of Illinois has already slowed work on the project once, citing objections from North Shore communities. [See “Illinois slows plan to expand Hiawatha service,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 11, 2018, and “Glenview fight against additional Amtrak service continues with $160,000 for study,” Trains News Wire, July 12, 2018.] The city is also concerned about a new crossover that would be added, saying it is concerned about noise and an increased possibility of derailment.

When the expanded service was proposed in 2016, the Illinois and Wisconsin departments of transportation said the new 10,000-foot siding was necessary to allow the operating flexibility needed on the route also used by Canadian Pacific freight trains and Metra commuter trains.

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