Digest: Metra, CP complete Franklin Park, Ill., CREATE project

News Wire Digest second section for Dec. 22: First rail is placed for Orange County, Calif., streetcar; North Carolina DOT awards funds for short line projects
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An outbound Metra train approaches the Franklin Park, Ill., station in March 2020. Metra, Canadian Pacific, and CREATE have completed a project adding crossovers and signalling in Franklin Park.
TRAINS: David Lassen

More Tuesday morning rail news:

Metra, CP, CREATE complete project in Franklin Park, Ill.

Metra, Canadian Pacific, and Chicago’s CREATE program have completed the Canadian Pacific Crossover upgrade project in Franklin Park, Ill. The B1 project eliminates commuter and freight train delays by adding five crossovers and associated signals on Metra tracks used by the Milwaukee District West Line, as well as CP. The project also added a crossover between Indiana Harbor Belt and CN tracks which cross and connect to the Metra line. In a press release, Metra Chief Operating Officer Bruce Marcheshi called the project’s completion “a great milestone in Metra’s work to reduce potential commuter delays throughout the region.” The project allows freight trains to access the Indiana Harbor Belt line without traveling through CP’s Bensenville Yard, automates switches, and will reduce delays to pedestrians and foot traffic by allowing trains to pass through Franklin Park more quickly.

A rendering shows what equipment will look like for Orange County's first modern streetcar system.
Orange County Transportation Authority

First rail is placed for Orange County, Calif., streetcar
The first rail has been laid in the construction of the Orange County, Calif., OC Streetcar project. The initial rail for the 4-mile system connecting Santa Ana and Garden Grove was set in place at the intersection of Santa Ana Boulevard and Bristol Street, with work continuing westbound roward Raitt Street. "This is an important and very exciting moment for this project as the public can begin to see the actual rail being set into the street for Orange County's first modern, electric streetcar," Orange Couny Transportation Authority Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove, said in a press release. The system is expected to begin operations in 2022. More information on the streetcar line is available here.

North Carolina DOT awards infrastructure funds to 17 short line railroads
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded approximately $16.7 million in matching funds to 17 short lines for infrastructure improvements under the its Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Improvement Program. Two railroads — the Blue Ridge Southern Railroad and Aberdeen, Carolina & Western Railway — received grants for multiple projects. A complete list of the awards is available here.


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