Will the Great Lakes Basin Transportation Succeed?

With Norfolk Southern withdrawing from the Great Lakes Basin Transportation proposed freight line, one wonders whether the project will succeed. Norfolk Southern would have been a major user of the proposed Chicago bypass.

In all likelihood, what precipitated the bypass was the future expansion of the Illinois Tollway and its effect on the CSX terminal in Chicago.

Given Norfolk Southern has withdrawn from this process, one wonders whether the cost infrastructure can be successful and fulfilled with a much lower demand for rail utilization.

“‘Norfolk Southern has a robust route network, with multiple routes into and out of the Chicago area and also owns its own bypass route that runs directly to Kansas City,” he wrote. “For this reason, we are not inclined to think that the proposed Great Lakes Basin route would work well with our system or that we would be a user of the route.’

GLBT proposes a 278-mile freight train track, starting near Milton, Wis., and with two end points in LaPorte County, with the goal of alleviating rail congestion in Chicago. The $8 billion, privately funded track would have the capacity for 110 trains a day and its path would run through southern Lake and Porter counties.”

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