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NUTC Sponsors Amtrak Blue Ribbon Panel Meeting

According to a new report from Amtrak, opening up train traffic in the Chicago Gateway will require better operating strategies and some new investments. The results of the report were presented at an event at DePaul University, sponsored by DePaul's Chaddick Institute and the Northwestern University Transportation Center.

One of these proposals calls for each of the six major freight railroads and two passenger systems to work together in a central, unified control center, much as competing airlines do at airports. Amtrak officials say they are willing to provide space for a dispatching facility at Union Station (which Amtrak owns) in order to bring all the rail dispatchers together.

The panel also advocated funding for several long-delayed rail modernization projects. In particular, they stressed the need for the 75th Street Improvement Project, which would eliminate the conflicts at three rail junctions, as well as a rail-roadway crossing, by building two flyover structures and laying nearly 30 miles of new track and bridges.

"The implications of failing to act are dire for the economy of the nation in general and the Chicago area in particular,'' said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman.

Learn more about the Chicago Gateway Blue Ribbon Panel study 

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