SouthEast Service

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SouthEast Service
LocaleChicago and southern suburbs
TypeCommuter Rail
Line length33 mi (53 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Route map

LaSalle Street Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
35th Street Chicago Transit Authority Logo.svg
Auburn Park
(under construction)
RI Beverly Branch
RI Main Line
115th Street/Kensington
Calumet River
South Holland
Little Calumet River
Chicago Heights
South Chicago Heights
Balmoral Park

The SouthEast Service is a proposed commuter rail line to be operated by Metra, the commuter railroad service for the Chicago metropolitan area. The route of the proposed line would use tracks owned by CSX Transportation and the Union Pacific Railroad.[1]

Past commuter service[edit]

Formerly, the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad and the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad operated commuter service on this line out of Dearborn Station to Dolton and Momence, respectively. The Chicago and Eastern Illinois commuter line to Momence ended in 1935, while the Chicago and Western Indiana service to Dolton was discontinued in 1964.


The building of a line from Chicago to the south suburbs ending at Balmoral Park has been discussed as early as 1986.[2] In 2003, Metra officials proposed the SouthEast Service at the insistence of Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. that the south suburbs be included as part of Metra's larger request for federal dollars after they were largely excluded from the proposed STAR Line.[3][4] Its northern terminus would be LaSalle Street Station in downtown Chicago.[1] The line would then traverse Chicago's southern neighborhoods and its southern and far southern suburbs to Balmoral Park south of Crete, Illinois. Its average daily ridership was projected to be 9000.[1] A fleet of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) has been proposed for this service.[1]

In 2005, the SouthEast Service received initial funding authorization.[5] In 2010, Al Riley became the chief sponsor of House Bill 1644 which created the Southeast Commuter Rail Transit District as a municipal corporation under Illinois state law. The district created has the right of eminent domain to acquire private property which is necessary for the purposes of the district and the power to contract for public mass transportation with Metra. The district includes Crete, Steger, South Chicago Heights, Chicago Heights, Glenwood, Thornton, South Holland, Dolton, Calumet City, Lansing, and Lynwood. The bill was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn on March 8, 2011.[6]

According to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's ONTO 2050 regionally significant projects benefit report published in October 2018, the SouthEast Service is undergoing alternatives analysis and the identification of a Locally Preferred Alternative is in process.[7] In 2019, the SouthEast Service was included in a Cost Benefit Analysis by Metra as a Tier 2 project.[8]

The Center for Neighborhood Technology, an advocate for the new line, estimates that the SouthEast Service would more than double the number of average jobs accessible by transit in sixty minutes for the south suburbs on the line.[9] In a 2016 letter to the editor, Martin J. Oberman, while the Chairman of Metra, supported the SouthEast Service.[10]

Proposed stations[edit]

From north to south:[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Metra New Starts site on proposed SouthEast Service". Archived from the original on February 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Tejeda, Gregory (March 29, 2014). "Proponents of southeast Metra line say project still on track". Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Morales, Carlos (February 15, 2003). "Metra adds south line to plans ; Agency buckles after criticism". Chicago Tribune – via ProQuest.
  4. ^ Hilkevitch, Jon (June 6, 2003). "RTA backs Metra link to O'Hare, suburbs; Agency gears up to vie for funding". Chicago Tribune – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ Singer, Sam; Hilkevitch, Jon (July 30, 2005). "City, regional wish lists OKd in U.S. transit bill". Chicago Tribune – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ Riley, Al (March 8, 2011). "House Bill 1644: Local Government Tech". Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Staff (October 1, 2018). "Project Descriptions". ON TO 2050 Regionally Significant Projects Benefit Report. Chicago: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. p. 68. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  8. ^ AECOM Staff (January 16, 2019). "Systemwide Cost Benefit Analysis of Major Capital Improvements" (PDF). Metra. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  9. ^ "Transit Future: Rx for a Prosperous Region" (PDF). Transit Future. Center for Neighborhood Technology. April 15, 2015. p. 3. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  10. ^ Oberman, Martin J. (July 29, 2016). "Voice of the People: Transit Deserts". Letter to Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 13, 2020.
  11. ^ Pratt, Gregory (September 20, 2015). "$1.3M spent on land for hoped-for Metra stop". Daily Southtown – via ProQuest.
  12. ^ Gormely‐Barnes, Diane; Smith, Jonathan; Suprock, Julia; Supencheck, Lora; Kretchmer, Valerie; Dolin, Marissa (July 20, 2010). "Village of Glenwood Station Area Plan" (PDF). Regional Transportation Authority. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Palcey, Christopher (August 12, 2012). "What Metra's SouthEast Service Means for the Heights: Minutes With the Mayor". Patch. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  14. ^ Houseal Lavegine (April 15, 2008). "Village of South Chicago Heights Comprehensive Plan". Retrieved January 25, 2020.