West Lake Corridor
|West Lake Corridor|
The West Lake Corridor is a proposal for commuter rail service to serve the city of Chicago, Illinois, and the cities of Hammond, Highland, Griffith, Valparaiso, Hobart, Cedar Lake, Munster, Merrillville, Dyer, and Lowell in Indiana.
New Start Studies
In mid-2000s, the population and commercial growth in Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana was outstripping current projections. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District decided that, if the growth continued at the current rates, it would be necessary to add another branch to the South Shore Line commuter rail. As of 2006, planning proceeded apace for an extension to Valparaiso, Indiana; however, the reliance on growth exceeding projections made the project unqualified for federal funding,[not in citation given] and the NICTD was unsure whether it could attain trackage rights on the CN line to Valparaiso. By 2008, a new study indicated that while the Lowell branch would attract 11,327 riders per day, a Valparaiso to Munster branch would not attract enough ridership, and the latter part of the plan was dropped.
Traveling southbound, the new branch leaves the old CSS&SB main immediately before the current Hammond station. As of 2017[update], the NICTD has begun demolition of houses between Hanover and Brunswick streets to begin building a new station capable of serving both lines.[original research?]
From Hammond south, the line follows the route of Monon trail until it reaches Maynard Junction. The Monon trail will be retained, but follow a new alignment. At Maynard Junction, the Corridor will have a flyover over the EJ&E/CSX tracks, and then will follow new tracks built immediately west of the CSX right-of-way.
Possible stations on the Lowell line
- Hammond Gateway Station
- Hammond (173rd Street)
- Munster (Ridge Road)
- Munster (Fisher/45th Street)
- Munster/Dyer Main Street
- Dyer Amtrak (U.S. Route 30)
The St. John extension could include the following stations.
Possible stations for future extension to St. John/Lowell
- St. John
- Cedar Lake
The new line will run to Dyer, with a later extension to St. John, and trains will run as shuttles between Hammond and Dyer during off-peak hours.
- Benman, Keith (23 June 2006). "Study: South Shore extension would add jobs, income". nwi.com. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
- WJOB (Calumet)/AP http://www.wjobcalpress.com/1editorialbody.lasso?-token.folder=2006-09-10&-token.story=148557.112113&-token.subpub=. Missing or empty
- Benman, Keith (17 December 2008). "Study: Valpo-to-Munster SS line would add few riders". nwi.com. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". West Lake Corridor. 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
- Simón, Marisol R.; Noland, Michael; Federal Transit Administration; USDoT; US Army Corps of Engineers (2 December 2016). West Lake Corridor Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Chapter 2: Alternatives Considered) (pdf) (Report). NICTD. p. 5. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
The alignments by alternative were evaluated from cost, feasibility, and freight railroad acceptability perspectives. The analysis concluded that the alignment between Dyer and St. John should be dropped from further consideration primarily because the estimated capital cost would have exceeded the funding that has been identified for the project. It was understood that an extension to St. John could be considered in the future.
- Simón, Marisol R.; Noland, Michael; Federal Transit Administration; USDoT; US Army Corps of Engineers (2 December 2016). West Lake Corridor Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Chapter 2: Alternatives Considered) (pdf) (Report). NICTD. Retrieved 16 July 2017.