The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is providing USD 27.5 million loan for the construction of the double track along a 42.8 km section of the South Shore Line in Indiana.
The loan is delivered through the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) instrument for a portion of the USD 649 million double tracking works along the section between Gary and Michigan City.
The project includes works to build a 29 km second line and overhead power system installation, separating road traffic along 3.2 km of rail line, upgrading five stations, eliminating 13 rail crossings, and adding 1,475 parking spaces. The remaining crossings will be upgraded with automatic warning devices including flashers, gates, and bells. Already under construction, the project should be complete at the end of 2024.
“We are pleased to help finance the double track project, which will increase safety, reliability and cut travel time by one-third for commuters from Michigan City to Chicago. This project will deliver improved trip options, taking vehicles off the road and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg said.
The double track financing complements a larger USD 203.3 million loan executed in 2022 for the West Lake Corridor project for the 13 km extension of the South Shore Line between Dyer and Hammond, Indiana.
The overall funding and financing package includes a USDOT USD 354.6 million grant agreement with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) for the West Lake Corridor Project through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investments Programme.
The South Shore Line double track works have been launched in June 2022 by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD). The commuter line is electrified and is operated by NICTD between Millennium station in the centre of Chicago city and the South Bend International Airport in South Bend, Indiana.