U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today awarded $71.3 million to the State of Indiana to help alleviate congestion in one of the region's most delay-prone rail corridors. The Indiana Gateway Project will both relieve congestion and support the development of higher performing intercity passenger rail service in the Midwest.
"The Indiana Gateway project will create jobs and grow our economy over the long-term by moving people and goods more efficiently than ever before," said Secretary LaHood. "This project will help eliminate severe chokepoints in the region's rail network while creating capacity to handle future rail demand as our population grows."
The project is located on 29.3 miles of track owned by Norfolk Southern Railway between Porter, Indiana, and the Indiana/Illinois state line and at one location on Amtrak's line. The improvements will include track reconfiguration and track and signal upgrades, all of which will help improve service reliability while creating jobs and relieving congestion.
"No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. "This investment will eliminate chokepoints and create an environment where intercity passenger trains and freight service can operate fluidly without prolonged delays."
More than 90 freight trains and 14 Amtrak intercity passenger trains currently travel the area between the Indiana/Illinois State border and Porter, Indiana, every day.
The completion of this project will significantly strengthen the Midwest Regional Rail Network, which will connect more than 40 cities in the Midwest. More than 100 million people call the Midwest region home, with the vast majority of residents living within 500 miles of the Chicago rail hub. Using the Gross Domestic Product as a measure, the Great Lakes-Midwest economic region would be the fifth largest economy if it were its own country.
With more than $2.5 billion are already invested in the Midwest since 2009, funding 39 projects in eight states, the Federal Railroad Administration and its state partners are making great progress on High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail projects across the Midwest. Nationwide, more than $12.0 billion has been invested in 153 projects in 32 states, laying the foundation for a 21st century passenger rail network.