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Passenger Trains > South Shore psgr. service for Lowell, Valparaiso IN (?)


Date: 09/21/07 13:55
South Shore psgr. service for Lowell, Valparaiso IN (?)
Author: rbx551985

Sept. 21 news from RAILWAY TRACK & STRUCTURES Magazine:
_______________________________________________________________

NICTD outlines plans for service to Lowell, Valparaiso, Ind.

As the South Shore line nears its 100th anniversary, the organization that now runs the railroad is planning its first major extension. The leaders of the organization recently outlined plans to extend service to Lowell and Valparaiso, local newspapers report.

"These are logical extensions that would create a lot of economic development in this area," Gerald Hanas, general manager of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, said. "Indiana will pay a congestion tax if we don't expand."

Hanas was the featured speaker of the sixth Innovator's Café sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College Northwest.

Currently, passengers in northern Indiana take between 14,000 and 20,000 trips per day on the South Shore line. In 2006, there were slightly more than 4.2 million passengers on the railroad, a nearly 11 percent increase over 2005. 

At the session, Hanas said ridership demand is increasing and projected that extending rail service to Lowell and Valparaiso from Munster would result in 7,000 trips per day.

The extension project would include 19 miles of tracks from Munster to Lowell, 24 miles of tracks to Valparaiso, train stations and needed property purchases. NICTD estimates the project will cost $1 billion. 

The agency has the support of U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., who made a presentation to state legislators on the topic on Monday. The financing plan is contingent on receiving $500 million from the federal government after NICTD leaders raise the other $500 million from state and local sources. The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has pledged $150 million to the project. There is no specific plan yet to raise the $350 million balance, but data from similar railroad projects across the nation shows that 74 percent of non-federal monies comes from sales taxes.



Date: 09/21/07 14:20
Re: South Shore psgr. service for Lowell, Valparaiso IN
Author: joemvcnj

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to restore the PFW&C tracks and run Valpo locals to Union Station ?

From a state that's too cheap to put a portable Johnny up at Waterloo, the 2nd busiest Amtrak station in Indiana.



Date: 09/21/07 14:42
Re: South Shore psgr. service for Lowell, Valparaiso IN
Author: Derecho

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> From a state that's too cheap to put a portable
> Johnny up at Waterloo, the 2nd busiest Amtrak
> station in Indiana.

Second busiest, that's not saying much -- this *is* Indiana after all.

~~Pete



Date: 09/21/07 15:00
Re: South Shore psgr. service for Lowell, Valparaiso IN
Author: joemvcnj

That's my point. A gold-plated NICTD service to Valpo from a state with an otherwise rotten attitude to RR passenger service with perhaps one person in all of state-DOT assigned to RR matters, mostly grade-crossings.



Date: 09/21/07 17:16
Re: South Shore psgr. service for Lowell, Valparaiso IN
Author: PumpkinHogger

Who cares where it goes or how it gets built as long as it does.

More rail construction means less money for more concrete. Am sure the highway lobby in Induhana will attack it just for that reason.

Never, ever, put down any rail expansion project, too hard to come by, too few and far between.

Now to dream a little - IN buys the Monon, gets new DMU/Talgo/Surfliner type equipment, and runs 4 trains each way CHI/Indy/Cincy.

I said it was a dream....



Date: 09/21/07 19:10
Re: South Shore psgr. service for Lowell, Valparaiso IN
Author: cutboy2

With you on that one.



Date: 09/21/07 19:12
Re: South Shore psgr. service for Lowell, Valparaiso IN
Author: cutboy2

I think 500 million would bring infrastructure up to 79 from Cincinnati to Indy. to Lafayette to Kankakee.



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