Commuter rail projects on schedule; Work on Double Track in Michigan City expected to be complete by Thanksgiving
PORTER — Construction on the South Shore Line’s Double Track project is more than a third complete and early work on the West Lake Corridor project has construction nearing the 10% mark, railways officials said Monday. fer to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District Board of Directors.
Work on the Double Track rail system in Michigan City is expected to be complete by Thanksgiving, while West Lake work includes earthworks, utility relocations and various support infrastructure works for the new Hammond Line -to-Dyer.
“It’s significant, the amount of investment that’s coming out of the ground on both projects,” said NICTD President Michael Noland. “Both projects remain on track to complete and open on time.”
Double Track is expected to be completed in the spring of 2024 and West Lake in the spring of 2025.
In addition to Michigan City, work continues on Double Track along the line to Gary’s Miller station, where a new parking lot is complete and work on a new station is underway. Work at West Lake is most intense at Hammond and has included infrastructure work at Munster around the Little Calumet River and to the south.
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The railroad is also refurbishing 32 cars for use on the West Lake line. This work is about a quarter finished.
The NICTD board also made several equipment purchases on Monday. The railroad will spend about $4.6 million on 20 auxiliary power supplies for its double-decker cars. The APS units, from Vapor Stone Rail Systems of Platteville, New York, will replace the original units and match those found on the 26 cars the South Shore will lease from the Illinois-based Metra Commuter Railroad. .
NICTD purchases 60 units of air dryer for rail car braking systems from Wabtec Corp. of Spartanburg, South Carolina, for $440,000.
The railroad is paying the Train Management Computers company about $1.5 million to upgrade the processors used in the cars for the Positive Train Control safety system.
Noland also reported that the railroad hopes to have an engineer selected next month to carry out engineering and environmental work for a relocation of the South Bend International Airport station to the east side of the terminal. airport to the west side.
The move would significantly shorten the route to the station, eliminating 20 level crossings and reducing travel time for passengers from South Bend.
Once preliminary engineering work is complete, NICTD would begin seeking funding, with the expectation that the recent increase in available federal funds will be available for the long-planned project.