In 2016, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced a plan to increase daily trips on the Amtrak Hiawatha line from Chicago to Milwaukee.
To accommodate the additional Amtrak trains on the Metra tracks and alleviate service delays, the report recommended that an additional 3-mile holding track be constructed adjacent to the existing tracks from north of the West Lake Forest train station to Route 176 and through the Middlefork Savanna. It also included a 2-mile holding track in Glenview. The new holding tracks would allow a freight train to park for unregulated periods of time until it is assured clear passage.
The plans for the holding tracks were announced in an official planning document called an Environmental Assessment (EA). But the EA only included information about the impacts of increasing Amtrak trains. None of the health, safety and environmental impacts of the proposed freight train holding tracks were addressed.
Residents of several communities along the railroad lines - Glenview (noholdingtrack.com), Bannockburn, Deerfield, Lake Forest and Northbrook - that would be adversely impacted by the project have banded together to form Citizens for ACTION(Alliance to Control Train Impacts in Our Neighborhoods). Lake Forest’s group is called Lake Forest ACTION Committee. This grassroots resident campaign was started to stop the proposed freight train holding tracks associated with the Hiawatha project. ACTION supports enhanced commuter and passenger rail service on the Metra Milwaukee-North rail corridor and does not oppose safe freight transportation.
In addition to ACTION’s opposition, The Village of Glenview (https://glenview.il.us/Pages/hiawatha.aspx) has been opposing the project since 2015, and is pursuing viable alternatives to the proposed projects.
Please click to download more information about Citizens for ACTION.ABOUT US