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Plans On Track To Expand Heritage Corridor Train Service

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WILLOW SPRINGS, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) – Plans to expand commuter service on the Heritage Corridor rail line in the southwest suburbs appear to be on track.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Conway reports, the Illinois Department of Transportation has agreed to fund a study as the first step in allowing Metra and Amtrak to run more trains on the line.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Conway reports

Currently, Metra runs six trains weekdays between Joliet and Union Station, with stops in Lockport, Lemont, Willow Springs and Summit.

“Three trains is clearly not enough. We need more,” U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Chicago) said. “There is a tremendous demand along the line for more service.”

But a possible complication involves the tracks being owned by Canadian National, meaning they’re also used by freight trains and cross with other lines.

“The study is the first step we need to take (to see how to) dovetail all those things,” IDOT Secretary Gary Hanning said. The three-month study, which will be done by CN, will also determine if the Heritage Corridor line will be used for the planned high-speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis.

The study will be conducted by CN, and will also determine if the Heritage Corridor line will be used for the planned high-speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis.

The village has received a federal grant to construct the next stop on the Heritage Corridor line — a 600-parking space station scheduled to be finished by early 2014.

The Joliet Herald-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

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