FRA issued a Notice of Intent (Notice) on February 18, 2014, to advise the public that FRA and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will prepare a Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Chicago to Joliet High-Speed Rail (HSR) Project that will provide HSR service along the Rock Island District (RID) Railroad corridor between Chicago and Joliet, IL. The Project is intended to implement a portion of the Chicago to St. Louis HSR Corridor Program consistent with the overall purpose and need that was established in the Tier 1 EIS. Because of inadequate rail capacity and deficiencies in the existing rail infrastructure, there is currently a modal imbalance within the Chicago to St. Louis corridor.
The proposed Project consists of additional track, geometric improvements (e.g., curves), bridge/culvert improvements, grade separations at selected highway-rail crossings, a rail-flyover, highway-rail grade crossing warning device improvements, safety improvements to existing Metra Stations to accommodate the HSR through traffic, and a new HSR station or improvements to an existing Metra Station to accommodate HSR service. Scenarios of HSR service will be developed and evaluated including additional frequencies (i.e., number of trips), ridership projections (i.e., estimated number of passengers), and operating speeds.
Additional Project information can be found online on the Project Web site at: http://www.idothsr.org/.