Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by doepack
Plan puts rail-yard relocation on track

By Tim Kane
Special to the Tribune
Published February 23, 2007

A $6 million plan to move a downtown Crystal Lake train yard was unveiled this week.

Three sets of Union Pacific Railroad tracks--where railcars are parked on a 12-acre strip running west of Main Street--would be relocated to a city-owned site southeast of Main and Crystal Lake Avenue behind the Columbia College. The site would be reconfigured as a rail yard with five tracks and the same amount of rail space, said Todd Bright, of Tran Systems of Schaumburg.

A land swap would involve 12 acres of railroad property for the 2 acres of city property. Tom Zapler, a Union Pacific representative, told the council that the rail company expects to be compensated $2.1 million for 10 acres and pay for associated moving costs at about $3.9 million.

Councilwoman Ellen Brady Mueller questioned paying for the 10-acre strip.

"It seems unfair," Brady Mueller said. "[Union Pacific] will have been made whole. They'll be able to do the exact same operations as before, and we're paying them $2.1 million. ... We don't have a purpose for [the strip of land]."

Zapler said Union Pacific is a for-profit company and the land would not be donated.

City Manager Gary Mayerhofer said Crystal Lake will spend the next three to six months exploring financing options and negotiating with Union Pacific.

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

  by Tadman
Any word why this is happening? I'm guessing redevelopment into a strip mall, or NIMBY's wanting the trains out of downtown? Although I hate NIMBY's, if the yard can be moved out of downtown, it likely presents a nice development opportunity.

  by MetraPace
Doesn't this seem like it is kind of a waste of money since Metra intends to close the Crystal Lake yard and move it to Woodstock?