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. Their plan includes a proposal to build a new 2-mile long holding track in Glenview to help facilitate the flow of freight trains in and out of nearby freight yards.
The plans 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 track were addressed.
The Glenview ACTION (Alliance to Control Train Impact on Our Neighborhoods) Committee was formed to demand that the significant impacts of a freight train holding track are studied before the project is built.
Proposed 2-mile freight holding track on UP rail line for CP trains
Proposed universal crossover switch south of Dewes Street in Downtown Glenview
Did you know?
The holding track would allow freight trains to park and sit idling for hours on end. This would result in significant delays at the West Lake Ave. crossing, when trains slow down to stop or creep forward out of the holding track. This is a main route to Glenbrook Hospital and Glenbrook South High School, which poses significant safety concerns and unnecessary delays for and emergency medical services and for parents and students.
Stopping and idling freight trains would cause health and environmental damage to our community. Freight trains stopping, starting and sitting idle on the holding track near highly populated residential areas raises serious concerns about diesel exhaust, drastically increased noise and a semi-permanent wall of graffiti-laden rail cars. Massive trains carrying crude oil, coal and other hazardous materials could be frequently held in our area.
This project benefits Wisconsin, but we would be paying for it. The holding track would use $231 million of taxpayer money to benefit Foxconn and companies north of the border. Meanwhile, our communities pay the price of traffic snarls, noise, air pollution, and decreased property values.
In addition to the holding track, the plan calls for the installation of universal crossover switches south of Dewes Street in Downtown Glenview to accommodate the flow of freight and passenger rail. These switches would be extremely loud and disruptive for the surrounding residential area and would cause an increase in traffic build up at downtown crossings.
Amtrak trains will cause greater traffic delays on impacted roads in downtown Glenview. A simple solution is to move the stop to the Glen of North Glenview train station.
NONE of the health, safety and environmental impacts of the proposed freight train holding track were addressed in the Environmental Assessment (EA) document IDOT, WisDOT and FRA presented in 2016.
Why spend $231 million on a band-aid solution? There are viable alternatives to this holding track—like fully separating freight and passenger rail lines to eliminate rail congestion.
We demand that our state officials fully evaluate the health, safety and environmental impacts of the holding track. We expect them to fully evaluate alternatives—especially when there are solutions with less impact on our communities.
Take action and download the fact sheet below for more information. Educate your neighbors about the pending impacts of the holding track on our community by sharing this information with them as well.
For a comprehensive overview of the entire project proposal, the EA and the timeline of activities, visit the Village of Glenview Amtrak/Hiawatha Project Website