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Toronto RER and CrossRail Chicago

February 17, 2016

Proposals similar to MHSRA’s CrossRail Chicago project are popping up everywhere! Metrolinx, Toronto’s transportation authority, is in the process of transforming their network by establishing Regional Express Rail (RER). This project involves electrification and 15-minute interval service throughout the day on 5 of the 7 GO transit lines. Similarly CrossRail Chicago proposes electrifying certain Metra lines in order to provide fast, frequent and dependable service. Both of these projects make the most out of existing infrastructure to dramatically increase their region’s connectivity.

This past week Metrolinx outlined the four options being considered for the core of their RER network. All of these options include at least 10-minute frequencies at key stops, the addition of new stations and electrification of the core RER.  The project would include 93 miles of new passenger rail dedicated track, elimination of grade crossings and new and upgraded stations. You can read more about the project here.

This project is a massive undertaking but it will allow the commuter rail network to play a larger role, expand it’s market share and meet the needs of the region’s citizens. Both Toronto’s project and CrossRail Chicago have the extra benefit of setting the stage for high-speed rail in their respective regions. A connection between the two regions could even be feasible in the future. There is growing support for a high-speed rail connection between Windsor and Toronto, which could connect to the Detroit-Chicago Corridor.

Cities around the world have been investing in rail infrastructure to link places and opportunities that were previously inaccessible. These bold projects will transform Toronto and Chicago’s transportation system to look like those of coveted international cities.


Dylan Hayward
Manager of Communications

Last Week at MHSRA:
We have submitted a chapter on blended service for a high-speed rail textbook that will be published in the near future. If you are interested in learning about blended service now you can click here.

Articles We Enjoyed:

City Will Select Engineering Team Next Month to Brainstorm O’Hare Express
“CrossRail would solve Mayor Emanuel’s initiative to run express trains to O’Hare airport by using Metra – not CTA – infrastructure, and bringing upgrades Metra sorely needs.”

Amtrak to STB: Intermediate Stops Count
"Amtrak says that the only viable method of measuring passenger train on-time performance on a host freight railroad is one that includes intermediate stations as well as endpoints."

Ramsey County Revives St. Paul-to-Chicago Rail Study
"Ramsey County took a step Tuesday toward helping to provide a second daily round-trip rail service from St. Paul’s Union Depot to Chicago — a move that ultimately would require Minnesota, Wisconsin or other partners to throw in $6.6 million in annual operating subsidies."

Link Montreal to Chicago with Ontario’s High Speed Rail, Chamber President Says
"The provincial government should consider linking any potential high-speed rail in Ontario to cities in the midwest United States, according to president and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce."

Like Millenials, More Older Americans Steering Away From Driving
”A growing number of Americans are driving less and getting rid of their cars. The trend is gaining traction in middle-aged adults, to the point where fewer of them are even bothering to get or renew their driver's licenses, but it's been prominent among younger adults — millennials — for years now."

Upcoming Events:

2016 Annual Spring Meeting

When: Saturday April 2, 2016 - 9:00am to 2:00pm. 
Check in will start at 8:15am.

Where: IBEW Local 134
600 W. Washington Blvd.
 Chicago, IL 60661

Cost: Single Ticket $40.00
 Student Ticket: $20.00  
*Cost includes lunch
Click Here to Register

Japan High-Speed Rail Tour

We are planning the tour for October of 2016. This trip will give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the rich history of train travel the country offers. We are creating an itinerary that includes riding the first high-speed rail line, visiting at least one railroad museum and meetings with experts in the field. We have already begun making contacts to arrange technical visits and train tours. Once we have received 10 fully-refundable deposits we will finalize the details of the trip.

Please click here if you would like to learn more or are interested in joining the trip.

Please click here if you are ready to make a $500 fully-refundable deposit for the trip.

Dylan Hayward
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625