CrossRail Chicago: Dream Big. Go Faster. Travel Farther.

A Bold Plan To Connect The Region To The World

A map showing the existing Amtrka and Metra routes into Chicago.  Four routes with little freight traffic are highlighted in green.  CrossRail Chicago is highlighted in pink.

Through The City, Through The Midwest, and Beyond

Clogged highways. Inaccessible airports. No way to get from Point A to B to C without long, irritating journeys. Chicago was built as the hub of the continent, but reliance on cars has changed that. CrossRail Chicago can change it back.

A CrossRail Chicago plan uses existing and new infrastructure to make it easy for people to travel in and out of the city, through the city, to the airports, and beyond. It is a cohesive, connected, comprehensive system that’s easy to use, clean, and fast.

Get from the the southside to O’Hare. Go from Kenosha to Michigan City or Indianapolis, quickly. CrossRail Chicago is how we make the region move.

How CrossRail Simplifies Chicagoland’s Complex Infrastructure

Right now, there are a hodgepodge of proposed and approved projects in Chicagoland. Rail upgrades, overpasses, grading, and more. All of these improvements are in the works —and they can be made better.

All of these projects can be unified. A broad vision means we don’t have to create a new system. By working on these projects as a holistic whole, we can build that system.

Instead of minor, temporary fixes, we can create a unified electric rail system that serves as the backbone of CrossRail Chicago. We can dream bigger. We can do more.


The System: Connect Regional Lines to The City

CrossRail Chicago is a proposal to connect a patchwork of projects into a unifying whole.

CrossRail Chicago panoramic

Inside Chicagoland

The classic commuter lines can become “Regional Rail” – rapid-transit like service with frequent departures throughout the day.

CrossRail Hyde Park

In the Region

Imagine one cohesive line from northern suburbs to Champaign, or Hyde Park to Wisconsin. It’s not a dream. We can move people anywhere.

CrossRail OHare Tunnel

From the Airports

When the airports are connected to the system, a trip out of town and out of the country are just as easy. It brings the world to Chicago.

CrossRail Bronzeville

What This Means For The City on The Make

Chicago was mostly swamp in 1830 and had a million people by the 20th century. It was burnt to the ground and rebuilt immediately. This is a city that rejects limitations. As Daniel Burnham said, “make no small plans.”

CrossRail Chicago is the successor of those big plans. It can revitalize transportation in Chicago, making the city more attractive to visitors, new residents, and lifelong Chicagoans. It will make life easier and make the city run better.

CrossRail is transformative. It’s an investment. It’s how the city on the make creates its own future.

smiling girl on train platform

Go From Hyde Park to O’Hare. Go From Bloomington to China. Go Anywhere.

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What Do We Get? New Connections To New Opportunities

Cook County has some of the best employers in the country, but workers are often unable to reach these jobs in a reasonable amount of time. For neighborhoods that struggle with high unemployment, access to transportation means access to opportunity.

If paired with improvements to CTA and Pace buses, CrossRail Chicago would create affordable and convenient connections to the region’s biggest employment centers.

In particular, CrossRail Chicago will offer an affordable and convenient way for Chicago Southside and South Suburban residents to reach the job-rich suburbs along the I-90 corridor.

Map showing proposed CrossRail Chicago map and connecting PACE express bus routes.

How We Make It Work: A Program of Projects

Chicago Union Station Sears

Union Station

Chicago Union Station is the hub of North America’s railway network and the continent’s fifth-busiest railroad station. More people board trains at Union Station than airplanes at Midway Airport, making it a critical transportation asset. CrossRail will add through tracks, high-level platforms, and set the stage for electrifying the whole facility.

CrossRail Chicago panoramic.  A2 flyover in foreground, Chicago skyline in background.

A-2 Flyover and Fulton Market Station

Located two miles from Union Station at Western Avenue and Kinzie Street, A-2 is where Union Pacific-owned tracks from Ogilvie Transportation Center cross Metra-owned tracks from Union Station. It is one of the busiest and most complicated rail intersections in North America, with 350 trains crossing paths every day.

ohare transfer station watercolor card

O'Hare Station

O’Hare is the Midwest’s gateway to the world. It has more international destinations than all other airports in the Midwest combined.

CrossRail Chicago will build the tracks needed to get regional, Amtrak, and high-speed trains to the airport. A new station can be attached to the remote-parking garage. Ultimately, a new tunnel should be dug to a station directly under Terminal 2.

Improve What’s Here, Build What’s New: The Chicago Way

The entire route would be upgraded to modern standards with overhead electrification.

It would separate passenger trains from freight trains, providing fast, seamless travel on clean, quiet electric trains.

This includes:

  • Metra Regional Rail
  • Metra Suburban
  • South Shore Line
  • Amtrak
  • High speed rail
cafe car rural landscape blur

Let’s Get It Done.

No small plans. Big ideas require big action. Let’s get to work, Chicago.

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