Yes You CAN, part 3

Mini Transportation Odyssey, Part 3: South of the Lake

by Larry Krieg

Chicago Union Station

Made it to Chicago! 28 minutes late, most of it the result of moving slowly through construction in Michigan.

Usually, the big hold-ups have been happening between Porter, Indiana, and Chicago. Porter is where the Amtrak-owned portion of the Michigan line joins the busy main line of Norfolk-Southern (NS) between Chicago and the East Coast. (This used to be the main line of the New York Central Railroad.) Well over 100 trains – mostly long freights – use this line every day, including 10 passenger trains to Michigan and 4  between Chicago and the East Coast.

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So NS, with additional government funding, has been adding track, lengthening sidings, and generally expanding the capacity of the line. We had a few slow-downs and a couple of brief stops, but nothing much compared with the big hold-ups of the past. In fact, we made up about 4 minutes South of the Lake. (We’ll see how this plays out when freight traffic gets heavier or winter weather gets brutal!)

Here in Chicago, I’ve got a six-hour layover. I’ll check in with you later and let you know how it went!

–from Chicago–Larry


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