Mini Transportation Odyssey, Part 3: South of the Lake
by Larry Krieg
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.
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!