Chesterton Tribune

South Shore extension plan raises questions about efficiency of existing lines

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Voice of the People

The South Shore extension proposal poses a question: Is this rail proposal a plan to get the commuters’ autos off the roads to make more room for 18 wheelers welfare recipients?

NICTD is not the only passenger carrier. We also have Amtrak. These two organizations just cannot work together. Amtrak’s Indianapolis to Chicago train operates over the same tracks as proposed by the NICTD through Lowell and Cedar Lake, St. John and Dyer. Why not use the same route as Amtrak to Chicago?

Some years ago when the profitable Valpo to Chicago Commuter service was discontinued by Amtrak because Conrail was to abandon track. I suggested to Congressman Jontz to use the GTW RR Valpo to Blue Island and the Rock Island RR Blue Island to Lasalle St. Station Chicago. It never happened.

The Conrail track was never abandoned. Now they propose to use it Valpo to Fort Wayne, crossing three miles west of Valpo, then the GTW RR and several other routes to Chicago. I suggest they continue on Conrail twelve miles to a junction point with the South Shore just West of Gary depot and use their own tracks to Chicago.

The NICTD is requesting tax money to move the railroad off 11th Street at Michigan City and use the old PM RR (CSX) tracks. The street cars moving down 11th Street create no great hazard. The problem is the South Shore Freight Line has purchased the old Nickel Plate RR from Michigan City to Walkerton and I imagine would like to interchange their 238 ton coal cars with the B&O RR (CSX) at Walkerton instead of Miller, which they do now, and they cannot move these cars down 11th Street. The great benefactor of your tax money is the freight line.

Recently the NICTD as requested millions of dollars to change KD Kensington Interlocker, this connection with the IC RR and also 10th Street Interlocker at Michigan City, where they cross Amtrak. This because of excessive delays to NICTD trains.

The reason for these delays are the controlling railroads, the IC and Amtrak have closed the interlocking stations, abolished the Towermen’s jobs and remote controlled the operations, along with many others, to one central office operated by the train dispatcher. This train dispatcher does not relay care if trains on the foreign railroads move or not.

Your tax money is not being used to promote jobs, it is being used to help abolish jobs.

J.F. Schrader

Liberty Twp.


Posted 1/28/2008