A plan by the Canadian National Railway to increase freight train traffic through the suburbs to avoid gridlock in Chicago has aroused the ire of several town leaders. Several uburban leaders have formed an organization called The Regional Answer to Canadian National, or TRAC, to stop the railroad's planned $300 million purchase of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway's 198-mile arc of tracks around Chicago. Canadian National would use the tracks to bypass Chicago's congested rail hub, and speed freight movement across the country.
The officials are calling on Congress to force the railroad to pay to lessen the trains' impact or else help stop the deal.
During a meeting of Canadian National shareholders, CEO E. Hunter Harrison said if the railroad's planned expansion is blocked, Chicago's standing as rail capital of North America would be threatened.