Summit could disrupt rail lines under McCormick

March 29, 2012 11:42:59 AM PDT
The upcoming NATO Summit could potentially inconvenience thousands of rail commuters on train lines that operate beneath McCormick Place, where world leaders will be meeting.

The U.S. Secret Service is considering shutting down several rail lines that run underneath McCormick Place during the summit. The possibility is part of a yet to be outlined security plan aimed to protect world leaders.

It is a busy set of railroad tracks that runs under McCormick Place. The Metra trains carry 25,000 commuters to and from the Millennium Park station each day. Amtrak also runs under McCormick Place, and Canadian Railways uses the tracks. In anticipation of the summit, a notice is up warning Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District riders that their service may also be affected.

Earlier this month, the head of the security firm working with the host committee said the temporary shutdowns were fair.

"These motorcades will be coming in in increments of several minutes and be offloading, so for the time period that it takes to get 50, 60, 70 heads of state at the facility, there will be some temporary interruption in traffic around the McCormick center," said Arnette Heintze, of Hillard Heintze.

It is expected that there will be a large security perimeter downtown. The boundaries of that have not yet been determined. Specifics will come most likely around mid-April.