Long-awaited South Shore Line double-track to start running Tuesday

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team and Leah Hope WLS logo
Monday, May 13, 2024
South Shore Line double-track to start running Tuesday
The long-awaited South Shore Line double-track, which will bring passengers from Michigan City to Gary, Indiana, will start running Tuesday.

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- Monday is the grand opening of the long-awaited double-track of the South Shore Line.

The new double-track runs 26 miles from Gary to Michigan City, Indiana.

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"New trains starting tomorrow, with reduced time to and from Chicago, better on-time performance and significant safety enhancements, especially in Michigan City where we closed 20 at-grade crossings," said Mike Norland, president of the South Shore Line.

The $650 million project is expected to dramatically reduce travel times in northwest Indiana. It was also expected to make critical safety improvements at grade crossings and platform improvements at five stations.

It will be operational beginning Tuesday.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb spoke on the project in Gary Monday morning.

Holcomb announced construction could begin on the project with the use of federal funds in January 2021.

"I can even say Go Cubs," said Gov. Holcomb. "This is going to have a positive impact from Chicago to South Bend.

It's one of the largest public transit investments in Indiana's history, a press release from the governor's office said.

"One hundred years later, this Double Track Project will continue to transform Northwest Indiana for generations to come," Holcomb said. "This game-changing project is yet another example of how the State of Indiana continues to make targeted investments that attract talent and commercial investment that in turn helps our communities take it to their next level."

Some riders said they appreciate the difference.

"They have improved a bunch of stops," said Oliver Henley, rider. "It's much better than what it was."

"We all know when you're commuting there are going to be some delays," said Nyla Owens, rider. "Me, personally, I haven't had a bad experience on my trains. I'm getting where I need to go."

The companion $950 million West Lake Corridor project will be competed in May 2025.

At a press conference in Gary, Indiana officials said the improvements are adding more projects and will bring more jobs along the corridor.

"We have become this oasis of economic opportunity and growth, which allows us to reinvest in our people and places, and improve the quality of life," Holcomb said.

Combined, the Double Track and West Lake Corridor projects are projected to attract approximately $2.7 billion in private investment to northwest Indiana, and result in more than 6,000 new jobs and $5 billion in economic impact by 2048, the release said.