Rail Service Information
The Village has been asked about various issues relating to improved commuter rail service in Lemont, including questions about additional train service, quiet zones and overall improved service. The following page intends to give an overview of the issues and how the Village is getting involved. Please check back periodically to this page, as Village officials will be updating the page as new information is received. Any additional questions or suggestions, please contact the Village at 630-257-1590, or you can Email the Village as well.
Ownership of Facilities
Canadian National Railway owns the portion of the line which goes through the Village of Lemont into Chicago. Canadian National Railway leases the lines to Metra Rail, Amtrak, and freight companies to run its trains. Metra Rail owns the commuter parking lot and Metra Station at 101 Main Street and leases to the Village. The Regional Transit Authority is the regional parent agency that includes Metra, Pace, and CTA.
Metra Heritage Corridor Alliance
Over the last serveral months, Mayor Reaves and other Village officials have been working with the other communities along the Heritage Corridor to improve rail service along the line. The main goals of the group are to lobby Metra and Canadian National Railway (the owner of the lines) for the following:
- Add a 4th train in the morning and afternoon for rush hour service
- Add mid-day service
- Add Saturday service
- Establish a new stop in Romeoville
Possible Federal Funding to the Line
On January 27, 2010 President Obama announced $8 Billion in grants for his speed rail initiative funded by the Economic Recovery Act. Illinois will receive $1.2 billion to improve a line between Chicago & Saint Louis so trains can reach up to 110 m.p.h. along portions of the line. For addition information please click on the following link: Addition information on the federal funding.
How does this funding affect Lemont? The line that runs through lemont (Heritage Corrdior Metra Line) is the line designated for the high speed rail project. Although the trains will not be traveling any faster through Lemont, the project will be adding addition Amtrak Trains on the line and improvements will need to be made to accommodate these extra trains. The improvements to the line for this project can assist the Village in obtaining additional service to the line and overall improvements to the line. Final plans and details on the project are not available yet. As they become available the Village will post the information on its website.
Quiet Zone Designation
The Village has taken steps to investigate the possibility of having its downtown designated as a "Quiet Zone". The project would require the installation of supplemental safety measures required to be in compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration Quiet Zone Designation. The Village has gone through the initial process of designating its downtown as a Quiet Zone. Within a short distance in its downtown, the Village has five public crossings taht would need to be upgraded to meet the requirements for designation. Please see Exhibits from the Village's Quiet Zone Study.
Due to the proximity of Main Street and the physical contraints in place, the Village is limited to utilization of the quadrant gate as the only supplemental safety measure. According to the study completed in 2007, the total project would cost approximately $1.1 million for Lemont to achieve the "Quiet Zone" designation. The Village has sent an appropriations request to its legislators for this funding. The Village is also exploring the possibility of obtaining the funds through the high speed rail funds earmarked for Illinois, as the increase in Amtrak and hopefully Metra trains will require additional safety measures. Please periodically check the Village website for additional information.