Home » Automobile rehab, Chicago enhancements in NICTD capital plan | Northwest Indiana Enterprise Headlines

Automobile rehab, Chicago enhancements in NICTD capital plan | Northwest Indiana Enterprise Headlines

The highest two strains on the Northern Indiana Transportation District’s capital plan for the subsequent a number of years are what catch the attention — for 2022 alone, nearly $357 million for the West Lake Hall and Double Observe tasks — however the plan for this 12 months and the 5 years past additionally contains main tasks like rail automotive rehabilitation and expanded entry to platforms in downtown Chicago.

The continuing rail automotive rehabilitation program is continuous this 12 months with a $1.4 million funding, then ramps as much as $7 million to $8 million per 12 months by way of 2027, in keeping with the capital plan authorised by NICTD’s Board of Trustees at its Monday assembly.

“We’re going to be spending a complete lot of cash over the subsequent 10 years rehabilitating our rolling inventory,” NICTD President Michael Noland mentioned. “That’s a steady course of.”

The cash is break up between “mid-life” rehabilitation for vehicles purchased in 2000 and “end-life” rehabilitation for 1982 and 1992 sequence vehicles. Three-quarters of the funding is from federal State of Good Restore grants.

Among the many 41 older vehicles being overhauled, 32 will likely be shifted to the brand new West Lake Hall upon its completion, Noland mentioned.

“By the point these vehicles are achieved, they’ll have over 50 years of helpful life on them,” Noland mentioned. “From a rider’s viewpoint, they’ll look almost model new,” with new seats, home windows, flooring and loos.

The challenge will cycle by way of the railroad’s rolling inventory by age, “after which the cycle begins once more,” Noland mentioned.

The rehabilitation work is one in every of two gadgets within the capital plan addressing the South Shore’s inventory of rail vehicles. The opposite is the lease of 26 double-decker vehicles from the neighboring Metra system in Illinois.

The 15-year lease would pay Metra about $3.5 million per 12 months for the vehicles, which have been constructed between 2004 and 2006 however have been deemed surplus by Metra, which is rehabilitating the vehicles earlier than delivering them to the South Shore. About $2.6 million per 12 months within the capital plan’s State of Good Restore funding has been allotted to the lease.

The extra vehicles will assist NICTD add 26 trains to its service with the completion of the Double Observe and West Lake tasks. The added service has prompted the railroad to interact in a challenge on the Metra line to make trains’ entrance to Chicago terminal platforms extra environment friendly.

“Metra is a quadruple-track railroad till they get to the terminal in downtown Chicago, and from there they go from 4 tracks to a few tracks,” Noland mentioned. “We’re taking one of many storage tracks there and making it a fourth mainline monitor.”

Noland mentioned the challenge will exit to bid “within the subsequent couple months.”

Different tasks within the plan embody work on present and new substations that assist energy the road, allotted $3.4 million to $4.7 million per 12 months in the course of the plan’s six years, bridge rehabilitation at between $1 million and $1.8 million the subsequent three years, and a wide range of different tasks at NICTD services and alongside the rail line.

The plan additionally contains upkeep funding starting from $8.7 million to $9.6 million that comes from cash allotted to states and areas by federal system. NICTD officers hope to see its share of that cash improve in coming years on account of the federal infrastructure invoice handed final 12 months, which is able to add cash to system and aggressive funding sources throughout the transportation finances.

Noland advised the Board of Trustees they’ll see an up to date plan “within the very close to future” that may mirror a rise in funding.