State representatives in northern Illinois recently backed a resolution opposing the Great Lakes Basin Railroad. That’s after plans for the proposed railroad were submitted to the Surface Transportation Board earlier this month.
The proposed project includes constructing and operating a private rail line between Milton, Wis., and northwestern Indiana to bypass Chicago congestion. It would pass through several northern Illinois counties.
The project has brought up concerns about the line cutting through private homes and farmland and potential misuse of eminent domain.
The state House resolution filed last week also says some affected counties could lose more than 70 million dollars each in agricultural revenue. State representative Lindsay Parkhurst of Kankakee drafted the resolution.
“We cannot afford to lose that kind of revenue,” Parkhurst said. “We can’t replace that kind of revenue.”
Parkhurst says everyone in her district is against the railway project, and it would even disrupt emergency services.
“I just don’t see it being a win for anybody except the person that wants to have his own private railway,” she said.
Other sponsors for the bill include Brian Stewart of Freeport, John Cabello of Loves Park, David Welter of Morris and Tom Demmer of Dixon. County boards in Rock county in Wisconsin and LaSalle, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee and Grundy counties in Illinois have filed motions opposing the railroad in the last year.