GLBR: Down The Line

The Great Lakes Basin Railroad (GLBR) was conceived in 2009 as a way to alleviate rail freight congestion through the Chicago rail yards and provide other benefits to manufacturers and freight companies and to their customers.

It progressed from concept to serious plans over the next several years and, in March 2016, the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) gave notice that it would prepare an environmental impact statement on the proposed route and scheduled 10 public hearings.

Those hearings uncovered controversy in many areas along the originally proposed route and its subsequent variations as affected residents and others protested what they saw as negative aspects of GLBR.

With the recent request by Great Lakes Basin Transportation, parent company of GLBR, to pause the STB environmental study, WNIJ News determined that an update in the status is due.

This five-part series, which began Monday, Dec. 12, looks at the following aspects of the GLBR project:

Great Lakes Basin Transportation / greatlakesbasin.net

The parent company of the Great Lakes Basin Railroad submitted an application to the federal Surface Transportation Board Monday. 

The project would create a 261-mile railway that runs between Milton, Wis., and Pinola, Ind., passing through six Illinois counties. It's meant to bypass congested Chicago freight lines. 

Great Lakes Basin Transportation / greatlakesbasin.net

The Great Lakes Basin Railroad Project further delayed its environmental review process. 

The project aims to create a freight line from southern Wisconsin, cutting through northern Illinois, and ending in northwest Indiana.  It aims to bypass congested Chicago freight yards and decrease transit times.  

Great Lakes Basin Transportation / greatlakesbasin.net

A Wisconsin lawmaker has written to the federal government expressing opposition to the Great Lakes Basin Railroad.

The idea behind the $8 billion plan is to bypass freight congestion in the Chicago-area. The path would run from northwest Indiana, across northern Illinois, and into southern Wisconsin. Supporters say it will give an economic boost to the region, but some landowners near the proposed route aren’t sold.

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