Northwest Indiana

South Shore Line completes first phase of project to reduce travel times between NW Indiana and Chicago

South Shore 12-30
South Shore Line/Facebook

The South Shore Line has finished the first phase of its Double Track project to construct a second set of tracks between Gary and Michigan City, an attempt to shorten travel times to and from downtown Chicago.

In a news release on Friday, the railroad announced that train service will resume between Michigan City and Dune Park on Oct. 25 after it was halted more than a year ago, forcing passengers to take buses between stations.

The $378 million project includes the construction of 17.2 miles of track adjacent to a current single-track between Gary and Michigan City, with the goal of increasing scheduling flexibility, improving reliability and expanding maintenance windows, according to the release. In the meantime, trains will continue to operate on a single track between Michigan City and South Bend, with the agency saying "there is sufficient capacity for existing and anticipated service levels."

With work set to continue for a number of months, South Shore will still provide buses for commuters between Dune Park and Gary Metro Center until the improvements are completed. Expected to be completed in 2024, the project will add 14 additional trains each weekday and feature four new bridges as well as new platforms at the Gary/Miller, Portage/Ogden Dunes, Beverly Shores and 11th Street - Michigan City - stations.

Travel times are expected to be "substantially reduced," with multiple trips to and from downtown Chicago being shortened by 20 to 30 minutes in some instances.

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