Lake Forest weighs Amtrak proposal for additional Chicago-Milwaukee routes
The city of Lake Forest has extended gratitude to all residents and elected leaders who attended a recent public forum regarding proposed regional Amtrak expansion and relayed updates to the public about the project’s status.
“The city thanks over 100 residents, as well as Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) and representatives … who attended the Public Forum,” city spokespersons stated.
Lake Forest residents attended the forum along with officials from the offices of state Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and state Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood).
Amtrak, America’s intercity passenger railroad system, has proposed to increase passenger rail service between Chicago and Milwaukee via its existing Hiawatha line, along with construction to support the expected increase in travel frequency. Both Illinois and Wisconsin departments of transportation recommended increasing rail passenger service between Chicago and Milwaukee in cooperation with Amtrak.
A draft environmental assessment was previously submitted; Lake Forest was one of several municipalities to pass resolutions allowing public comment periods. The villages of Glenview, Deerfield, Northbrook and Bannockburn issued similar directives in order to gauge public opinion.
Figures presented during the forum indicate that daily ridership on Metra Commuter and traffic of Canadian Pacific Freight, both on the Milwaukee North Line, are expected to remain stable, while the amplified Amtrak service is anticipated to increase the number of daily trains from 14 to 20.
The proposal awaits environmental documentation and final assessment. The project falls under the auspices of the Federal Railroad Administration, pending input from Congress regarding funding.