Ground broken for South Shore Line expansion in northwestern Indiana

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(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

Indiana has broken ground on a billion-dollar extension of the South Shore commuter railroad:

The South Shore runs along Indiana’s northern border, from South Bend to Chicago. The new West Lake Corridor will add two more stations in Hammond, and create an eight-mile southern leg to Munster and Dyer. The extension will bring rail service 10 minutes closer to Crown Point, the county seat.

The new line is scheduled to start service in five years.

State, local and federal governments are each paying roughly a third of the cost. Legislators included 200-million dollars for the project in the current two-year budget. Governor Holcomb predicts a significant return on the investment. He says creating easier connections to Chicago, which he notes is the nation’s third-largest economy, will instantly make Lake County more marketable.

South Shore president Michael Noland says the new service from Munster will let travelers reach Chicago in 45 minutes, faster than the city’s notoriously congested expressways will allow.

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