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All Aboard: Funding Approved for South Shore Line Train

Monday, March 20, 2017

Major improvements planned for the South Shore Line, which carries commuters between South Bend and Chicago, received approval for significant funding over the next five years.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) board approved $1.1 billion in funding over the next five years for the South Shore Line, including:

  • West Lake Corridor extension
  • Double Track NWI
  • Rerouting the approach to South Bend International Airport
  • Purchase of new rail cars
  • Completion of a federally-mandated safety project named Positive Train Control

If all the projects are completed, roughly half of the funding would come from federal sources and the other half from local. According to South Shore President and General Manager Michael Noland, “the face of this railroad will look significantly different when this five-year period is done.”

The largest project is the West Lake Corridor extension, account for $604 million. The project aims to extend the railroad by nine miles, from Hammond to Dyer. Officials say local funding for this is essentially secure, and that the other half will be from federal grants.

Double Track NWI, which would add a second track between Gary and Michigan City as well as move the street-running tracks in Michigan City, would allow for more trains and more frequent service and would thus reduce delays and speed up travel times to and from Chicago. Funding for this project is still in-process at both the state and local levels.

Rerouting in South Bend would take the rail line directly to the airport, significantly reducing travel times. “This is an essential part of our goal to get from South Bend to Chicago in 90 minutes,” Noland said. This project would include $12.5 million of local funding and $7.5 million via a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant.

Learn more about these projects and the South Shore Line at

Michael Noland, President and General Manager

South Shore Line