Michigan City OKs eminent domain to acquire land for South Shore project
The city council of Michigan City, Ind., is moving forward on eminent domain proceedings to complete the land acquisition needed for the South Shore Line’s Double Track project, which will drastically remake the single-track street running in the community that is a unique characteristic of the railroad. The Times of Northwest Indiana reports two parcels, needed for Michigan City’s station and a parking garage, are likely to require legal intervention, according to an attorney for the local redevelopment agency. One is asking a price well beyond the assessed value, and the other has not responded to any inquiries. The project will create two ballasted tracks, in land adjacent to the current street running on 10th Street, and close 21 grade crossings as part of a project which will add 16.9 miles of second track between Michigan City and Gary, Ind.
MassDOT offers no date to release weeks-late East-West report
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s final report on the proposed East-West rail service between Boston and Pittsfield, Mass., scheduled for release Nov. 30, has yet to be published and no new date has been reported. MassLive.com reports that, in response to its queries, MassDOT said the report would be out soon, without offering a date, and that it was still accepting comments on the project after the report deadline. The original set of options for the service, one of which was estimated to cost $25 billion, was narrowed to three choices with costs ranging from $2.4 billion to $4.6 billion in September [see “Digest: Winter Park Express ski train won’t operate …,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 30, 2020]. At that time, MassDOT said the final report would be out at the end of November.
Utah agency buys land for northward expansion of FrontRunner commuter rail
The Utah Transit Authority is purchasing land for future FrontRunner commuter rail service to Willard, Utah, although no concrete plans currently exist for expansion to the community 14 miles north of Ogden. The Ogden Standard-Examiner reports the agency is purchasing 38 acres of land adjacent to Interstate 15 for just under $2.5 million as a possible station site and that the agency is looking to buy as much land as possible now to preserve space for the extension. Service to Box Elder County, which includes Willard, has been envisioned since the commuter rail service was launched in 2007.