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$650M Double Track Project on the South Shore Line Celebrates Completion

GARY, IN – Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced the commencement of the Double Track Northwest Indiana project, one of the largest public transit investments in Indiana’s history. Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda prioritized the $650 million double tracking of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s (NICTD) existing South Shore Line from Michigan City to Gary and the companion $950 million West Lake Corridor project, which will be completed in May 2025. The on time and under budget project will add nearly 18 miles of new track over a 26-mile pathway, an enhanced train schedule and improved service for Hoosiers in Northwest Indiana.

“One hundred years later, this Double Track Project will continue to transform Northwest Indiana for generations to come,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This game-changing project is yet another example of how the State of Indiana continues to make targeted investments that attract talent and commercial investment that in turn helps our communities take it to their next level.”

The South Shore Double Track project will improve safety along the entire alignment, especially in Michigan City, where the new alignment will remove the street-running tracks, eliminate 20 at-grade crossings and provide a safer environment for passengers boarding trains. The upgrades will add more than 1,400 parking spaces, 14 additional weekday trains and drastically reduce travel time on the South Shore Line. The project included a new overhead contact system, 22 at-grade crossings, 20 culverts and platform upgrades to five stations.

Combined, the Double Track and West Lake Corridor projects are projected to attract approximately $2.7 billion in private investment to Northwest Indiana, and result in more than 6,000 new jobs and $5 billion in economic impact by 2048. Nearly $800 million in economic development is already underway on both project corridors.

“Double tracking the South Shore Line is one of the largest infrastructure investment in the railroad’s history. With the additional track, high-speed crossovers and high-level boarding platforms now in place, we can deliver far superior commuter rail service to our riders with greater train frequency, better on-time performance and dramatically reduced times to and from Chicago,” said Michael Noland, president of the South Shore Line. “We can’t thank our funding partners at the state and local levels enough as well as our partnership with the FTA; we have all worked as a team every step of the way to ensure this vital project finished on time and under budget. And of course, we are deeply thankful to Governor Holcomb and our local, state and federal delegation for their support and leadership to get us to this great day.”

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Gov. Holcomb, Indiana’s Congressional delegation, members of the Indiana General Assembly, the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and local elected leaders worked with NICTD to provide funding and leadership for the nearly $650 million project. $173 million in federal funding was from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts program and another $24 million from the American Rescue Program. The state committed more than $340 million, locals allocated approximately $80 million and NICTD committed up to $30 million.

“The level of coordination between the state and local governments along the corridor has been remarkable,” Senator Todd Young said. “When then-Secretary Elaine Chao joined me in visiting this project in 2017, it was clear to the entire U.S. Department of Transportation that this project would be a game-changer for the region. Countless individuals worked for decades to see the Double Track Project become a reality, and thousands of Hoosiers will benefit from their tireless commitment.”

“The success that we are recognizing today is the ideal model of what we can accomplish when all levels of government and community stakeholders collaborate for the long-term economic success of our communities. Thank you to Governor Holcomb and all of our state and local leaders for your vision and commitment to improving our quality of place and attracting new businesses and economic activity to Northwest Indiana,” said Representative Frank Mrvan.

“Today’s Double Track ribbon cutting ceremony is a testament to leaders at all levels coming together to make northern Indiana an even better place to live, work, and do business. I’m grateful to everyone who helped make this transformative infrastructure project for our region a reality, and I look forward to seeing how it will boost economic development in the greater South Bend area and benefit Hoosiers in the Second District and beyond in the years to come,” said Rep. Rudy Yakym (IN-02)

“For more than a decade, the RDA has worked to make commuter rail expansion a reality,” said Sherri Ziller, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority. “The completion of the Double Track project is a milestone marking the beginning of transformational changes in the Region. Better, faster and more reliable train service to and from Chicago is already bringing new residents and new growth to Northwest Indiana, as can already be seen from Hammond to Michigan City. Everyone who has helped get us to this point has my deepest thanks. We have done something special here that will impact Northwest Indiana for generations to come.”

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