Inner Circumferential Rail Study

West Central Municipal Conference

The proposed Inner Circumferential Rail Line would serve west suburban Cook County and provide an opportunity for non-CBD-oriented commuter rail service. The effort is being led by the West Central Municipal Conference and members who comprise the Inner Circumferential Task Force.

Phase I of the study focused on determining whether potential commuter rail service would be physically and operationally possible. The recommended line would run along the Indiana Harbor Belt Line from O'Hare airport to Midway airport. This route was chosen in part because of the strong community and municipality support near the proposed line. Seven proposed station locations were identified along the rail line: Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Bellwood, Broadview, La Grange Park, La Grange or Brookfield, and Summit.

Phase II of the Feasibility Study, included a Land Use & Community Planning Study and a Design Set of Rail Alternatives Study. The Land Use & Community Planning Study is an 18-month study being funded by both the Central and North Central Councils of Mayors' Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds. The Design Set of Rail Alternatives Study is funded by a grant from the Regional Technical Assistance Program (RTAP). Parsons Brinckerhoff is the consultant for both studies.

Community planning workshops were held to explore land use and community development ideas in around the proposed Metra commuter rail stations. The interactive workshops were well attended and gave municipal officials and community members the opportunity to design and discuss transit-supportive development ideas that they would like to see in their future station area.

Phase III of the study will be included as part of the Cook DuPage Corridor Study.  The Inncer Circumferential Rail is also included in the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's GOTO 2040 uncontrained capitol projects list.


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