CN Growth Fuels Significant Increases in Train Traffic & Vehicle Delays

Village of Barrington News
May 26, 2017

At the Village Board Meeting on May 22, Village President Karen Darch provided an update on the continued growth of Canadian National Railway in North America, which continues to have a significant impact on train traffic and delays in Barrington.

Specifically, President Darch cited CN's growth at its Port of Prince Rupert location near Vancouver as a direct connection to Asian markets, which will increase shipping containers from 900,000 per year to 1.35 million beginning in August. A significant portion of this vastly increased cargo will go straight through Barrington, resulting in more and longer trains.

In addition, Darch indicated that trains are both much longer and 25% slower than CN had originally estimated in 2007 when it acquired the EJ&E line. Some trains can be up to 10,000 feet, or two miles long. A single train routinely blocks all four Barrington crossings at one time, preventing ambulances and other safety vehicles from moving through town.

She further indicated that Barrington has seen a 4,639% increase in the hours of vehicle delays per day since CN took over the EJ&E in 2007: The cumulative delay on Route 14 for the 30,000 vehicles using it each day has gone from 2.49 hours of delay before CN's acquisition of the railroad to 118 hours of delay today.

Finally, Darch said that the Village is still pursuing federal and state funding sources for the project so it can be completed as soon as possible. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has issued a Design Approval on August 29, 2014, for the Route 14/CN Underpass Project after a more than two-year public process with unprecedented public engagement in reviewing the project. The underpass project, one of regional significance as well as of importance to our Village, thus became the plan for Route 14 at the CN crossing and will occur - sooner we hope than later.

Darch said, "We are pleased that the federal Department of
Transportation, IDOT, and regional and local transportation agencies
have recognized that the underpass is necessary for the safety and
vitality of our community. We believe that the plans we have worked on
in cooperation with these transportation authorities is the least
disruptive plan we can have to mitigate train traffic in Barrington.
While we recognize and regret that, in the short term, it will
significantly impact some of our residents more than others, we
believe this is the best solution for our community as a whole."

To watch the Village Board meeting and see the entire live presentation, click here and scroll to minute 17:51.