Chicago, the bane of trains

John Schwartz, reporting for the New York Times:

Shippers complain that a load of freight can make its way from Los Angeles to Chicago in 48 hours, then take 30 hours to travel across the city. A recent trainload of sulfur took some 27 hours to pass through Chicago — an average speed of 1.13 miles per hour, or about a quarter the pace of many electric wheelchairs.

And I thought rush hour on the Kennedy Expressway was bad. The good news is, they’re in the process of fixing it. Amtrak and the Metra commuter rail should benefit, too. The commingling of freight and passenger rail traffic is one of the American rail system’s many flaws. Separating the two—even if only in the tangled parts of Chicago—should help smooth operations throughout the country.

One question, though: Why has this taken so long?

Thanks to the support of readers like you, Per Square Mile remains independent and ad-free.

If you enjoy what you read, please consider supporting the site with a donation.

opening times