The Village of Barrington has recently learned that Canadian National Railway has filed a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit application to double-track 4.27 miles of railway from Spaulding Road in Elgin to Shoe Factory Road in Hoffman Estates. (See NBC News story here).
When combined with the existing track, this additional double-tracking would create a 6.1-mile long section of double track on the CN line, less than 4 miles to Barrington’s south. This action makes it clear that, as Barrington has been saying for over a decade, double tracking through Barrington is highly likely. The railway currently owns the right-of-way necessary in Barrington to double-track through town.
As CN notes in their Application for Permit, this double-tracking project is intended to accommodate a "growth of approximately 9 trains per day” by 2020 - trains that are headed directly through Barrington. CN presently runs 18-20 trains per day on our tracks - at much longer lengths than were originally indicated during the sale of the EJ&E to CN. This will mean our train traffic will grow by as much as 50%, much further exacerbating our congestion issues.
As Village President Karen Darch reiterated in her state of the Village address (see above), these new developments by CN makes it all the more urgent to achieve the funding for the Route 14 underpass and begin construction as soon as possible. There are currently four grant applications for this funding in process; funding could occur as early as this year.