The US Department of Transportation (DOT), through its Build America Bureau (Bureau), has approved a $27.5m Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan to modernise the South Shore Line in Indiana.

This funding will be used for the works related to the portion of the $649m Double Track Project along a 26.6-mile segment of the South Shore Line between Gary and Michigan City.

It will help install around 18 miles of double tracking and overhead power system and separate vehicular traffic along two miles of the street-running rail line.

The funding will also be used to refurbish five stations and eliminate 13 at-grade roadway/track crossings besides adding 1,475 parking spaces.

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The authority will upgrade the remaining crossings by adding automatic warning devices such as flashers, gates, and bells.

The project, which is currently under construction, is anticipated to be completed at the end of 2024. 

US DOT deputy transportation secretary Polly Trottenberg said: “We are pleased to help finance the Double Track Project, which will increase safety, reliability and cut travel time by one-third for commuters from Michigan City to Chicago.

“This project will deliver improved trip options, taking vehicles off the road and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.”  

This Double Track financing is said to complement a$203.3m loan executed at the start of this year for the 8-mile extension of the South Shore Line between Dyer and Hammond in India.

The overall financing package consists of a $354.6m grant agreement with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) for the West Lake Corridor Project via the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investments Programme.