West Lake Corridor

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West Lake Corridor
West Lake Corridor alignment
Design option
Station option
South Shore Line
to Millennium Station
Calumet River
Hammond Gateway
South Shore Line
to South Bend Airport
Grand Calumet River
Downtown Hammond
South Hammond
I-80 / I-94
Little Calumet River
Munster Ridge Road
Munster Fisher/45th Streets
Munster/Dyer Main Street
St. John US 41

The West Lake Corridor is a proposal for commuter rail service to serve the city of Chicago, Illinois, and the cities of Hammond, Highland, Griffith, Valparaiso, Hobart, Cedar Lake, Munster, Merrillville, Dyer, and Lowell in Indiana.

New Start Studies[edit]

In mid-2000s, the population and commercial growth in Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana was outstripping current projections.[1] The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District decided that, if the growth continued at the current rates, it would be necessary to add another branch to the South Shore Line commuter rail.[1] As of 2006, planning proceeded apace for an extension to Valparaiso, Indiana, but trouble was brewing. The newer plans relied on growth exceeding projections, which made the project unqualified for federal funding,[not in citation given] and the NICTD was unsure whether it could attain trackage rights on the CN line to Valparaiso.[2] By 2008, a new study indicated that while the Lowell branch would attract 11,327 riders per day, a Valparaiso to Munster branch would not attract enough ridership, and the latter part of the plan was dropped.[3]


Traveling southbound, the new branch leaves the old CSS&SB main immediately before the current Hammond station.[4] As of 2017, the NICTD has begun demolition of houses between Hanover and Brunswick streets to begin building a new station capable of serving both lines.[5]

From Hammond south, the line follows the route of Monon trail until it reaches Maynard Junction. The Monon trail will be retained, but follow a new alignment.[4] At Maynard Junction, the Corridor will have a flyover over the EJ&E/CSX tracks, and then will follow new tracks built immediately west of the CSX right-of-way.

Due to financial constraints, current construction will not extend to Lowell at this time, but provisions will be made for future extension.[6]

As of 2017, the NICTD has yet to finalize where stations will exist.[4] However, possible stations are as follows.[7]

Possible stations on the Lowell line[edit]

The St. John-Lowell extension could include the following stations.[citation needed]

Possible stations for future extension to St. John/Lowell[edit]

  • St. John
  • Cedar Lake
  • Lowell

Service Patterns[edit]

The new line will run as far as Dyer, with a later extension to Lowell, and trains will run as shuttles between Hammond and Dyer during off-peak hours.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Benman, Keith (23 June 2006). "Study: South Shore extension would add jobs, income". nwi.com. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  2. ^ WJOB (Calumet)/AP http://www.wjobcalpress.com/1editorialbody.lasso?-token.folder=2006-09-10&-token.story=148557.112113&-token.subpub=. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Benman, Keith (17 December 2008). "Study: Valpo-to-Munster SS line would add few riders". nwi.com. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  4. ^ a b c "Frequently Asked Questions". West Lake Corridor. 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  5. ^ Gonzalez, Michael. "Train plans unsettle Hammond neighborhood". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  6. ^ Simón, Marisol R.; Noland, Michael; Federal Transit Administration; USDoT; US Army Corps of Engineers (2 December 2016). West Lake Corridor Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Chapter 2: Alternatives Considered) (pdf) (Report). NICTD. p. 5. Retrieved 16 July 2017. The alignments by alternative were evaluated from cost, feasibility, and freight railroad acceptability perspectives. The analysis concluded that the alignment between Dyer and St. John should be dropped from further consideration primarily because the estimated capital cost would have exceeded the funding that has been identified for the project. It was understood that an extension to St. John or Lowell could be considered in the future.
  7. ^ a b Simón, Marisol R.; Noland, Michael; Federal Transit Administration; USDoT; US Army Corps of Engineers (2 December 2016). West Lake Corridor Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Chapter 2: Alternatives Considered) (pdf) (Report). NICTD. Retrieved 16 July 2017.

External links[edit]