Archive for the ‘EJ&E/Canadian National’ Category


According to the Village of Barrington:

“Monday (9/26) the Contractor will complete milling work on Main Street adjacent to the CN railroad tracks under the supervision of CN railroad flaggers and will begin paving operations at one or both of these railroad crossings, which will continue on Tuesday (9/27).

There will be delays associated with lane closures in this area during this work. The Contractor’s flaggers will maintain two-way traffic. Manhole grade adjustments will also be underway on Main Street throughout the Village during the rest of the week and into the beginning of next week.

Be alert when driving or walking in the construction zone, as this work will raise the structures approximately 2″ above the pavement so they are at the final roadway surface elevation. The placement of the final asphalt surface is anticipated to begin at Ela Road and move westbound beginning early next week.”

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Suburbanites protested CN’s merger with the EJ & E Railway in 2008 en route to a hearing at Barrington High School. (Daily Herald File Photo)

Fourteen years ago, suburbanites marched with homemade signs, lobbied their congressmen and hired lawyers in hopes of defeating a proposed merger between mega railroad CN and the smaller EJ & E Railway.

Despite all that, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board approved the deal in late 2008, albeit with tough conditions costing millions.

Now, a separate union between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railways awaits the STB’s decision. So, will history repeat itself in 2022?

In both cases. towns near the railway tracks have opposed the mergers, warning of long waits at crossings, delays for first responders, and increased crashes and hazmat spills.

The CP/KCS deal is far more ambitious than the 2008 one, and it would create a massive rail network from Canada to Mexico. So far, the STB staff is waving on the plan, expecting a “negligible” impact, analysts wrote in a draft report.

At a Thursday online forum, STB officials cited benefits like reduced air pollution.

CP anticipates “reducing truck transportation on highways in North America by more than 60,000 trucks each year,” STB project manager Joshua Wayland said.

Risks like derailments and hazmat spills would increase on some rail line segments, he explained. “We expect the risk of such incidents would remain small.” And most “would be minor and not result in injuries or fatalities,” Wayland said.

Read more here.

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BHS Trafic

“Sounds like a nuisance.” – The Daily Herald’s description of District 220’s traffic plan. Officials are so confused they’ve misspelled traffic signs.

“As you are aware, the Lake County Department of Transportation is replacing the bridge over Flint Creek on Hart Road. The bridge replacement and road closure is scheduled through November. To help mitigate traffic impacts from the road closure, representatives and traffic engineers from the Lake County Department of Transportation, the Village of Barrington, and Barrington 220 have worked in collaboration to improve traffic flow on and around the Barrington High School Campus. Although these efforts will help alleviate congestion at arrival and dismissal time, improved traffic flow can only go so far toward mitigating congestion.

To that end, Barrington 220 and the Village of Barrington have been consulting with Barrington Transportation to help reduce congestion near BHS. We ask that all students and families consider walking, biking, or riding the bus if possible. In fact, students who consistently walk, bike, or ride the bus on and off of campus will be entered into a drawing to win BHS spirit wear, gift cards for Airpods, Apple Watches and more.

Other ways to reduce congestion could be to utilize these remote options:

1) Purchase a parking permit for one of 3 locations at a cost of $100:

  • The Barrington – 540 W Northwest HWY (125 spots available) (MAP)
  • The Barrington Metra Station – 201 South Spring Street (125 spots available) (MAP)
  • St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church – 720 Dundee Ave (100 spots available) (MAP)

2) Sign-up for dropping off students at a remote location (FREE) 

  • The Barrington – 540 W Northwest HWY
  • The Barrington Metra Station – 201 South Spring Street

Both options include a shuttle bus from the location to BHS, leaving remote locations at 8AM and a shuttle bus from BHS to the remote locations at the end of the school day, arriving at the remote locations at approximately 3:50PM. Parking permit and remote drop-off is for August 22 to November 4.

From now until 7AM on Friday, September 6, 2022 you can click here to purchase a parking permit ($100) or sign up for drop off locations.

Please note, the Barrington Police department will be patrolling the additional parking areas, and violators will be ticketed and potentially towed at the owner’s expense. In addition, please be aware that parking in the remote lots is at your own risk. In the case of vandalism or damage occurring to their vehicle, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for remediating through their personal auto insurance, or out of pocket.

Please note that during the school year the main entrance to BHS off of Main Street will only be accessible to staff, buses and Build 220 construction traffic. All students and parents must use the west parking lot (off Hart Road) to access the building. The west parking lot is reserved for senior parking only.”


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Barrington Hills First Lady and Village of Lakemoor Building Permit Coordinator, Stephanie Cecola, was seen running at the start of the 2nd annual, “The Land We Love Run,” earlier this month.

The Summer 2022 edition of the Village Newsletter was recently released. Topics covered include:

  • President’s letter
  • 2nd Annual “The Land We Love Run” recap*
  • Horizon Farm public meeting
  • Tornado preparation tips
  • Donlea Road drainage update
  • Crime prevention, and
  • Pointers on whether permits are required for landscaping or earth moving

A copy can be viewed and downloaded here.

* Event participant results (no First Lady listed??), by category, can be found here.

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The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), in conjunction with the Canadian National Railway (CN), is reconstructing the badly deteriorated at-grade railroad crossing on IL 59 (Hough Street), north of James Street following their intermediate maintenance work last fall. IL 59 will be fully closed to through traffic at the CN Railroad tracks.

The closure will begin tomorrow, April 23rd, 2022 at 9:00 AM, and conclude on or before Thursday, April 28th, 2022 at 6:00 PM (Weather Permitting).

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Otis Road will be closed to thru traffic between Windrush Lane and Hawley Woods Road for five days starting tomorrow, April 16th, at 5:00 AM.

According to our Village Facebook page:

“The complete track structure will be replaced, with new rubber crossing surface installed.

The crossing renewal is scheduled to commence at 5:00 AM, Saturday, April 16th and to conclude by 6:00 PM, Wednesday, April 20th.

Complete road closure will be required for the duration of the project. Please obey all detour signs and barricades.

The proposed detour route is utilizing Brinker Rd to the west, Lake Cook Rd. (Main St) to the north, and Dundee Ave to the east.”

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Barrington Village Hall

The Barrington Village Board recently approved a $39 million budget for the village’s fiscal year 2022.

Trustees voted 6-0 at the Dec. 13 board meeting to approve the spending plan, after a public hearing on it was held the same night. There were no public comments at the hearing, and Trustee Emily Young was absent.

The budget will be effective on the first day of the new year, as the village’s fiscal year runs Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

“This budget, I believe, is fiscally responsible as well as responsive to the service needs of the community,” said Village Manager Scott Anderson. “The spending plan is well aligned with the vision set forth by the elected board and its strategic plan. While this budget is best considered a maintenance budget, commitments are made to continuing, and in some cases, improving our current service levels. At the same time, there is a significant investment in the village’s infrastructure that will occur next year.”

Anderson explained there are 10 independently budgeted funds that roll into to the spending plan, but most of the village’s operating expenses come from the general fund – including police, fire and public works. He noted an uptick in expenses for the village-owned Barrington White House, with a $544,841 appropriation that he said represents the support of programming in the historic downtown venue.

“Programming is opening up now and we’re having more in-person performances which is driving some of that expenditure,” Anderson said.

Read more here.

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Darch EJEA suburban mayor who has spent years trying to mitigate the effects of more freight train traffic in her community said that for towns facing that same situation now, it’s all about getting ahead of the problems.

Karen Darch was elected mayor of Barrington in 2005, only two years before the merger of the Canadian National and EJ&E that would increase the freight traffic in Barrington from three trains to up to 20 each day. She understands what worries Roselle and other suburbs along the Canadian Pacific line, as CP and the Kansas City Southern pursue a merger.

The merger could bring six to eight more freight trains a day through Roselle, Itasca, Wood Dale, Elgin, Bartlett, Schaumburg, Hanover Park and Bensenville. Leaders in those towns are concerned about potential traffic backups, emergency vehicle delays, additional noise and more pollution, as vehicles idle for longer.

Darch became the face of the fight between the suburbs and the railroads and the Surface Transportation Board, which approves or rejects mergers. The Surface Transportation Board also has the ability to keep railroads under oversight to make sure they are making the agreed-upon steps to keep crossings unblocked, limit the noise and more.

“Potential mitigation is the name of the game,” Darch said.

Darch said keeping a strong spotlight on the communities’ issues has to be the priority.

“It’s always a balancing act between what communities need and the train companies,” Darch said. “I think the communities have found their voice.”

Read more here.

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Hough Street Closed.

Canadian National Railway will be closing the rail crossing on Route 59 (North Hough Street) from 9:00 AM Tuesday, November 30 to 6:00 PM Thursday, December 2 in order to raise the tracks at Hough Street to address the current rough crossing condition.

During this time the crossing will be fully closed and the detour route (as shown on the map below) will be in place. Main Street and Route 14 will also remain open.

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Canadian National “is continuing to evaluate all options available to us,” said Jonathan Doorley, a spokesman for Canadian National.

Kansas City Southern said on Sunday that it had deemed an offer from Canadian Pacific superior to a bid from Canadian National, in the latest turn in a monthslong battle to become the first railroad to connect North America.

Canadian Pacific first put forward a roughly $29 billion bid for Kansas City Southern in March, before being topped by a $33.7 billion offer from its rival, Canadian National, in April. But the Canadian National deal hit a key regulatory challenge this month, sending Kansas City back to talks with Canadian Pacific. The talks proved fruitful.

The crown jewel in the deal is Mexico, as the railroads look to capitalize on trade flows across North America on the heels of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement signed into law last year.

Closing a deal could take time. It must be approved by shareholders of both companies, as well as approved by Mexican authorities and the Surface Transportation Board, the U.S. regulatory board that oversees rail deals.

Kansas City Southern has notified Canadian National of its intention to terminate that deal, both companies said on Sunday. Canadian National has five days to make a better offer. If Kansas City opts for Canadian Pacific, Canadian National will receive $700 million in breakup fees, according to the terms of their deal.

Read more here.

Related: “Feds reject initial CN plan for merger with Kansas City railroad that’s drawn ire from some suburbs,” “Suburbs wary of proposed railway merger that could mean more freight trains,” and “Could railroad merger lead to more freight trains in the suburbs?

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