Chicago Gateway Initiative Blue Ribbon Panel Suggests Solutions

Amtrak Panel Recommends Co-Located Dispatchers, Improved Operating Practices and Projects to Prevent $800 Billion in Impacts from Rail Gridlock in Chicago

Bringing together rail traffic control dispatchers now separated by thousands of miles, improved operating practices by Amtrak and other railroads and funding for priority projects already identified in Northern Illinois and Indiana are top recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel appointed by Amtrak to address massive "Chicago Gateway" delays to passenger and freight traffic.

Here's an overview of the report:

Chicago Gateway Project Overview Poster
Englewood Flyover Poster
75th Street Corridor Improvement Poster
Grand Crossing Poster

Panel Findings

The panel, chosen in 2014 by then Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, reported its findings with two university and policy groups in Chicago. The panel released a study it commissioned that shows the Chicago congestion problem creates an economic vulnerability of up to $799 billion every year, impacting six key industries constituting 85 percent of U.S. domestic product.

Download the full Chicago Gateway Blue Ribbon Panel Final Report or the analysis of current national economic effects and consequences of failure to act in the Amtrak Chicago Gateway Railway Capactiy Constraints.

CREATE Projects

These animations show the first passenger-oriented capital project in Chicago this decade and two other videos show projects the panel sees are high priorities in Illinois.

Find more information about these projects, part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation (CREATE) Program. Amtrak is among the railroad partners in CREATE.

More Information

The panel also called for development of another phase of a similar project in Indiana, the Indiana Gateway Program. Amtrak is a participant in this Indiana Department of Transportation project.

The panel supports the development of route dedicated to passenger trains from Chicago and across Indiana to Michigan and points to the east. Get more information about the "South of the Lake" project, operated by the Michigan Department of Transportation, a long-time Amtrak partner.

For more information on the Amtrak Chicago Gateway Initiative, e-mail