Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District West Lake Corridor Project

Burns designs traction power, communications, signals and overhead contact systems, facilitates significant design-build cost savings.

The oldest inter-urban railroad in the country, the South Shore Line (SSL) carries commuters on near-capacity rail service from Chicago’s suburbs into downtown. Operator Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) is undertaking an 8-mile extension, alleviating capacity constraints, increasing transportation options and shortening commutes between Lake County, Indiana and Chicago’s Millennium Station.

Burns designed multiple components:

  • Wayside signals with Positive Train Control and highway-railroad grade crossing warning protection systems;
  • Overhead Catenary Systems elevated over railroad, highway and highway-railroad grade crossing sections; and
  • Traction power, modelled on the existing 1500-volt DC system.

The largest public transit investment in Indiana history, the West Lake Corridor Project follows a design-build approach. As a subcontractor to HDR, Burns participated in technical review workshops with NICTD and the lowest-bidding contractor. Burns shared insights into the system’s hardware and software components, resulting in the contractor lowering overall project costs by an estimated $1.2M.

Groundbreaking took place in October 2020. Revenue service is scheduled for February 2025.

Burns offers a comprehensive combination of traction power, overhead contact, communications, and signal systems design and construction solutions. Our team helps to maintain, improve and expand railroad and transit infrastructure programs across the country,

Similar projects include systems designs for NICTD’s SSL double track expansion and Sound Transit’s Tacoma Dome Link Extension in Washington.

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Location: Michigan City, IN
Industries: 
Railroad & Transit
Traction Power
Client: Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District

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