Freight train in Hammond

For some, the sound of a freight train borders on soothing.

The Times

Well, some folks aren’t too happy.

It seems there is a planned new train route from LaPorte to somewhere in Wisconsin. An $8 billion, yes with a 'B', project. Its purpose is to relieve some of the huge volume of freight train traffic that goes through Chicagoland by adding a southern route.

Full disclosure: I kind of like trains. Got one for one of my earliest Christmases. I’ve always lived within close proximity to trains. I think I’d have trouble sleeping without the rhythmic clatter and the periodic waning wail of the horns.

But in so many ways, trains in our area are a big inconvenience. And for some people, it’s way more than a mundane inconvenience.

From lost time at work, to delayed ambulances and other emergency vehicles, to the tragic end of those who risk illegal crossings, the staggering volume of train traffic in the area is much more than a maddening inconvenience.

Meetings in areas of the proposed new southern route have produced wails from those who would be affected by the project. Some have been as petty as to worry about an undesirable view. Really.

Are there serious issues with trains going through any area? Of course. Would they be any more severe or greater in number than the issues faced by the people now living in the more northerly areas rife with train routes? Hardly.

Actually, with fewer people living near the new proposed routes, the incidence of problems would logically be fewer.

Again, not to minimize the problems trains can cause, but if we (the northern area) have lived with this, it seems a bit selfish of those along the proposed new route to complain so much about possibly having to share some of those issues.

Who knows, they may become enamored of those sonorous sounds I’ve come to accept and find comforting.


On May 13 a ticket will be drawn for a cool $20,000.

It’s the Calumet City Lion Club raffle. There are a limited number (500) sold and there are numerous other cash prizes. And even if your luck doesn’t hold, you’ll be helping a fine organization help people in need in the community.

There are some tickets available at $100. If interested, call Steve Drew at (708) 868 8521.

Thank you for reading.