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MERRILLVILLE | With a March 31 deadline looming to apply for federal funds for the extension of the South Shore commuter rail line to Dyer, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky on Tuesday said the time to unify and act is now.

On one side of the border is a sprawling 488-mile commuter rail system with 11 separate tentacles connecting Chicago's Loop with some of the Midwest's most affluent communities.

INDIANAPOLIS | No single person at the Statehouse is standing in the way of South Shore expansion, because outside the 21-member Northwest Indiana legislative delegation, few of the 129 other state senators and representatives have even heard of it.

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In a renewed push to extend the South Shore commuter rail line, proponents are touting its unparalleled economic development potential and saying no new taxes will be needed to build it.