Railway Debate Roars Through County Board, Once Again

April 23, 2008

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Cook County commissioners today debated a railway merger. This will be the second time they've argued over an issue they have little control over.

Canadian National railway sends trains through Chicago and nearby suburbs. They often crawl, so Canadian National wants to buy a less-busy line runs that far outside the city. Towns on the new route worry they'll get more train traffic.Weeks ago, the Cook County Board voted to support the rail merger. Today, Commissioner Peter Silvestri repeated his case.

SILVESTRI: I would like to live where I don't have to hear train noise but I choose to live in the Chicago metropolitan area, and this is part of living in the metropolitan area. This is not designed to destroy the quality of life anywhere. It's designed to improve the quality of life for the overwhelming majority of the people in this county.

Silvestri's argument prevailed. Ultimately, though, the rail merger's fate rests with the federal government, not Cook County.