Dear Ms. Rutson,
I am writing to you in opposition to the proposed Great Lakes Basin Railway project. This project, which cuts through most of my Senate District in Illinois, has far too many more questions than answers, and more problems than solutions.
The biggest reason this project should not move forward is pretty simple: landowners I represent don’t want the project, don’t want to give up their land, and don’t want the trains. I want to stress that it’s not just a handful of landowners who feel this way, everyone I speak with who would be in the potential line of this railway is adamantly opposed.
These residents don’t want the noise of dozens of trains a day nor the negative impact the railway would bring to their agricultural activities such as land-locked fields, decreased production of crops and livestock, and possible damage of irrigation systems.
In addition, there are safety issues with this project. An increase in train traffic, especially in rural areas where there are fewer crossings, means longer response times for emergency responders. Private crossings in fields with slow-moving agriculture equipment and fast-moving trains could prove fatal.
The project offers no permanent jobs or increased income to each community it passes through. Home and farm values will decrease. Even more striking to me is that Great Lakes Basin hasn’t offered any real solutions to issues presented to them, the construction timeline and financing aren’t certain, and they are a for-profit company, not a railroad.
I urge you to reject this project on behalf of my constituents.
State Sen. Sue Rezin
How you can write to the Surface Transportation Board about this issue: