WHEREAS, for many years, residents of the Village of South Holland have contended with heavy freight train congestion, and the Canadian National proposal to acquire EJ&E Railway would bring relief to this congestion in South Holland and neighboring communities; and
WHEREAS, currently CN freight trains pass through more than 150 road crossings in the Chicago urban core as well as densely populated towns, such as Harvey, Glendale Heights, La Grange, Des Plaines and the Village of South Holland; and Chicago's rail congestion can force freight trains to take more than 24 hours to travel a 30 mile distance; and
WHEREAS, with the purchase of EJ&E, the route would loop around these more densely populated areas and therefore keep trains moving efficiently. This would also be better for the environment, as it would reduce the number of idling trains waiting to move into train yards and reduce the number of total traffic crossing delays in the Chicagoland area as a whole; and
WHEREAS, while our village recognizes that communities such as Matteson and Frankfort are just as populated at South Holland, the EJ&E route, in total, passes through far less densely populated areas than the current route; and
WHEREAS, the Village of South Holland knows first hand of the impact of increased train activity - an impact on traffic flow, public safety relying heavily on mutual aid, noise and the general inconvenience for residents and commuters - and so we are genuinely empathetic to their concerns; and
WHEREAS, under CN's proposal, freight trains could efficiently travel through fewer crossings by making use of the underutilized EJ&E tracks that were built at the turn of the 20th century, and by linking EJ&E lines with CN's lines, this will provide a continuous rail route around the Chicagoland region and companies transporting their goods will benefit from faster transit times, more reliable service and improved flow of rail traffic in the region; and
WHEREAS, the $300 million purchase not only will improve service to large and small companies across the Midwest and throughout the nation, but will bring noteworthy economic and environmental benefits to the Village of South Holland and surrounding communities, as well as provide much needed relief from the noise, traffic and environmental pollution of freight trains; and
WHEREAS, the Village of South Holland passionately supports the Canadian National's proposed acquisition of the EJ&E Railway.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, DON A. DE GRAFF, take this means on behalf of the President and Board of Trustees to demonstrate support of the Canadian National's proposed acquisition of EJ&E Railway, as this merger will provide significant benefits to our community and region; and urge the Surface Transportation Board to approve this purchase at the earliest possible date.